09
Jul
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Bringing some exciting news to the Android design world today, Roman Nurik announced via Google+ that the acclaimed Android Asset Studio received a major update.

First off, the whole site has received a new layout/UI inspired by ICS and its holo themes. Next, the much-beloved Device Frame Generator (which has been making app screenshots gorgeous since last October) got a huge update. The generator now allows users to create beautifully framed images featuring Samsung's Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, and Google's own Nexus 7 tablet.

09
Jul
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Endomondo, an extremely popular sports and exercise tracker got an update to version 8 today, bringing a handful of minor enhancements. Among these are improvements to routes, the option to like/dislike routes, and the addition and removal of favorite roots. More importantly though, version 8 brings a brand new UI, designed with Ice Cream Sandwich's legendary style guide in mind. Check out some screenshots:

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What's great about Endomondo's new UI is not only that it enhances the UX greatly and makes the app as a whole "prettier," but that it brings the app's design more into line with the Ice Cream Sandwich style guide, without making the mistake of following the idea that holo is everything.

07
Jul
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ESPN hasn't exactly been the poster child for great app design in the past. While the company has made several Android apps, many of them have looked rather atrocious and a bit too iOS-y. ESPN, however, has re-launched its ESPN Radio app. The old app appears to have been made by independent company Airkast, while the new app has been brought in-house. And, apparently, ESPN's house does a fine job of making an app.

07
Jul
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Do you ever feel like you need another Twitter client in your life? Or maybe you need to replace the one you've been using with something fast, functional, and clean. Either way, Digital Ashes' Tweet Lanes app hit the Play Store recently, promising pure Twitter and pure Android side by side. Indeed, the app delivers on both fronts, having consistent smooth functionality and a UI that sharply adheres to the oft-aggrandized ICS design guidelines.

04
Jul
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Last Updated: August 10th, 2012

Hello and welcome to round 2 of Getting To Know Android 4.1. If you missed the inaugural episode (about the lock screen, software buttons, and icons) you can catch a rerun right here. And if you did see it, I suggest you go look at it again, because I updated it with a crazy menu button bug. Seriously, go look. I'll wait.

Today we're getting into something a little more meaty: The revamped notifications system!

27
Jun
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"Android has always put you in control when it comes to staying notified and connected. Now you can take action directly from the notifications shade," says Android's updated "What's New" page. Indeed, today's Jelly Bean announcement saw a number of improvements to the already handy notification system we've come to know and love in previous iterations of Android. Not only can the new notifications system display larger, richer notifications, developers can create actionable notification with interactive controls for telephony, music, and more.

19
Jun
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When the terms architectural, engineering, and construction are mentioned regarding design software, one name comes to mind: AutoDesk. They company has made available some pretty amazing software for Android, like AutoCAD, SketchBook, Inventor Publisher, and Design Review. Now, it has released its popular three-dimensional engineering software ForceEffect to the Play Store.

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ForceEffect offers some very nice features:

  • Freehand sketching of elements and construction lines with snaps, constraints, and inferencing
  • Object dimensioning, global scaling, units, constraints
  • Import image as background
  • Create joints (welded, pinned)
  • Break element at joints
  • Create supports (fixed, grounded, sliding)
  • Create loads (known, unknown, distributed) and moments
  • Add weight to individual elements
  • Compute reaction forces and moments for equilibrium and over-constrained systems
  • Toggle forces to show force vector components
  • Results reporting with picture, results, all equations
  • Save and load files from Autodesk 360
  • In app tutorials

Best of all, it's completely free, so even if it looks like something you'd just like to play with, you're not spending a penny to give it a shot.

15
Jun
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With the introduction of Draw Something's "fresh new look!" update a couple of days ago came many design changes, not all of them entirely great. Just for fun, I decided to take a shot at making Draw Something's design slightly "fresher," or at least slightly more sensible. Just like my last design critique, I'll start by taking a look at what issues the current design has, and then make a few suggestions (with some quick mockups) as to what I think could be improved.

14
May
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Remember when Facebook said that it was going to finish its IPO, and then work on improving its mobile experience? Well, reverse that. Ahead of the company's IPO, the social networking giant has already announced at least one minor improvement to its mobile apps and website: bigger pictures and posts!

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Old version on the left, new version in the center and right.

In an effort to make use of all those wonderful high-resolution displays you kids are carrying around these days, Facebook is making photos look bigger, and posts wider, to the point of reaching the edges of your display.