When we got our first peek at Android M in the dev preview last year, many of you were elated to see an option for Night Mode in the OS. After all, that white settings UI is unpleasant to look at in the dark. Google pulled Night Mode before the final build came out, but it's back in the Android N preview. It's also much more robust.
A fresh version of the Android Support Library is now available to developers. This may be one of the biggest updates in quite a while, as some of the changes demand a few significant internal changes. On the plus side, there aren't very many changes that should break existing code, and most of the new features will make it worth the trouble. Here's a quick introduction to some of the new changes.
Vector Drawables and Animated Vector Drawables
Full vector support was first introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, allowing developers to distribute apks with easily resizable vector drawings in place of multiple images at various sizes.
When it comes to podcast applications, we often talk about Pocket Casts and BeyondPod here on Android Police, but one of the unsung heroes of the category is Player FM. The free app has over 1M downloads on the Play Store, a web client, Google+ sign in, and a lot of cool features to keep podcast fans happy. It's usually my first recommendation as a free podcast client, especially for those who are new to the medium and want to see what it's all about.
With version 3.1, Player FM is getting some much needed features for hardcore podcast listeners and a few visual tweaks that are sure to please everyone.
The Clock app doesn't get a ton of updates, but when it does there's almost always something worth talking about. The latest version does a little bit of everything with a little bit of visual polish and updates for the Android Wear app. As usual, there's a link at the bottom if you'd like to grab this version before it rolls out to your devices in due time.
The New York Times, old guard or not, is still a huge source of news to a lot of people and to the company's credit, it's paying a decent amount of attention to its mobile apps. Now the publication is issuing an update that brings a night mode that inverts the colors for easier night reading. As someone who likes to minimize the amount of bright white light blasting into my eyes, I appreciate the option.
Additionally, the company is adding a customizable widget that, frankly, gets nearly everything right: it's resizable, you can customize which categories show up in the feed, and there is an easy button to change the widget settings if you should so choose.