The first major update to Allo, version 2.0, added a number of much-needed improvements. However, WhatsApp users may note that chat themes are still missing in Allo. 9to5Google has managed to enable some hidden themes included with the update, which can be activated on a per-user basis. Read More
HTC has been experimenting with alternative revenue streams lately, and it was already walking a fine line. Ads started showing up in BlinkFeed a few weeks ago, but users could disable them. Now a large number of One M8 and M9 users have been served an ad in the notification shade. It was promoting a Fantastic Four movie theme, and people are not happy at all.
At one time in history, building an app that gave a consistent experience across all (or most) versions of Android was nearly impossible without dedicating a lot of time and effort. Thanks to the Android Support Library (a.k.a. AppCompat), it's easy to use some of the most important and commonplace user interface elements on versions of Android going as far back as Donut and Éclair. A fresh update for AppCompat was just released, bringing it to v22.1, and it introduces some really big changes. The ActionBarActivity has been deprecated for a new AppCompatActivity class, several new features from Lollipop were ported back to the Support V4, and some big improvements were made for Leanback, Palette, RecyclerView, and Renderscript. Read More
The SwiftKey folks have released a new version of the popular third-party keyboard that comes with support for thirteen new Indian languages bundled in, but it's all still tucked away in beta form. Users who download the 5.1 beta will get access to Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Nepali, and Sinhala (Nepali and Sinhala are not Indian languages but SwiftKey opted to lump them in because they belong to the same Indo-Aryan language family). These languages join Hindi and Hinglish, which are already included in the app.
To get these languages, you will need to join the new SwiftKey Beta for Android Google Group. Instructions are available inside. Read More
Auto-correcting keyboard Fleksy made headlines last month with its interesting support for Samsung's Gear 2 smartwatches, but don't let it be said that they're neglecting the standard Android app. Today the company is updating its unconventional keyboard to version 3.0, notably adding the "Fleksy Store" to the premium version. This store will offer themes for users to buy via in-app purchase. At launch (sometime this morning, US time) there will be six themes available, and anyone who's purchased the keyboard gets a free bonus theme.
According to a press release, Fleksy is also adding support for a whopping 17 new languages (some of which are dialects). Read More
We always talk about the customizability of Android, but most of us never really put it to the test. Sure, we might change the theme on our keyboards or replace some homescreen icons, but when is the last time you changed your system font? If you're running CyanogenMod and feel like trying something a little different, treat your eyes to any of the six brand new fonts that have been packaged up for use in the CM Theme Engine.
Left: Alegreya, Middle: Bellota, Right: Bilbo
To set up one of the fonts, start by installing its app from the Play Store. Read More
Klinker Apps is on a roll lately. In addition to debuting the excellent Talon for Twitter and EvolveSMS apps last month, they've been consistently updating their portfolio with new features like Pebble integration. Yesterday Talon was updated to version 1.4, and there's a new version of EvolveSMS in the pipeline for the next few days as well. But perhaps most interesting is the way that the small developer has issued a secondary support app, Klinker Apps Portal.
The Portal app isn't on the Play Store - you can download the beta version directly to your device in the Theme Settings menu of either Talon or EvolveSMS. Read More
MyColorScreen waited a few days before announcing the circumstances of its removal from Google Play, and just like that, Google has let the developers know the app is good to go once again. The app should be live for everyone in a matter of hours.
The removal was due to a DMCA complaint from Apple because of a theme that imitated iOS 7. The theme was removed, but the team was disheartened when no one at Google could give them any idea when the app would be restored – they feared the app could be in limbo for weeks. Shortly after making the announcement, however, someone from Google's Play Store team rectified the issue. Read More