17
Nov
thumb

In the last several versions of Android, it was possible to quickly access an app's info screen (in Settings) by popping open the recents menu and long-pressing the app in question. If this is an oft-used feature and you've already updated to Lollipop, then you probably noticed almost immediately that it's seemingly gone in 5.0. That's not actually the case - it's just hidden.

Starting with this release, you must first enable Developer Options (Settings > About device > tap the build number 7 times) before long-pressing a recent app entry will jump into that app's info screen.

26
Aug
cyanogen thumb

While CyanogenMod is generally regarded as the biggest and best of the innumerable custom ROMs, some of the others tend to implement interesting additions to Android much sooner. The latest nightly builds of CM 11 (Android 4.4) have added something that's not exactly new, but should be very much appreciated by immigrants from other ROMs. Users can now long-press the physical or virtual Recents button to quickly open the last app "under" the current one.

25
Jun
herathumb

We've known about Project Hera for quite a while, and at Google I/O today, it was confirmed by Google's Director of Product Management for Chrome, Avni Shah. Hera is a new way for the web and apps to interact with each other on Android via an API, allowing apps like Chrome and Docs to use multiple scrolling items in the Recents menu at one time. Combined with the visual overhaul in the L release, this may drastically change the way that users interact with content.

07
Mar
3261001723_77e1f4acbc_b

One of the fundamental differences between Android and every other mobile operating system is the practically unrestricted capability to run services. Without this freedom we could not enjoy something as powerful as a homescreen widget or as straight-forward as a Twitter client with background updates. Aside from games and very simple utilities, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an app that doesn’t run a service, at least for a short span of time.

02
Jan
unnamed (18)

There are a lot of apps like SwipePad, and no matter how many we cover, I keep coming back to the original. Loopr is the first app in a while that's tempted me away, thanks to both an impressive visual presentation and some thoughtful features. At its heart Loopr is a a quick app launcher/switcher with the usual side-swiping mechanism, this time launched as a semicircle of icons similar to Circle Launcher Widget.

04
Feb
Jelly-Bean-Logo
Last Updated: February 7th, 2013

A few months ago I wrote "Stock Android Isn't Perfect," an article where I turned my usual harsh UX critique on stock Android, instead of just picking on TouchWiz and Sense all the time in my reviews. The article went over pretty well, and even got a few responses from Googlers! I didn't cover everything that was wrong with Android, though, and there have been a bunch of updates since the original article, so it's about time I wrote a sequel.

10
Aug
nexus_slide-1-white-1_thumb

Update: Here's HTC's official statement regarding the update, which elaborates on the changes in greater detail:

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure customers are receiving software updates that improve their user experience, we are pleased to announce our next upgrade for the HTC One X will be released on August 10th.

The primary update will include an upgrade to Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), in addition to an improved Sense experience which will: enable the ability to map menu function to the 'recent app' key (improving visual presentation in non ICS apps like Facebook); improve tab management in the browser with a dedicated tab switching button and enhance camera capabilities such as white balance and continuous autofocus.

07
Dec
snap20101207_103205_wm

Launcher Pro, one of the greatest Android homescreen replacements (Sense who?), received an update today with 2 excellent new features: virtual homescreen looping and a Recent Apps dock popup.

The virtual looping feature enables scrolling past the leftmost or rightmost homescreens with a quick bounce-to-the-opposite-end effect. While Fede implemented it this way instead of an endless scroll for technical reasons, I think it's visually a lot better and clearer, as you will still know when you've reached the end and won't feel lost in your own homescreen forest.