A few days ago, we were treated to a lovely look at what Tasker, the highly-customizable Android automation app, could look like if it got a nice facelift. Unfortunately, this was done by the Android team and was not representative of any real work being done by the developer. As it turns out, though, the developer behind said application is working on a holo conversion. There are quite a few obstacles to deal with in the meantime:
Happy holiday traveling season, everyone! Ten bucks says that, if you have plans to visit friends and family out of state this year, you don't really have ten bucks to waste on silly internet bets. For those about to make a vacation expedition, Expedia would like you to know that it has renovated its Android app with a nice new UI and flight searches and tracking to help you find the best deals.
In addition to air travel accommodations, Expedia also helps you find hotel rooms and offers up customer reviews. The new interface is pretty slick, too. It even has a handy tablet UI, for those of you who are making your plans on your shiny new Nexus 10.
Amtrak, aiming to give you a "new way to take the train," released an official app to the Play Store recently.
The (logically named) Amtrak app allows passengers to plan their entire train excursion, from buying tickets (which can be displayed right on your device) to navigating to a nearby station, changing/upgrading seat selections, checking train schedules, and using an Amtrak Guest Rewards account.
"Optimized for Android," the app carries a holo-ish interface with swiping tabs, proper navigation and scrolling, and all the visual flair you may expect from an app in line with Android's design guidelines. That being said, the app itself is also well-built and stable, and works just how potential train passengers would hope.
I find that I'm far more inclined to use an app if it's pretty. I can't stand blatant iOS ports for one, but I've also started to basically ignore apps that are stuck in the Gingerbread (and earlier) way of theming. Holo is where it's at, so that's what I want to see.
While the previous New York Times app wasn't exactly stuck in the "old Android" theme, it certainly wasn't ICS-ified, either. Thanks to an update that just hit the Play Store, however, that all changes.
Nexus 7: New, Galaxy Nexus: old
The new version is very heavily Holo-inspired, and I have to say, it looks pretty great.
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.
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.
Facedroid, Platinum Apps' tablet-centric Facebook client, got a major update today, bringing the app up to version 2.0.
For those who aren't familiar, Facedroid, which was released back in December of 2011, is a powerful Facebook client that looks to replace – and improve upon – Facebook's own mobile experience. The app does everything you'd expect and more, allowing for quick browsing, sharing, and updating, and its 2.0 update brings even more functionality, along with a guidelines-inspired redesign.
Besides the visual overhaul, the 2.0 update adds the ability to view and manage friend "Groups," improved optimization for 7" devices, performance improvements, a new Settings section, and "heaps" of bug fixes.
Mobint, the dev team behind the original Holo Launcher (for Android 2.2+ devices), decided to jump into the Android 4.0+ launcher party recently with their latest entry in the Play Store – Holo Launcher HD.
Holo Launcher HD, like its older counterpart, gives your home screen the 4.x panache we've come to know and love, but is specifically modeled after Jelly Bean, and is only compatible with devices running 4.0 and above.
Besides providing a smooth Jelly Bean aesthetic, the launcher has plenty of customizable options, making it a competitive entry in the current fray of ICS/JB launchers. Users can add up to 9 home screen pages, each with icon grids up to 10x10, utilize a scrollable dock with up to 7 icons per page, use gestures to open apps (something that can't be said of Nova's free offering), and apply icon packs compatible with either ADW or Launcherpro, in addition to a handful of other handy features.
One of the key aspects of Android is its open-source nature, and one of the biggest players in the open-source community is GitHub. What better way to tie that all together than for GitHub to release an Android app? Probably none.
Clearly GitHub subscribes to a similar school of thought, as it has just released a swish-looking application to the Play store, offering a bunch of nifty features like issue tracking, following your friends' projects, and discussing code with the community.
As you might expect, the entire application is open-source, and GitHub has invited users to take a look through their app's repository to see exactly how the application was built.