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Apex Launcher Updated To Support Android 4.2, Adds A Few Minor Features Just For Kicks

Apex launcher, following closely behind Nova Launcher, has updated to include support for the Android 4.2 update that's currently rolling out to various Nexus devices. If you like your launchers like you like your anterior corner of a butterfly's wings, you can download the update directly on your device. You'll also get a few new extras, including the option to close the app drawer after launching an app and better icon label handling. Here's the full changelog:

What's in this version:

* Added option to close drawer after launching apps
* Added option to toggle home screen alpha effect (leave it off for smoother transitions)
* Improved icon label handling (labels will not be cut off or hidden automatically)
* Fixed FC under Android 4.2
* Various bugfixes
* Updated translations

The update is live on the Play Store right now.

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ADW/EX Launcher Updated To v1.3.3.7, Brings All New Everything

Back when ICS was released, it brought a whole new stock launcher, leaving old-style GB launchers in the dust. One such launcher - ADW - just received a massive update in the Play Store, bringing it back from the dead.

This is basically a full re-write of the launcher, but it still offers many of the features that made ADW and ADW EX so popular back in the day, including icon themes, gestures, widget resizing, and more.

ADW is of course, free in the Play Store, while its "pro" version - ADW EX - will set you back three bucks. If you were a fan of ADW back in the day, or are just looking for a new launcher to test out, hit the widget to check it out.

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How To: Manually Update Your Nexus 7 To Android 4.1.2 (JZO54K) With Stock Or Custom Recovery

If you want to update your Nexus 7 to official Android 4.1.2 that started rolling out earlier today but your turn hasn't come yet, you have two options: wait (possibly for a while) or flash it manually. The latter is absolutely safe and lets you bypass the line without any risk whatsoever. Even better - you don't even need to be rooted or running a custom recovery - updating with Jelly Bean and full stock recovery is easier than ever before.

Let's get to it.

Prerequisite: Your Nexus 7 should be running Android 4.1.1 build JRO03D.

Step 1.

Download the JZO54K Android 4.1.2 update zip from Google's servers (32,862,193 bytes, MD5: 1a68f499129ae2ee373806a9cad13174).

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[Updated] Reddit User Crafts A Beautifully Integrated Sci-Fi-esque Homescreen Using Apex Launcher And A Custom Wallpaper

If you've ever cruised through r/AndroidThemes, then you've probably seen some pretty impressive homescreens floating around. Some are ultra-minimal. Others are highly functional while still retaining an appealing look. Then, there are those that just stand out from the crowd because of a well thought-out layout.

The Sci-Fi Interface Theme by Reddit user Futant55 is a shining example of the latter. It has the look of something very difficult to create, but is actually just a few widgets precisely placed to fit in perfectly with the custom wallpaper. Have a look:

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Left: Homescreen; Right: Lock screen

Fortunately, Futant55 provided all the necessary files to recreate this look for yourself.

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Chameleon: The New Kickstarter Project That Could Revolutionize Tablet Homescreens

It's not every day that I get excited when I look at a UI demo, largely because they tend to end up being vaporware. But it's hard to ignore a revolutionary UI when one comes along - and that's exactly what Chameleon is:

Still not sold? Check out this demo video from 2 months ago, when Chameleon was first announced:

It's certainly a stunning UI, and one that manages the rare feat of being equal parts beautiful and functional. But there's a catch: the company initially intended to sell Chameleon to OEMs, but it seems they couldn't find a buyer - so they're taking to Kickstarter.

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GO Launcher HD Hits The Play Store, Bringing GO Goodness To Tablets Running 3.0 And Above

The team behind the awesome GO suite of apps have brought the functionality and style of GO Launcher to Android-powered tablets everywhere today (as long as they're running 3.0+), bringing GO Launcher HD out of beta. You may remember our beta coverage earlier this month, in which we got a sneak peak at GO's tablet launcher, and it looks like little has changed. For a launcher that aims to be minimally intrusive yet offer a ton of functionality, however, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Screenshot_2012-03-15-22-39-13 Screenshot_2012-03-15-22-39-23 Screenshot_2012-03-15-22-39-40

With GO Launcher HD, users can utilize the dock bar characteristic of ICS' phone interface, adding and rearranging up to 10 shortcuts.

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[Update: Live!] Poweramp Has A Good Year, Goes $1.99 For 48 Hours To Celebrate

The official press release said "This sale will begin Friday at 12PM EST," but they actually meant 12 PM CST.

To say that Poweramp is a major fan favorite music player is to put it mildly; the app has over 10 million downloads, and with over 146,500 ratings, checks in at an impressive 4.5 stars (out of 5). That's probably thanks in part to an impressive feature list:

Key Features:
- plays mp3, mp4/m4a (including alac), ogg, wma*, flac, wav, ape, wv, tta, mpc, aiff (* some wma pro files may require NEON support)
- 10 band optimized graphical equalizer for all supported formats, presets, custom presets
- separate Bass and Treble adjustment
- stereo eXpansion, mono mixing, balance
- crossfade
- gapless
- replay gain
- plays songs from folders and from own library
- dynamic queue
- lyrics support, including lyrics search via musiXmatch plugin
- embed and standalone .cue files support
- support for m3u, m3u8, pls, wpl playlists
- OpenGL based cover art animation
- downloads missing album art
- 4 configurable widget types
- configurable lock screen with optional Direct Unlock
- headset support, automatic Resume on headset and/or BT connection (can be disabled in settings)
- scrobbling
- tag editor
- visual themes, including support for external/3rd party skins
- fast library scan
- high level of customization via settings

poweramp1 poweramp2 poweramp3

In celebration of their success, the developers are dropping the price for 48 hours (from Friday at 12PM CST to Sunday at 12PM CST), from $4.99 to $2.49 - and they "might drop that to $1.99 if [they] get enough people excited for this sale." What are you waiting for?

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HTC Says Sense Got Too Bloated (And So Did Their Product Line), But They're Going Back To Simple

Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.

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Earlier today, Kouji Kodera, HTC's chief product officer, addressed these concerns in an interview with Pocket Lint at MWC.

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[Weekend Poll] Are You Using A Custom Launcher?

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Do You Use Live Wallpapers?

We've said it many times before, and I'll say it again: one of the best things about Android is how customizable the entire experience is. One of the easiest and most comprehensive ways to customize your device - aside from rooting and ROMing, that is - is to use a custom launcher such as ADWLauncher EX, GO Launcher EX, and Launcher Pro. Even stock, these apps can revamp your device's appearance and basic behavior, and coupled with the bevy of themes that can be found on the Market, the possibilities are nearly endless.

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Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet Finally Rooted - Here's How To Do It, And Install ClockworkMod Recovery

Owners of the Lenovo Thinkpad tablet have long been waiting for a way to root their devices... in fact, the situation is so dire that there is a $785 bounty for root. Or was, anyway: Dan Rosenberg has figured out a way to root the device, and Justin Case and utkanos have managed to get ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) up and running without a hitch. Luckily, both rooting and installing CWM are quite simple (though you do need an SD card to install CWM).

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