It's been a while since we've seen a significant update to the look of the Google Play Store - in fact, it's been in its current form since before the "Google Play" brand superseded the Android Market. But it looks like there is a new version in the works, and it's quite a change to the Store we've become used to. Droid Life got a hold of an APK that purports to be build version 4.0.16 of the vending app.
Netflix has been gently updating and adding features ever since it debuted on Android, and while today's addition isn't earth-shattering, it'll be welcome to anyone with a shiny new Nexus device. The primary addition to the 2.1 update is full support for Android 4.2, but the player UI has also gotten a pretty big facelift. Bigger buttons and more transparent elements make it a lot easier to pinpoint tracking, and the whole thing seems at least superficially faster.
Most of our readers consider themselves power users, and rightly so. Perhaps you don't have a spare 1.8 seconds to laboriously tap the Home button, then the app launcher, then that app you use every third Tuesday. Well, obsessive customizers, your new best friend on the Google Play Store is FlipLauncher, a free app that embeds up to five completely adjustable launcher ribbons over any and every part of Android.
Don't let its admittedly plain looks fool you: FlipLauncher is surprisingly versatile.
Yesterday my colleague and fellow Android fanatic David Ruddock took a long look at what was revealed in the leaked Nexus 10 images, examining what will almost certainly be the Android tablet interface for Jelly Bean 4.2. I have a lot of respect for David, but in this case I think he's wrong. And since there's little doubt at this point that the Samsung Nexus 10 will have the same basic UI structure as the Nexus 7, I'll go so far as to say that Google is wrong too.
If you hadn't noticed, Dropbox and Google Drive have been having a friendly rivalry ever since the latter popped up on Android. The latest update to the Dropbox app (2.2) makes good on the additional photo features they've been adding over the last year by revamping the user interface, especially for the photos and videos automatically updated to your cloud storage drive. The UI is now more of a gallery than a bare-bones file browser, thanks to the new Photos tab.
Quick, Galaxy S III users on AT&T: check your device's settings for a new over-the-air download. Just be sure to temper your enthusiasm, because the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update (which we weren't really expecting for another month at least) is nowhere in sight. The latest version of the software is build IMM76D.I747UCALH9, which adds a number of small tweaks that users might find useful.
There's no official change log as of yet, but according to posts on the XDA forums, most of the additions are designed to make the phone a little easier to use.
It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).
Skype, one of the most popular audio/video calling applications on the desktop and now property of Microsoft, has been long criticized for lacking any video support on Android and being generally unstable and prone to crashing. In an effort to rectify the situation and raise that 3.6-star Market average, the company released a major version update minutes ago from 22.214.171.1243 to 126.96.36.199.
The update finally brings video calling, albeit to only a small subset of devices:
- Google Nexus S
- HTC Desire S
- Sony Ericsson Xperia neo
- Sony Ericsson Xperia pro
If there's one thing CES told us about the upcoming twelve months in technology, it's that 2011 will be the year of Android tablets. And with noteworthy entries such as the Motorola XOOM, ASUS' lineup, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, it looks like the tablets' quality might be just as high as their quantity - at least hardware-wise.
But what about the software? After all, isn't a device's OS what makes or breaks it?