If you're feeling fancy and you decided to flash the Android N developer preview, you'll notice that your optimization step didn't take very long at all. That's thanks to a new change in Android N that Ryan has already detailed. The Android Runtime, ART for short, is now using a JIT (just-in-time) compiler, which means that apps install update much faster so you can quickly get back to royally crushing whatever clash you're clanning against. Read More
If you did the Android N beta OTA, you might have noticed something is missing—there's no more painfully tedious optimizing apps pop up after the update. This step is over almost instantly following the update to Android N. An improved version of the ART (Android Runtime) is fast enough that Android doesn't need to hold you up anymore. Fantastic. Read More
There's a new Google app that will help you get some culture, and you don't even have to stand up. The aptly named Arts & Culture app contains images and data on works of art and relics of the past from more than 850 museums and organizations around the world. And it's free—not even a "suggested" donation.
If you didn't already know, photographer Carl Kleiner is the mind behind the enchanting "material" wallpapers that came with Android Lollipop, and with more recent versions of Chrome and the Google app on iOS.
With the release of Marshmallow, Kleiner is back with even more creations and two bonus wallpapers to celebrate the release. But besides all that, Google Design has posted an interesting peek into the process behind the creations, called paperscapes, to its blog.
The new paperscapes go beyond the scope of the original pieces, integrating more complex geometry, greater color and textural contrast, and new materials like colored water and powdered ink to create compelling pieces that - at first glance - don't look like they could possibly be photographs. Read More
Ah, Adobe. You can't turn around without Adobe either discontinuing or releasing another app that fits somehow into its complicated product ecosystem. Today we're getting Android versions of Illustrator Draw and an app called Capture CC. The functionality of this one isn't technically new—it's an amalgamation of three other apps, which are being phased out.
So you're not an artist, no problem. VoxelMaker allows you to create any scene you can dream up and render it with lighting effects, depth of field, and more. What can you build with hundreds of tiny cubes? Probably lots of things.
NVIDIA is always coming up with new ways to show off the power of its chips, and Dabbler is probably one of the more entertaining. This app is bundled with the SHIELD Tablet, but it has gone through a major revamp since release. Now v3.0 has hit the Play Store to make your doodles even prettier.
Left: old, Right: new Read More
Capacitive touchscreens are not ideal tools for 3D modeling. Unless you have an active digitizer and stylus, or superhuman patience, or preferably both, the amazing models on display in the screenshots below will probably be unattainable in the new 123D Sculpt+ app. But that doesn't mean it's not fun to try out a tool that, at least on a technical level, has a lot in common with professional 3D modeling programs. The app comes from Autodesk (a company which should know a thing or two on the matter) and it's a free download.
Sculpt+ makes a few concessions to the limitations of modeling on phones and tablets. Read More
The basic version of Autodesk's SketchBook app has been in the Play Store for a long time, but now the professional version has come to Android. Autodesk SketchBook has more advanced tools, a ton of brushes, layer support, and a lot of it can be accessed for free. Of course, the best stuff is behind a paywall, but it's not too expensive.
There's something about our camera-equipped portable mini-computers that makes app developers look at them as the perfect platform for yet another niche photo editing app. Want to add text to your images? Here's something for that. Want cool filters? Try this on for size. Want to feel like Snoop Lion? Of course you do. Fragment doesn't even claim to make your photos better. It just makes them... different.
Fragment gives users the power to change their plain photos into abstract works of art. The developers call it prismatic art. I wikied that word, but that only turned up yet another app. Read More