The most popular standalone chat platform on Android, WhatsApp, has been updated with a whole new look - and it's holo-y. About a month ago, WhatsApp previewed its redesigned aesthetic in a beta release, and now those changes have made their way into the release client. While the changelog is pretty sparse on details ('update user interface to the latest android look and feel'), compared to the old version of the app, the visual differences should be fairly obvious.
Two things for Kansas City residents who have Google Fiber: one, I still hate you. Two, Google just released its Fiber app for more devices that the lone Nexus 7 you received as part of the Fiber package. You know, just in case you're tired of reaching for one of the best Android tablets on the market just to change your TV channels. It's a hard-knock life.
According to the Play Store listing, the app should work on any 4.1+ device, but Fiber's Google+ post tells a different story, stating that it requires 4.2.
Al Jazeera has just released its official English news app designed especially for tablets on the Play Store, and it comes equipped with an absolute boatload of features (are you listening, CNN?). The new app includes access to video clips, free 24 hour live audio and video broadcast streaming, breaking news alerts, a dedicated gallery mode, search function, preloading of articles for offline reading, weather information, and the ability to save stories for later viewing.
After announcing yesterday that Google Reader as a platform would be going the way of the dodo on July 1st, it appears Google has already started pulling the necessary plugs: the official Reader app has been removed from the Play Store. While you will still be able to see the Reader app on the Play Store if you've got it installed on one of your devices, open up an incognito window in Chrome, and you'll be directed to the generic 404 page when you attempt to load the URL.
As a cycle enthusiast, I've often used My Tracks to keep track of distance traveled, route, and time spent on each ride. And while we all thought it was a dead project for a long while (it was one of the first Android apps, after all), it received a much-needed facelift back in September of 2012, which brought a new record interface, better widget, and pause/resume functionality. Fast-forward to today, and another small-but-useful update has been pushed to the app.
If you've ever been one to tinker, build, or indulge in DIY projects, you've probably visited Instructables at one point or another. It's a great resource for those looking for specific how-tos, or just wanting something to do on a rainy day. Illustrated instructions are provided by the site's users, and can be discussed, favorited, or even downloaded.
Today, Autodesk (purveyors of other excellent apps like Pixlr Express) brought the crowd-sourced do-it-yourself spirit of Instructables to Android in an official app.
"We're living in a new kind of computing environment," says Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow in a new post to Google's official blog. The search giant has resolved to make a second sweep at spring cleaning that began two years ago. After this round of cleaning is complete, the total number of features and services Google will have closed will number 70.
In the post, Google announces the closure or deprecation of eight features and services, but buried four items deep is the one that will probably affect the most users: Google Reader.
According to Android developer Jared Rummler and a number of other sources, Google has begun purging known ad-blocking software from the Play Store today.
Got a notification from Google and it looks like all Ad Blockers were removed from Google Play today.
— Jared Rummler (@jrummy16) March 13, 2013
Popular app AdAway was among those removed, and received notice that its app was in violation of section 4.4 of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement.
Many moons ago – way back in December of 2012 – the GO Launcher team released a new thingy called Next Launcher. As its name suggests, it's a launcher. The next one, even. It was to take the place of Go Launcher, which was essentially defunct on Android 4.0+.
But Next came with a price. A $16 price, to be exact. And honestly, not many people want to shell out nearly $20 for any app – much less a launcher they can't try first.
I've been a big fan of Battery Widget Reborn since we first covered it back in July of 2012. In fact, it's been installed on every device I've owned (or tested) since then. Why? Because it looks good, brings a lot of info to the table, and is constantly updated with new features.
One of my other favorite widgets is the more-recently announced DashClock Widget. There's a lot to love about it, too – like the fact that it supports extensions, making it infinitely customizable.