Vocre, a voice and text translator that won audience choice in TechCrunch's Disrupt, came to Android today, bringing with it a promising challenger to Google's own Translate app and a "tabletop UI" meant specifically for extended conversations with those on either side of the language barrier.
As shown in the video above, Vocre's interface is exceedingly simple. Users need only select languages and genders, then record their message, check for accuracy, and let the app do the rest. Vocre, for those curious, uses Nuance services to translate your words as a text string, returning results (with pretty reliable accuracy) in the desired language.
It's always exciting to see a new app hit the Play Store intended for tablets, but it's even better to see an existing app's UI updated to accommodate larger devices. Looking to bring Android tablet users a more aesthetically pleasing experience when reading the news, the New York Times Company today updated its app to version 3.0 with an interface that is no longer just a blown up version of its phone-centric counterpart.
That isn't to say the interface is totally new, however. As NYT indicates, the UI is now adaptable, meaning it reacts to your device's display to deliver the most appropriate interface for the form factor.
In an update to version 4.2.16, Google's YouTube app has received a (thankfully) refreshed UI for ten-inch screens, along with some bug fixes. The "revamped" UI seems to be the only thing of note in this update (though if there are any hidden goodies, you can be sure Ron will tell us about them soon), but it makes for a great refresh. For the sake of comparison, we'll take a look at a few before and after shots.
The app's start page is much cleaner, featuring a side-bar navigation system and bigger, cleaner tiles representing videos relevant to whatever selection you've made, defaulting to your subscription feed.
A few days ago, we were treated to a lovely look at what Tasker, the highly-customizable Android automation app, could look like if it got a nice facelift. Unfortunately, this was done by the Android team and was not representative of any real work being done by the developer. As it turns out, though, the developer behind said application is working on a holo conversion. There are quite a few obstacles to deal with in the meantime:
I started working on a holo conversion about a week ago coincidentally, with half the goal being use of the holo conventions and half replacing under-the-hood deprecated APIs for dialogs etc.
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.
The update also brings improvements to the search features that should help you track down public audio (like our podcast!) more easily.
There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011. Shortly thereafter, Google bought the company. Now, the Android version is finally being released.
This video is a bit older and shows off the iOS version, but you get the idea.
To call Rdio's latest beta a complete overhaul might be a bit of a misnomer. The feature set is largely the same, even if the design has gotten a facelift. However, seeing as the music streaming wars are heating up, it seems like a perfect time to take a second look at the service that always seems to play second fiddle to the behemoth that is Spotify.
Update: This version of the app is now live.
For the uninitiated, Rdio (ar-dee-oh) is a music streaming service with both web and Android-based applications. New users can get a limited amount of free music via the site.
It seems like the Android world is getting a ton of extra tablet love in the past few months. Today, Skype joined the party by finally introducing an optimized UI for those of you with a little more screen to love. While the new look is nice, it bizarrely forces your slate into landscape mode. Even on the Nexus 7, you have no choice but to use the wider layout. This probably isn't a bad thing, since it looks great in this mode, and might seem cramped otherwise. Still, this is the only app outside of games we've seen do this, so it's a little jarring.
Happy holiday traveling season, everyone! Ten bucks says that, if you have plans to visit friends and family out of state this year, you don't really have ten bucks to waste on silly internet bets. For those about to make a vacation expedition, Expedia would like you to know that it has renovated its Android app with a nice new UI and flight searches and tracking to help you find the best deals.
In addition to air travel accommodations, Expedia also helps you find hotel rooms and offers up customer reviews. The new interface is pretty slick, too. It even has a handy tablet UI, for those of you who are making your plans on your shiny new Nexus 10.
Ever since Gingerbread and the Nexus S, the Android world has been in a constant and dramatic state of UI flux and we've all faced some hard questions as we adjust to new interface design. "What's the best way to layout software buttons?" "Can we live without micro SD cards?" "Where is all this new hair coming from?" Matias Duarte took to Google+ to answer two out of these three questions you have about your growing pains.
On the subject of the decision to change the UI on the Nexus 10 to be more in line with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 layouts:
Consistency and usability are really important to us, and that’s something we strive to improve in every new version of Android.