One of the more drool-worthy aspects of the software from the Nexus 5 (and not necessarily Android 4.4) is the homescreen and launcher, which includes a ton of new features tied directly into Google Now and Google Search. But you might want to curb your enthusiasm: according to a report from The Verge, Google isn't interested in expanding that launcher to other devices at the moment.
So it looks like a lot of you were excited by Themer, MyColorScreen's custom launcher which promises no-hassle installations of some of the fantastic homescreens featured on the site. After a month in closed beta the service is now open, so you no longer need a code to get access to those sweet, sweet themes. The free app is available on smartphones (and only smartphones) running Android 4.1 or later.
MyColorScreen was eager to share two key statistics with us after four weeks in full operation.
The Fallout series has had a unique retro-futuristic aesthetic for nearly its entire run: it's a strange mix of post-apocalyptic settings sprinkled with themes of 50s and 60s Americana. Android customization enthusiast Turner Davis has applied this unique aesthetic to a massively-customized homescreen based on the game's PipBoy gadget, now on display at MyColorScreen. Best of all, he's detailed the steps needed to recreate this masterpiece.
For the uninitiated, the PipBoy is a wrist-mounted computer, sort of like a mix between an Apple II and Turanga Leela's ever-present watch thingy.
Widgets are an indispensible part of Android for many users, including yours truly. It's just too bad that they're so ugly - who wants to use a 1080p screen for looking at Twitter feeds or checking emails when you could stare at some fantastic wallpaper instead? All joking aside, Popup Widget is a pretty fantastic solution for those who prefer their homescreens without clutter.
It's a simple idea: instead of having a big, space-consuming widget sit there all the time, hide it in a shortcut.
So you want more than Google Play can deliver, and the Amazon Appstore leaves you cold. Russian Google competitor Yandex is here to help: they've just launched their own branded app store, creatively titled Yandex.Store. The APK is a freely-available download for any Android device, and after a standard account setup process, you've got access to an impressive selection of mainstream apps. Big titles like Angry Birds, ES File Explorer, SoundHound, Twitter and Opera Mobile are all sitting on the front page.
What makes a developer great is a continued commitment to a great product, and Apex Launcher dev Android Does has it in spades. Their latest in a long line of updates adds a handful of features, most of which are designed to allow the app to more seamlessly integrate with Android 4.2. There's a new shortcut to the Quick Settings menu, as well as modifications to the shortcut selection screen for 4.2 devices.
The Android launcher has always been ground zero for device customization, and most launchers make at least some concession to user options. But TSF Shell, which we've covered before, surely takes the cake for sheer flexibility. The latest update, to Beta version 1.6.0, adds a dazzling amount of new features. Granted, most of these are eye candy - something that TSF never lacked in the first place - but a few of them are genuinely useful.