Google has been pushing developers to build tablet-optimized UIs for their apps since the Xoom was the hot new challenger to the iPad (haha). Okay, so that didn't work out very well, but with the release of devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, devs are finally starting to see the value of building a great tablet experience. Of course, it's not like you'd know. The Play Store is terrible at showing off tablet UIs, but that's about to change.
Facebook did a soft launch of its new Home launcher late last week, which left a lot of its international users out in the cold. Good news: if you've been dying to get your hands on Home, it's now available outside of the US. Of course, device restrictions still apply, as the app is only available on a handful of handsets right now:
- HTC One X
- HTC One X+
- HTC One
- Samsung Galaxy S III
- Samsung Galaxy Note II
- Samsung Galaxy S 4
And if you like what it has to offer but aren't necessarily sold on using it full time, there's an easy way to keep all of Home's functionality without sacrificing your existing launcher.
Few things motivate me to run more than the threat of disembodied zombies pursuing me through city streets. For a while now, escaping the undead has felt dull and repetitive, as if I'm just going through the same motions over and over again. Fortunately, Six to Start is back with a brand new season of Zombies, Run! Fans of the fitness game have been eagerly awaiting a new chapter almost as fervently as Walking Dead watchers crave their favorite AMC hit.
Ever since the WSJ dropped a hint about the mythical 'X Phone' back in December, the rumors have not stopped flowing. Which is great because, according to Motorola's CFO, the 18 months of product pipeline that Google acquired weren't exactly wow-ing anyone. However, according to Moto's design chief Jim Wicks, the next generation of hardware will be fantastic.
The handsets have been in the works for the last eight months (so since around August, for those counting), and will target the segments of the market that's looking for a "just right" screen size.
Congratulations are in order for the Team Kang, the developers of the Android Open Kang Project. As of yesterday AOKP is only the third community-created ROM to run on 1,000,000 Android devices, behind CyanogenMod and MIUI. The team announced their milestone on the aokp.co blog, noting that with the upcoming release of the first Android 4.2 Milestone build, they'll be shaking up the release process a bit.
Instead of the rather slow numbered build releases, AOKP will be automatically built and distributed from the team's servers every four days.
When I went hands-on with Facebook's new launcher a few days ago, I stepped away pleased with the overall experience, but felt that it lacked a lot of the features a power user (or even a regular user who does stuff) would like. Still, I found the "lock screen" functionality to be a very pleasant experience – turning my phone on to nothing more than a scrolling photo and the time is very minimal and relaxing.
Verizon just announced a new maintenance update for the DROID RAZR M that brings various fixes to the device, including improved Wi-Fi connectivity, voice call volume, and visual voicemail connectivity. The camera's touch-to-focus is now also better, apparently, and the camera itself will take better low-light photos. Expect the update to roll out in the next week or two. You can see the complete changelog in the image below.
The last update to roll out to the RAZR M was Android 4.1, back in November.
As an Android site, we try to keep a close eye on newcomers to the Play Store. Sometimes that helps us find new, innovative, and highly useful apps. On the other side of that, it also help us find WTF apps for the roundups. But every once in a while an app shows up that simply baffles the mind, because its existence is so seemingly questionable it's hard to imagine why it's a thing in the first place.
While I personally had not heard of Ting until today, the Tucows-owned Sprint MVNO operates on a pay-per-usage billing model, providing voice and data service on Sprint's complete network (including LTE). The company launched its first Android app in the Play Store today, designed to help you monitor your Ting account.
The Ting app may not be jam-packed with features, but it is decidedly clean and simple, and there's nothing wrong with that.