17
Sep
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Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.

First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.

Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.

21
Jun
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While Instagram is busy rolling out its own "beautiful" (also "gorgeous") video functionality, the folks at Vine are busy making good on the "rapid, significant updates" they promised for this summer, releasing version 1.1 of the service's Android app today.

Responding directly to users' feedback, Vine now includes a "clear cache" option inside the app's settings. Previously, users complained that the app's cache ate up staggering amounts of space.

09
May
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To be perfectly honest, I'm not much of an e-mag guy. I tried Google Currents for a while, but never quite saw the utility of it, and so quickly transitioned back to my beloved Feedly and Google Reader. That's not to say I haven't realized the limitations of RSS many times, though, especially as certain websites I follow look to integrate more multimedia into articles. (Having to use Chrome to listen to audio or video in a weird custom player is really frustrating.) And concededly, apps like Currents look a thousand times better than feeds, which are traditionally text-heavy.

06
May
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If you've been paying attention to TV Guide's official app, you know that it's needed some attention for a while. Its UI through version 2.x was an outdated pastiche of Gingerbread tabs and gradated iconography desperately in need of a redesign (and support for 4.0+). Today, TV Guide has fulfilled that need (for the most part), bringing to the Play Store TV Guide Mobile version 3.0. The update also brought "many cool new features" to the app, which we'll discuss momentarily.

02
Oct
HOX Sense
Last Updated: October 26th, 2012

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.

HOX Sense  HOX

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).

04
Sep
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Today it was learned, through a US Patent and Trademark Office filing, that Google has been granted a patent concerning the logging in of multiple users by facial recognition.

Typically, the granting of yet another tech patent wouldn't be extraordinarily interesting news. But given the fact that Google's latest patent relates to multiple user support, and the fact that code meant for multiple user support has been sitting right under our noses in AOSP for some time now, patent number 8,261,090 is definitely worth discussing.

16
May
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It's not every day that I get excited when I look at a UI demo, largely because they tend to end up being vaporware. But it's hard to ignore a revolutionary UI when one comes along - and that's exactly what Chameleon is:

Still not sold? Check out this demo video from 2 months ago, when Chameleon was first announced:

It's certainly a stunning UI, and one that manages the rare feat of being equal parts beautiful and functional.

31
Mar
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JRummy, the developer behind Root Browser, Ultimate Backup, BusyBox Installer, and a handful of other awesome apps, has put ROM Toolbox on sale in the Play Store for just $2.99 (a cool 50% off its usual price) and plans to donate half of all the sale's revenue to the Testicular Cancer Society.

For those not familiar, ROM Toolbox is a rooted user's dream app, combining the best parts of SetCPU, Root Browser, Font Installer, Terminal Emulator, ROM Manager, and a ton of other root tools into one 3.7MB package, providing a truly impressive array of features which allow users to control just about every aspect of their device from a single app.

08
Jan
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Update: I had the wrong poll displayed for about an hour after posting. Sorry everyone - correct poll is live!

Let's face it: when Android first officially dropped, it was ugly as hell and not exactly designed with non-techies in mind. But as we've seen in the past 3 years (and a few months) since then, things have come a long way (albeit gradually at first) - the look, feel, and usability of vanilla Android became a major focus in the last year or so, especially with Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb(3.0), and Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0).

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