30
Aug
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BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit-browsing clients available for Android, has just received a major update to version 2.1. Among other things, the update brings a new "Welcome Guide" for new users, access to subreddit sidebars, subscription functionality, support for spoiler alerts, a dark theme for the app's "large" widget, and a few minor fixes.

Of course the real story in this update is the app's UI overhaul. BaconReader has finally crossed over to a new design, which ostensibly follows the highly-exalted Android Design Guidelines.

29
Aug
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PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 4.0.0.1. The update carries a much-needed interface redesign, bringing the web payment solution's mobile client more into line with Android's design language. Using a warm, espresso-and-orange color scheme with a few well-placed textures and conservative gradients, the app's new interface looks infinitely better than its previous iteration.

The update isn't just about looks though – it also carries some functional improvements.

28
Aug
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HTC has been sitting out the tablet game for a while now. After the monumental failure of the Flyer and the Jetstream, the Taiwanese manufacturer has kept its nose out of the slate market. If these images are to be believed, though, the company is at least considering new ideas. Some very strange ideas at that. The pictures show a tablet that has one abnormally large bezel area, while the three others are normal sized.

21
Aug
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Movies by Flixster has a very interesting design history. The developers behind this app are usually among the first to adopt new Android design guidelines—they had a Honeycomb-style action bar back when the Xoom was the only Android tablet around—and today it got another new refresh. The good news is that now it looks better on the Nexus 7, as opposed to the broken mess it was before. Now, for the bad news.

13
Aug
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Last Updated: October 14th, 2012

GTKA is back! For those that don't know, this is the series where we compare the new version of Android to the previous one, in excruciating detail. I'm going to dub this the "Miscellaneous edition," because there is a bunch of new things I want to talk about, but they don't really fit into a nice, organized category. (This doesn't mean I'm running out of things to talk about, not by a long shot.) The usual GTKA style applies, Ice Cream Sandwich is on the left, Jelly Bean is on the right.

01
Aug
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Following last month's major update to the Android Asset Studio, the studio's Device Frame Generator has been given a new home under the "Distribute" tab at developer.android.com. For those not familiar, the Device Frame Generator is a tool that allows developers (or anyone, really) to wrap their screenshots in high-quality images of real devices, creating a stunning context for your app (or mockup).

Along with its new location, the generator has a new name: Device Art Generator.

30
Jul
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Last Updated: July 31st, 2012

One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.

Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps.

29
Jul
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Thumb Keyboard, one of the most intuitive, well-designed, and practical keyboards available (especially for tablet users) got a big update recently, bringing the app up to version 4.5.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to the new update is that Thumb Keyboard now supports ICS' continuous voice recognition, which in case you've forgotten, is the feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich that actively listens and dictates your speech. This is a feature I haven't seen in other alternative keyboards, and it's definitely nice to have.

24
Jul
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The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has been banned in Germany for a while. Now, though, the 7.7" tablet is officially banned throughout the whole of the EU. Previously Apple was able to enforce a ban on the smaller of the Tabs because it has proven in German courts that it owns the design IP for black rectangles in reference to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. In Germany, Apple can enforce this injunction against the Tab 7.7 due to a principle known as "kerngleicher Verstoß", or "violation sharing the same core".

23
Jul
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"The playground is open."

That's the declaration attached to every piece of Nexus 7 advertising on the internet. The point Google's trying to get across is that the Nexus 7 is, first and foremost, a media device. Reading, watching, listening, and gaming - those are the use cases Google had in mind when they designed the N7.

The result is that the Nexus 7 is not just a new device, it's a new type of device, at least as far as the Android UI is concerned.

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