Sony's recent Xperia phones and tablets have included themable skins for the proprietary Sony UI that runs on top of Android. Now Sony wants you (yes, you!) to make themes for its devices using a custom Java desktop program. The company has released a beta version of the application for aspiring theme makers, available from the Sony Developer site.
The program allows you to apply different colors and graphical elements to the various bits and pieces of Sony's themes.
One of the problems with instant messaging since time immemorial has been juggling contacts and conversations across multiple services. It's bothersome on desktops, and it's especially unwieldy on mobile devices, where multitasking isn't as easy and similar sounding chimes can send you searching through the wrong app for the latest reply.
Disa is a new Android messaging client that attempts to tackle this problem. It has been in development for a long time, spending a healthy period in private alpha being tested by over 33,000 people before making its way to the Play Store in the form of a private beta.
You're probably more aware of WebView after the recent dust-up over security issues in older versions of Android. WebView is a tool developers can use to display web content in an app without implementing a whole browser, and today Google is opening a beta test for WebView on Android 5.0 and higher. Simply head over to the Google+ page to join and get the latest tweaks and fixes.
There are a lot of outdated apps lurking in the Play Store, but Yelp's antiquated design has been particularly irksome. See, Yelp is a popular app that can be really useful, but it is just a mess of old design language. If you're in the Yelp beta, check your updates because things are about to change. Yelp 7.0.0-Beta1 is rolling out with a material overhaul. It's so much better, and we've got the APK below for your sideloading pleasure.
If you've invested in a Sonos speaker system for your home, you have probably cursed the Sonos app on more than one occasion. It was vastly improved last spring, and now there's a new public beta that makes some welcome changes. According to Sonos, the new app is "A Little Bit Faster Now."
The Instagram app for Android might have a few problems, but you can be among the first to get fixes if you join the new official beta program (or maybe just bugs, hard to say). It's a regular Play Store beta, so sign-up only takes a few seconds. Just don't get too excited about the first beta build.
Folding@Home, at first glance, looks like a trendy name for a blog about mastering origami, but it's actually an initiative that could some day help crack the secrets behind certain life-threatening illnesses. Folding refers to the way in which proteins bend themselves into various shapes, forming the building blocks for our bones, skin, and everything in between.
Sometimes proteins don't fold correctly, leading to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's. Unfortunately, the process occurs so quickly that it's difficult for scientists to observe.