On April 12th, Facebook Home will arrive in the Play Store... for select devices. It's a homescreen replacement app, and for those who use Facebook regularly, might be something worth looking into. The demos of the app looked smooth and simple - there's a lot of that gesture business going on - and while I'm not exactly big on Facebook, I know I'm going to give it a whirl just to see what it's like.
As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce).
Talkray, from the makers of the incredibly popular touch-talk app TiKL, is an ambitious app – it looks to be your one-stop shop for mobile communication on the go, communicating through text, pictures, videos, and voice all for free. Until now, though, the app has had a fatal flaw – its design. While not the worst design we've seen, Talkray had, shall we say, unfortunate looks. Inconsistent styles, gradients mixed with flat elements, and Gingerbread-style tabs abound.
There are surprisingly few options out there for tracking details about your battery via live wallpaper (and those that are out there are quite ugly), but Battery Core seems to fill the niche quite nicely. The live wallpaper consists of a large, Tron-ish rotating disc, the speed of which varies by your remaining charge. Slow rotation means a low battery, whereas higher velocity means higher capacity. You also get text readouts of the level, charging / not charging status, voltage, and battery temperature.
Want to show off the fancy spherical photography prowess of your Nexus 4, but can't find buddy rocking Android 4.2? SphereShare is here to solve your shutterbug problem so that you can post those omnidirectional masterpieces somewhere other than Google+. The app is dedicated to the PhotoSphere feature, allowing users to upload their own photos for quick and easy sharing, or post them to a public gallery for all the world to see.
When it comes to getting various notifications while your device's display is off, a built-in LED is useful. However, it's far from perfect. Sure, you can customize each notification with something like Light Flow, but that doesn't let you know the message contents at a glance. And, of course, there are also devices that don't have an LED at all, like the Nexus 7 for example. If you're looking for more out of your notification experience, Knock²+ may be the answer.
Today, Google rolled out an update to the YouTube app (v4.4.11) that will allow frequent users to get easier access to their favorite content producers with the 'My Subscriptions' feed. In the slide-out panel on the left side of your device, you can now tap on this section to get a list of all the most recent videos from your favorite directors in one place.
Additionally, channels that have signed up for One Channel, which allows more customization of your channel and a better branding experience, will now see their tweaks within the app.
When it comes to insane, flashy, over-the-top launchers, two immediately come to mind: GO Launcher's Next and TSF Shell. They're both about as "cutting edge" as it gets, and have a price tag to match – Next is roughly $16, while TSF is closer to $17. Still, if you're a fan of the latter (or have been on the fence about picking it up), it just got a pretty sizable update that brings a new dock, "desktop menu buttons," and some other "amazing" new features:
Everyone's favorite mobile multiplayer FPS – Shadowgun: DeadZone – just got itself a pretty major update that brings several new features to the table. And by "several features" we actually mean "new guns, new maps, better friend support, and all sorts of other stuff." Here's a closer look at said stuff:
What's in this version:
➤ New 8 languages (Spanish,French,German,Italian,Russian,Chinese,Korean,Japanese)
➤ A brand new cool feature: BOOSTERS (Speed,Armor,Damage,Accuracy,Invisibility) and new Sentry Guns (Plasma,Rocket)
➤ Gold rewards for anyone who eliminates opponents with active Boosters
➤ New maps: Assembly, Warzone, Vortex, Train yard
➤ New deadly weapons
➤ Daily challenges and rewards
➤ Monitor the game stats of your friends
➤ Invite your friends to Zone Control mode
➤ Special Tutorial mode for rookies
All sorts of new hotness up in that apk, y'all.