We always talk about the customizability of Android, but most of us never really put it to the test. Sure, we might change the theme on our keyboards or replace some homescreen icons, but when is the last time you changed your system font? If you're running CyanogenMod and feel like trying something a little different, treat your eyes to any of the six brand new fonts that have been packaged up for use in the CM Theme Engine.
A couple of weeks ago, we were very excited to find a new, revised version of the Roboto family hiding in a leaked Android 4.3 build. Since then, I've been keeping an eye out for any more Roboto goings on.
With the new Play Store web portal having launched today, I thought I'd check in and see if it was using the new version of Roboto we reported on before. As it turns out, it isn't.
Yesterday, we reported on an alleged Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM originally posted by SamMobile. Since then, we have – in usual style – been digging away, looking for goodies. In the midst of that search, Ron noticed something – the Roboto files in the ROM were up to 30% bigger than the versions found in 4.2.2.
My first guess as to what would cause a file size difference was the presence of additional glyphs.
Google Keep, the app that Goog sprung as (almost) a surprise recently, is interesting. Its functionality is undoubtedly handy, and – if Google chooses to pursue the service in earnest – it could actually be a decent competitor to other note taking apps like Evernote.
Something else has had us interested though, and that's Keep's UI and UX. There are a few weird things going on, but one stuck out: what is that serif font?
If you fired up the web version of the Play Store today and everything felt a little off, don't panic. Google just decided to apply its Roboto font to all text on the site. Stock Android users will already be familiar with the typeface as the default setting for all written words on their Nexus devices. Outside of that family, though, it may be relatively unknown. Which is a shame, because it's beautiful.
JRummy, the developer behind Root Browser, Ultimate Backup, BusyBox Installer, and a handful of other awesome apps, has put ROM Toolbox on sale in the Play Store for just $2.99 (a cool 50% off its usual price) and plans to donate half of all the sale's revenue to the Testicular Cancer Society.
For those not familiar, ROM Toolbox is a rooted user's dream app, combining the best parts of SetCPU, Root Browser, Font Installer, Terminal Emulator, ROM Manager, and a ton of other root tools into one 3.7MB package, providing a truly impressive array of features which allow users to control just about every aspect of their device from a single app.
Today's Ice Cream Sandwich announcement yielded a number of exciting enhancements, but not quite as distinctive as the new font Roboto. Indeed during the keynote, the presenter spent an inordinate amount of time expounding the virtues of this font. Roboto is a sans-serif font with characters that have a pleasing roundness, and are spaced evenly, making e-mails, clocks, and menus easy on the eyes, and, in the words of one presenter, "a pleasure to read".
One of Android's new features that was stressed pretty heavily on stage tonight was Roboto, a system font created specifically for Ice Cream Sandwich, which, in all honesty, looks a lot better than the system fonts we've seen before.
At first I questioned why it was necessary to spend so much time discussing a simple type face (one without even a hint of a serif), but when I thought about it, it made sense - most of the things we do on Android devices involve letters and numbers in some way, and why not make those characters aesthetically pleasing?
However, if you ever want a set fun Android characters with letters embedded in them - perhaps, to use a few in an interesting way on a flyer or in an email, or in a resume that starts each paragraph with one of these guys (don't overuse them though, as they're hard to read)?
This morning on Reddit, I spotted an awesome post titled "I got rid of that stupid lockscreen clock font...," showing nothing more than a screenshot.