06
Jun
ActionLauncher-Thumb

Action Launcher developer Chris Lacy has rolled into the latest beta a feature that just appeared in Nova Launcher two days ago. After signing up for the beta and getting everything good to go, just hop over into the app's settings to toggle the feature on. From then on, you can say "OK Google" from the homescreen to have it pull up a Google search a la the Google Now Launcher.

05
Jun
Wikipedia-Thumb

Good things come to those who wait. Android users didn't get an official Wikipedia app until January 2012, and it was a relatively bare bones release at that. Over two years later, it's really starting to show its age, as those Gingerbread screenshots sitting on its Play Store page aren't impressing anyone. But now we see a new version of the Wikipedia Beta app that finally seems poised to give us the native experience we've been waiting for.

03
Jun
bub

One of the nicest things about CyanogenMod (from a cosmetic perspective, anyway) is support for hundreds and hundreds of community-baked themes on the Play Store and elsewhere. As opposed to a launcher theme or icon set, these themes are system-wide, and they can completely change the look of your phone or tablet in a few seconds. Custom ROMs often bake in a compatible theme system (see AOKP), and now the popular Paranoid Android family has done so as well.

27
May
unnamed (1)

For my money, Nova Launcher is the best of the AOSP-style launchers available in Android. Developer TeslaCoil Software has consistently updated the launcher for the better part of three years, and one of the biggest updates is coming soon. Nova 3.0 won't add any earth-shattering changes, but there are a bunch of little changes that will thrill the customization-obsessed in small ways.

2014-05-27 18.48.36 2014-05-27 18.49.31 2014-05-27 18.45.11

On the homescreen, you can now customize the text below shortcuts to a greater degree with color and shadow options, and widgets can now have individual padding settings.

23
May
Trials-Thumb

Ubisoft's Trials series has been hitting the track for years now, challenging players to perform fantastical tricks atop their motorbikes while hurtling through the air. The franchise has typically stuck to PCs as Java and flash games, but later versions have made the jump to consoles. Now the first mobile release has exited limited geo beta and is now available for all.

Trials

The game's challenge derives from its off the wall physics-based tracks, as navigating them alone can be difficult enough without the pressure of building up high scores.

15
May
SwiftKey-Thumb

The SwiftKey developers are getting ready to introduce a version of their popular third-party keyboard with Japanese input support. Prominent features should transition over just fine, with the keyboard still able to make personalized predictions and suggest emoji that it thinks may be appropriate. It will be able to switch back and forth between Japanese and English, making it useful for native Japanese speakers and friends of Japanese speakers alike.

SwiftKey

The app is currently in beta, but it's open for anyone to download and try.

07
May
u

It's a great big world out there, and sometimes you need wheels to see it. Uber offers rides from friendly folks through its mobile app, and all it costs you is a bit of cash money. The Android app isn't bad, but it could use some work. Luckily, Uber is opening up an Android beta program with a completely revamped version of the app.

2014-05-07 14.59.59 2014-05-07 15.01.04 2014-05-07 14.58.12

06
May
unnamed

The digital magazine known far and wide as Flipboard has just pushed an update on its official Google Play Beta channel, and it's a big one. The Cover Stories UI is getting a makeover, and the way you access and find content is getting crammed in some drawers somewhere.

Lxgu62f 2014-05-06 04.42.58 ysdbXGR

30
Apr
tu

Fans of Nova Launcher and WidgetLocker have long had support for bubble-style unread counts on some app icons thanks to TeslaUnread. The newest beta version of this app includes preliminary support for a ton of new apps, but you'll have to opt into the beta.

t1 t2 t3 t4

12
Apr
unnamed (11)

Take note, video app developers: your Android app should have Chromecast support by now. It just makes things so much better for everybody. Video site Dailymotion knows where it's at, because the latest version of the beta app in the Play Store can now stream to the Chromecast. Better late than never, huh?

2014-04-13 01.42.37 2014-04-13 01.51.21 2014-04-13 01.42.56

Other than Chromecast support and the usual bugfixes and performance tweaks, there doesn't appear to be any other significant changes to version 4.1.

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