Last month we took a look at Google's Android Compatibility Definition Document, which stated that OEMs must use white icons if they're using translucent status bars. This change could provide a more uniform experience across Android devices, something that would be better for consumers and developers alike. But the question remains - will OEMs play ball? Well, the folks at SamMobile have gotten their hands on a leaked Android 4.4 build for the Galaxy S4, and it looks like the answer, at least from the leading Android manufacturer, may be yes.
In our last Glass Teardown, we found a ton of new commands hidden in the resources of GlassVoice.apk, pulled from the XE10 update. Just a couple of days ago, XE11 rolled out to Explorers, and it's got even more to tell us about future Glass functionality.
In this teardown, we'll take a look at progress on functions XE10 hinted at, new resources that clarify some of our previous discoveries, and a couple of new things as well.
If you're reading this story on a Widows PC (Vista or later), do me a favor. Minimize your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing. Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a dozen times. Congratulations, you've just replicated the effect of Giganticon without even installing the app.
Giganticon has one purpose, and one purpose only: it makes the app icons on your homescreen enormous.
One of the more interesting alternative launchers out there (that is to say, one that isn't just a grid of apps and widgets plus a drawer) is Action Launcher. This premium custom launcher has been gaining fans since its launch, thanks to a unique gesture-based app drawer and a focus on speed and usability. With version 1.7, developer Chris Lacy has added some of the features this younger launcher lacks, most notably icon theme support - the various theme packs for GO, Nova, and Apex launchers should work with Action Launcher Pro now.
TeslaCoil Software's Nova Launcher has become one of the most popular custom launchers for Android power users since shortly after the arrival of Ice Cream Sandwich, and part of the reason is the constant addition of new features. The latest revision (2.1) adds a whole lot of goodies, especially if you like to play around with the look and feel of your icons and themes. The release adds features both for free users and those who've bought the $4 Nova Launcher Prime.
There are plenty of apps in Google Play these days, but a relatively small proportion are designed to unlock the power of a rooted device. Since it can be easy for these powerful apps to get obscured by the crush of retro, free-to-play, side-scrolling platformer games, we like to aggregate the best root-only apps on occasion. Whether you want to free up some screen real estate, change icons around, or manage your backups, the apps you need are right here.
Yesterday we covered an app that lets rooted users tweak certain aspects of the system, so why not one that'll let you tweak it aesthetically, too? Icon Themer, a new app from developer Faruq Rasid (HelixLauncher, QuickDesk), aims to bring any icon pack to any custom launcher. That's a pretty big deal for those who've bought icon packs for specific launchers but have since started using something different, or those who feel tied down to a particular launcher because of a beloved theme that won't work with others.
Bringing some exciting news to the Android design world today, Roman Nurik announced via Google+ that the acclaimed Android Asset Studio received a major update.
First off, the whole site has received a new layout/UI inspired by ICS and its holo themes. Next, the much-beloved Device Frame Generator (which has been making app screenshots gorgeous since last October) got a huge update. The generator now allows users to create beautifully framed images featuring Samsung's Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, and Google's own Nexus 7 tablet.
Just under a month ago, Minimax brought us Tagy, a cool little widget that would turn your app names into "tag clouds," where some would be bigger than others, based on your click frequency. Now, with Imgy, the developer has applied the same principle to app icons - have a look:
After you select the apps / bookmarks / contacts you want, Imgy will create a homescreen widget (you can decide how large said widget will be) with icons for the selected content.