It's no secret – the mobile interface for Google's Play Store could use some help. A recent comment thread on Reddit points to the fact that many users feel that the Play Store's interface is just a mess. Others suggest that its level of finesse just doesn't jive with Google's overall habits of design. While Google's recent "toolbar" overhaul resulted in a pleasing, easy-to-use interface which successfully unified navigation between all of the search giant's services, the Play Store (at least on phones and tablets) is messy, jumbled, and just feels disorganized.
The team behind the awesome GO suite of apps have brought the functionality and style of GO Launcher to Android-powered tablets everywhere today (as long as they're running 3.0+), bringing GO Launcher HD out of beta. You may remember our beta coverage earlier this month, in which we got a sneak peak at GO's tablet launcher, and it looks like little has changed. For a launcher that aims to be minimally intrusive yet offer a ton of functionality, however, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
In a post to Reddit earlier this evening, TalkLittle, the mind behind Reddit is Fun, announced that the acclaimed Reddit app has been updated to version 2.0. Perhaps the most notable enhancement to the app is official tablet optimization, bringing dual-pane, action-bar sporting goodness to your Android tablet. Other changes include widget enhancements, a fully featured inbox interface, search functionality, saved posts, comment navigation buttons, and more. Here's the full list of improvements:
- Tablet optimization (PRO)
- Widget shows different color for visited links (PRO)
- Store saved drafts for replies and messages (PRO)
- ActionBarSherlock 3.5.1
- Saved posts
- Improved subreddit management and filtering
- Comment navigation buttons
- Fully featured inbox
- Fixed mail notifications
- Added many features for user profiles
- Got rid of many dialogs
Users may notice that RIF's tablet interface, improved widget, and draft-saving functionality are marked "PRO." These features are only available to users who purchase Reddit is Fun Golden Platinum, which comes in at a reasonable $1.99.
Astrid has been one of the most popular To-Do list apps for Android for years. Today it's getting a facelift and a few extra features. Most notably, Astrid now has a spiffy tablet UI. Making use of the Fragments API, Astrid lays out your Lists panel, your individual tasks, and details on each individual task for easy access. Like so:
Simple, straightforward, and easy. The new UI is being added to more than just tablets, though.
Bump, a wildly popular wireless transfer app for Android and iOS, got an update to version 3.0 today, bringing several enhancements to the table. Perhaps the most notable among these is the completely redesigned interface, which Bump Technologies Inc. describes as both simple and beautiful. The UI appears to have been updated to a more ICS-cohesive design, bringing a tabbed interface and "action overflow" button to enhance functionality.
Besides the new UI, Bump has made contact transfer touch-free, enabled the transfer of "as many photos as you want" in one bump, and added an interesting feature that allows users to discover mutual friends by scanning through both parties' phonebooks.
Let's face it: when Android first officially dropped, it was ugly as hell and not exactly designed with non-techies in mind. But as we've seen in the past 3 years (and a few months) since then, things have come a long way (albeit gradually at first) - the look, feel, and usability of vanilla Android became a major focus in the last year or so, especially with Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb(3.0), and Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0).
Gmail, probably the most used app on my Evo 4G, will be getting a major facelift with the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, bringing it into line with - and, in some ways, surpassing - its Honeycomb counterpart.
First of all, Gmail for Ice Cream Sandwich features an "action bar" at the bottom of the screen, much like Honeycomb's action bar, which allows users to create messages, search, sync, and more with just one touch.
Jonathan Nightingale, Mozilla's director of Firefox Engineering, announced recently that Firefox's Android iteration will be moving away from XUL implementation in favor of a native Android UI. Nightingale, seeking to reassure users who may be wary of change, stated "Firefox on Android is a critical part of supporting the open web, and this decision puts us in a position to build the best Firefox possible."
For those not in the know, XUL stands for "XML User Interface Language," and is essentially a language that controls Firefox's front end architecture, creating various UI elements and instances.
On March 31st, the Android Developer Console, which developers use to publish their apps to the Market, started experiencing issues that ranged from 404s and disappearing applications to missing statistics and apps that no longer obeyed.
As more and more panicking developers chimed in with similar experiences to multiple support threads, the only response from Google so far came from an employee named Ash back on the very first day, apologizing for the inconvenience and then shortly after announcing that all issues had been fixed.
I recently broke down and picked up a Bluetooth headset. I needed something to talk on while driving a stick-shift or working with both my hands. I wanted to get something awesome because, honestly, it's go big or go home when it comes to Bluetooth headsets, and you get what you pay for. I paid for a Jawbone ERA, and I got the best Bluetooth experience I've ever had (and I've had every iteration of the Jawbone at one time or another).