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.
The release of the Nexus 7 brought a new phone/tablet hybrid UI to Android tablets. And today, most people agree that it works well - on the 7-inch form factor, anyway. The latest leaks from the upcoming Nexus 10 suggest that Google will keep using that same hybrid UI, despite having a display that's a few inches bigger in each direction.
Folks, I can't believe it myself, but this day has finally come - Google seems to have finally sorted out all its backend and frontend issues with Google contact sync. Jelly Bean's 720x720 hi-res contact support was surely a nice addition, but ended up almost completely useless in our earlier tests: Jelly Bean Bumps Contact Photos To Hi-Res 720x720 But Google Sync Continues To Clobber It With Low-Res Mush.
As of today, all the problems I ran into before are resolved.
In the ongoing effort to make apps better on Android, Google has released another new guide for the developers who may be looking for guidance on just how to build a great tablet-oriented app. The piece has some fairly detailed information, including how much to adjust padding of UI elements and how to target different screen sizes and resolutions. There is also more broad guidance on how to make the most of larger screen real-estate.
In its One X+ announcement, HTC also announced some changes to Sense. While none were groundbreaking (so don't expect a visual overhaul) and not a lot of details were revealed, the company did mention a few things were being upgraded.
Protip: the image on the left is gigantic when full-sized. Apparently HTC's target date was September 24.
The camera software seems to have received the bulk of the changes, starting with the front-facer, which now includes Self Portrait mode (previewed below, left).
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.
The official YouTube app just got a small bump that brings a fancy new UI for older versions of Android, as well as a handful of other goodies for everyone to enjoy:
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.