When turntable.fm first came out on Android, we were excited. In my review, I said that it was a fantastic start, but could use a bit of polish. In no small part, because of those dang iOS-style buttons. While I still believe that iOS- buttons do not single-handedly make a lazy port, it's nice to see that the developer has taken the time to bring the UI in line with the newest guidelines.
Good news for you independent bloggers out there! WordPress just issued a small update to its mobile app. The biggest change is that you can now add featured images to a post. Featured images, of course, are treated differently in WordPress entries than in-line images and are often used as thumbnails, so it's been a bit of a problem that the app hasn't made it easy to add them until now.
BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit-browsing clients available for Android, has just received a major update to version 2.1. Among other things, the update brings a new "Welcome Guide" for new users, access to subreddit sidebars, subscription functionality, support for spoiler alerts, a dark theme for the app's "large" widget, and a few minor fixes.
Of course the real story in this update is the app's UI overhaul. BaconReader has finally crossed over to a new design, which ostensibly follows the highly-exalted Android Design Guidelines.
It's not just European markets that are getting some Amazon-related goodies today. The Appstore has been updated to version 4.0 (technically, version 4.0.634.0, but who's counting right?) and brings with it an improved UI, the ability to remove items from the My Apps section and, perhaps most importantly to Artem, a fix for a major battery drain bug. All good news!
The new UI doesn't look too much different from the old version, aside from getting rid of a lot of the white, opting instead for the darker theme that's more in line with the Kindle Fire UI.
PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 220.127.116.11. The update carries a much-needed interface redesign, bringing the web payment solution's mobile client more into line with Android's design language. Using a warm, espresso-and-orange color scheme with a few well-placed textures and conservative gradients, the app's new interface looks infinitely better than its previous iteration.
The update isn't just about looks though – it also carries some functional improvements.
Movies by Flixster has a very interesting design history. The developers behind this app are usually among the first to adopt new Android design guidelines—they had a Honeycomb-style action bar back when the Xoom was the only Android tablet around—and today it got another new refresh. The good news is that now it looks better on the Nexus 7, as opposed to the broken mess it was before. Now, for the bad news.
Mapsaurus, released today by a developer team of the same name, is perhaps the new app to end all new apps. By pairing an interactive map of Google's Play Store with an intuitive UX, Mapsaurus takes app discovery to a new level – not just of ease, but also of convenience.
The app, which promises to help users "discover apps you never would have known to search for," can branch out an interactive web of apps and games based on apps you already have installed, curated subcategories, or general categories and function sets.
Leave it to Comcast to be ahead of the curve on keeping up to date with new technology*. The Comcast subsidiary Xfinity has just updated its TV Player app to be compatible with Android 4.1, with special emphasis on supporting the Nexus 7. The app is technically compatible, though the release notes say that the next version of the app will include a UI designed specifically for the 7" form factor.
Aiming to "unlock the world's creativity," the team at Fluid Software recently completed a project that began in January 2011 with the release of Fluid UI 1.0. The tool, which is powered by HTML 5 and based online, allows users to quickly and easily create mobile UI mockups for Android (both tablets and phones), as well as iOS using a simple interface that includes all of the basic building blocks (clip art icons, navigation elements, system bars, etc.) for beautiful, style-guide friendly interfaces.