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.
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.
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.
PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 188.8.131.52. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The "freemium" music streaming service Spotify has had great success on the desktop and on iOS, but its Android offering has always been rather lacking, with an extremely dated-looking application that did no justice to the greatness of the service itself. Back in April, Spotify made its first motions towards bringing the app up to speed with a public beta of a rather pretty Holo-themed application for Android 4.0, and now that beta has borne fruit.
Evernote is a great little cross-platform service that lets you sync notes between devices and save them in the cloud. Using Evernote is so seamless for me, it's like outsourcing my memories to the internet. The app was nothing to sneeze at before, but it just got a big update to version 4.0 that brings a new look and a few features that fit in perfectly with Android 4.0.
There is a new home screen with big, friendly buttons to make a new text note, audio note, photo, or upload a file of any sort.