While Android continues to get better about making its UI look gorgeous, there are still plenty of trends that have yet to be standardized in any meaningful way. Of course, part of that may be because they don't need to be. After all, Google doesn't want every app in the world to use the Google Now-style card view (though, so far, Google+, Search, and Currents are already among those that find inspiration from them).
I have a confession to make. I don't care for Evernote. 'Hang him from a gibbet!' I know, but I just prefer Springpad. Which is why I was excited today to see that the newest update brings tablet support for one of the coolest features: Springpad Board. This view allows users to look at all the elements of their notebook—be they text, photos, maps, to-do lists or whatever—as though they are sitting on a table.
Forget all those people streaming their movies from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. You like to have a proper collection of video files. You want to own them and watch them wherever you want. RockPlayer, the all-purpose media player app for Android, has been a crowd favorite for just this purpose for a while, even if it's been lacking a bit of luster. Well, today that changes with a huge update to the interface that makes it both prettier and far more functional.
SoundCloud may not be the most famous app around, but when it comes to sharing a simple audio clip or a song, it's hard to beat. Now, the company's mobile app is getting an overhaul and with it comes a shiny new interface that doesn't suck. The UI upgrade makes use of the action bar, side navigation panel, notification controls and all the other fancy new features that we've grown used to since Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.
Skitch, a popular annotation and sharing app, received an update to version 2.0 today with a redesigned interface, a handful of useful markup tools, and improved Evernote integration.
For those unaware, Skitch is an app that allows users to "communicate visually with friends, co-workers, or anyone." Essentially, it can draw in resources like notes, photos, screenshots, or maps, and then add markup to convey ideas or highlight important aspects of the document for later reference or sharing.
In its One X+ announcement, HTC also announced some changes to Sense. While none were groundbreaking (so don't expect a visual overhaul) and not a lot of details were revealed, the company did mention a few things were being upgraded.
Protip: the image on the left is gigantic when full-sized. Apparently HTC's target date was September 24.
The camera software seems to have received the bulk of the changes, starting with the front-facer, which now includes Self Portrait mode (previewed below, left).
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.
Following the release of of its updated app earlier this month, Netflix has officially launched its new Android interface today for users running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or later on their smartphones.
The new interface manages to fit a lot of content on your screen at once, and users will notice that there is a new 'continue watching' row at the top of the screen. This feature has been available on tablets for a while, but this latest update shows the content that you've recently been watching, and lets you continue from the point where you left off.
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.