Google's News & Weather app, AKA the "Genie" widget (after the APK name), has been more or less unchanged for years. The app comes with Nexus devices and some other relatively stock Android hardware, but aside from a few visual touches, the feed-based news and weather widget has been basically unchanged. Google has finally broken the app onto the Play Store for independent updates. The 2.0 release, years in the making, is now available for most 4.0+ devices.
When an iOS app comes to Android, all too often it's merely a half-hearted copy, taking no notice of the user interface standards or the expanded capability of the platform. I'm happy to report that this is not the case with Sunrise Calendar, which has managed to gain quite a following across the way for its impressive layout and sunny visual design. It's available now for all Android devices running 4.0 or higher, though there's no tablet interface at the moment.
January is generally held as a gloomy month, a time when there's nothing but slush on the ground and crap in the movie theaters. But it gave us more than a few fine apps, which you should take the opportunity to peruse. If you don't feel like meticulously combing through our massive bi-weekly app roundups, we've gathered the best of the best right here. Dig in, why don't you?
12Hours is one of those ideas that's so brilliantly simple you wonder why no one has done it already.
12Hours isn't the most complex, resource-intensive, mind-blowing app out there, and that's just because those characteristics would only hold it back. This analog clock widget doesn't just tell you the time - it goes a step further by displaying your scheduled events for the next twelve hours. This way, you can see how long you have until your next meeting (or how long until the miserable thing is over) without cluttering up your screen with lists of times and dates.
If you have a lot of events and/or deadlines to keep up with, then Google Calendar is a good way to know what's coming up and know where you stand in terms of time. One of the biggest benefits of Android (in my opinion, anyway) is widgets, so a Google Calendar widget is a quick and easy to see your schedule at a glace. The thing is, the stock Calendar widget is pretty...
Earlier today, Google started rolling out a major update to Google+ for Android. Together with our readers, we've examined every corner of the app and found a whole bunch of things that are new to this version 4.2 but haven't been mentioned in the official announcement. You should definitely read through the list if you haven't yet.
However, one new feature that I found fascinating managed to fly completely below the radar because it's located not within the app itself but rather in the widget menu.
There are many ways to move files between your computers and your Android devices, but most of them feel like a hassle. PushBullet makes things far more simple. This combination web browser plugin/mobile app can send files and links from your computer directly to your notification tray, where you can access them without having to dig around, and its Android app just received a substantial update to version 11.1 that makes it both more attractive and accessible than before.
The CyanogenMod cLock home and lock screen widget is capable of displaying the time, the weather, upcoming calendar events, and more. It's highly configurable, as you would expect considering the ROM it's associated with, and thanks to popular demand, it's now available in the Play Store as a standalone app. Only now it goes by its original name - Chronus.
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.
Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.
"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."
The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code.