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. With its cohesive, crisp new interface, BaconReader looks and functions better than ever before. Just take a look for yourself. Read More
PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 126.96.36.199. 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. While PayPal is a bit vague on just what is new, it assures users that the update brings them "the features that matter to you most," including new functionality surrounding account management as well as sending and requesting money. Read More
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. The odd thing is, the giant bezel is on the bottom.
The images look very obviously Photoshopped, though the story may not end there. Read More
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.
It doesn't look very good. Not that it looks bad, mind you. But if you were worried that you'd just be using a bunch of giant phone apps with your shiny new Nexus, Flixster isn't going to do much to put you at ease. Read More
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. Let's get to it:
Has anyone else noticed a general toning down of the Tron design from Honeycomb to ICS to Jelly Bean? Read More
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. Users of the old generator will be happy to know that it has maintained its original functionality (like options for adding screen glare or shadow to your generated image), and works just as well (if not better) than before. Read More
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. Read More
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. Other big additions include gesture support as well as a new one-handed layout for phones with larger displays. Read More
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". Now, thanks to an appeals court, the decision can be applied to the whole of the EU. Read More