Google's Finance app is in desperate need of attention. If you haven't checked in on it lately, it's still stuck with Gingerbread design. No seriously, go look. Tiny header bars, legacy menus, odd layouts, and assets that look tiny or pixelated (or both) on today's high resolution devices.
Just for fun, I decided to take a look at the app and see if I could give it a fresh coat of paint, inspired by material design. It's worth noting that, when the rest of Google's product icons were updated in its web launcher, Finance received a new icon too (the basis for the thumbnail of this post), so it's possible that Google really is working on a new design, but that's okay - I think exploring some ideas early is still worth while.
It's no secret that I enjoy Autodesk mobile apps. From Pixlr Express to Sketchbook to AutoCAD 360, it's hard to find an instance when the company has produced a sub-par piece of mobile software.
Continuing that trend, Autodesk released FormIt to the Play Store today, two months after teasing the app's progress on its blog. The former iOS exclusive is meant to help users quickly create and manipulate building forms based on quick ideas or inspiration while on the go.
In this pursuit, the app allows users to quickly build their ideas using a gallery of pre-determined shapes, or by extruding their own shapes from lines.
Yesterday Google launched an early access preview of Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) for Android based on IntelliJ IDEA. This one-stop shop for coding, compiling, and testing includes all the standard Android SDK tools, plus build support, quick fixes, tools to catch major coding flaws, and a preview window. The Android Developer Tools session at Google I/O went into massive detail on the new project. The 53-minute session is embedded below, in case you couldn't make it.
One of the cooler features of Android Studio is the multitalented preview window, which shows your code running on mock-ups of most of the standard Nexus devices in a real-time layout.
A lot of people are excited for Google Glass right now. The first Explorer units began rolling into the happy embrace of those selected for the exclusive pilot program just last week, and we've already seen a ton of feedback. Combined with decent pre-release coverage, it's clear that Glass has the potential to shake things up once more people have it in their hands. Of course press coverage and user excitement only form part of the story. Another critical piece is advertisement and marketing.
Public image and privacy concerns aside, Glass will need to win the hearts of consumers, in a way Google has striven in the past to capture hearts through advertisements for the Nexus family.
About a month ago, we saw Lenovo's previously unknown IdeaTab S2109 hit the FCC, providing a glimpse of little more than the company's new 4:3 tablet. At the time, Engadget's tipster claimed it sported a 9.7", 4:3 IPS display, TI OMAP chip, four speakers, and microSD. Turns out they were on point with all of that (though not about the March launch date, obviously), and today, the company has released an official reveal video for the tablet.
Comes with unibody shell and gunmetal finish. It's 8.9mm thin, has an IPS display for a wider viewing angle and has a 1.3 Megapixel front camera for clearer video conferencing.
Paid app models have always been fascinating to me - I've even had a TODO sitting around in my post ideas list to explore various methods of distributing software without inundating users too much. Pro features, time trials, disabling ads for money, in-app key unlocks, lite versions, paid-only ones without trials - these are all on the list and all have their pluses and minuses.
This new idea, however, is so radical, brilliant, and crazy compared to the rest that I think it might just work, and I'd like to run it by you to see if I'm not alone. Headcase Games' new action-puzzle game "180" has 2 versions, just like you would expect - a free one with ads and a $1.99 one without.
Though I was initially quite skeptical of 3D on phone/tablet-sized devices, it seems that at least one manufacturer has pulled it off - so I'll give LG the benefit of the doubt with their upcoming Optimus 3D. Just as the device's name suggests, it will feature a (glasses-free) three-dimensional display in addition to dual cameras for 3D photography. But we already knew that; what we didn't know - up until now - was how LG planned to market the device.
Looks like "No Longer Just An Idea" will be LG's motto for the Optimus 3D - the same words were displayed at the end of their official teaser from last week.