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.
I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.
Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either:
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'm not going to pretend to be a developer here, and I'll openly admit that the bulk of what IDEA 12 does is over my head. However, I do understand its importance and relevance. Still, for the sake of correctness, we'll keep this one short and sweet.
When it comes to Android app development, there's Eclipse, then there's IDEA. IDEA 12 is, naturally, the newest incarnation of the application, and it brings a slew of new stuff that developers can make use of:
- New interface and "Darcula" theme
- New compiler mode
- Support for Java 8, Spring Framework, and Play 2.0 for Java and Scala
- Android UI designer
- Database Development tools
- ...and more
Like I said - I'm no dev.
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.
Of all the services that I use on a daily basis, Dropbox is probably the one that I absolutely can't live without. I store nearly everything in it, use it to quickly (and automatically, thanks to FolderSync) transfer screenshots to my PCs, and easily share files with other AP team members, friends, and family. However, the fact that files and folders couldn't previously be moved from within the Android app has always been pretty annoying.
While the majority of Galaxy S III owners on U.S. carriers are still waiting to get the Android 4.1.1 update, those with unlocked handsets in Poland are already receiving the Android 4.1.2 OTA. This update brings more than just a Jelly Bean point release, though; it also comes with a host of new features:
- Multi-Window (a la Note II)
- Page Buddy
- New Gallery app (also from the Note II)
- Customizable Notification panel
- Smart rotation
- Swype-like keyboard
- Paper Artist app
- ...and more
The update is rolling out in phases over the air right now, and is also being made available via Kies.
If you have a 101 XS from Archos, it's time to furiously start hitting the "check updates" button, as the company just began pushing Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) to the device. This bumps the tablet up to version 4.1.0, and brings a couple other enhancements along for the ride, as well:
- Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 firmware release
- Archos Video: major upgrade with simplified video information retrieval and media indexing, new network shares infrastructure
- Archos applications: future updates of Archos Video, Music, File Manager, System Monitor applications (embedded in the firmware) will be carried out through Google Play
So there you go - if Jelly Bean is what you've been feening for, the wait is over.
Under the hood of Google Now, powering all those beautiful cards that pop up when you search for certain things, is Google's Knowledge Graph. In what might be the company's most ambitious project ever, Google aims to categorize and classify all information so that when you search for, say, Jeff Goldbum, the search engine knows you might also be interested in information about Chaos Theory or survival tips for raptor attacks.