Using beta software is more often than not a gamble. It's nice to be able to check out all the new features, but some things may be terribly broken. That's the case with Android Q's universal dark mode implementation. As early adopters noticed, there's no toggle to easily enable or disable it, meaning users were stuck with whatever they had chosen on Pie before updating (unless they used adb to change it). Google Photos was one of the most obvious victims of Q's dark mode. The app looked like a chimera of light and dark, but the latest update has now fixed most of it.
If you've been paying attention the last several months, you're probably aware that since we posted our early look at Google's revamped launcher icons, users have been yearning for the "materialized" versions of their favorite apps' icons. This new design direction even spurred custom icon packs to replicate the look and feel of the rumored Google goodies. For developers and designers on Android, it's easy to see the attention the new icons are getting and start thinking about redesigning your own app's launcher icon.
If you have an affinity for vintage cameras, you may find yourself toting around a light meter to make sure every exposure comes out just right. If you happen to also be a Glass explorer, David Young has a solution for that - Google Glass Light Meter, a piece of Glassware that entered Google's official collection just a few days ago.
As you may guess from the name, Light Meter turns your Glass unit into... a light meter. Users need only set their film speed and desired aperture, and Light Meter will show optimal shutter speed at that aperture (as well as a stop above and below) in a helpful, glance-able card.
Sony announced at the Symposium on VLSI Technology that it is trying to improve the functionality and light capture of CMOS sensors by bending them, using - get ready - a proprietary "bending machine." So far, their efforts sound successful. The manufacturer has created a pair of curved CMOS sensors, one sized for cameras (43mm) and one for mobile devices (11mm), that they say have improved sensitivity 1.4x at the center of the sensor, and 2x at the edges.
According to Chainfire, the night mode and color adjustment features from Chainfire3D and the original CF.lumen Gingerbread apps are frequently requested. So frequent, in fact, that they're back for KitKat+ devices as CF.lumen on the Play Store.
If you've ever used f.lux for your PC, you know basically what to expect here - color temperature adjustments based on the time of day, bringing tones more in line with your eyes' expectations when the sun goes down. CF.lumen can also match artificial light sources, and has a sleep mode which turns your screen red, so as to not disturb your "night vision." Users can also override the service any time, or have CF.lumen use the device's light sensor to make adjustments.
There seems to be a surge of mobile photography accessories on Kickstarter these days. Really, the trend makes sense – mobile manufacturers consistently tout their handsets' camera capabilities, and most everyone is prone to snapping shots with their phones. The desire to get better quality photos out of the most convenient cameras around is natural.
From Muku's Shuttr to the Lumu light meter, there's a lot to look forward to when it comes to mobile photo gear. Adding one more entry to that list, iblazr has received over $31,000 more than their original funding goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter with 28 days to go.
Good light meters are expensive. The other problem with light meters is that they're often clunky and outdated in appearance. Pricey and ugly as they may be, they're a hugely convenient tool for photographers looking to get their exposures right the first time.
Lumu is looking to address both of those problems with the similarly-named Lumu light meter for smartphones. The Lumu, to put it simply, is both beautiful and awesome.
It plugs into your headphone jack and communicates with a dedicated app that will instantly update exposure readouts as light changes.
Evidently, we're not the only ones who think Lumu is awesome – at the time of writing, the project has amassed $174,204 in funding.
If a speaker, vibration motor, and an on-device notification light aren't enough to grab your attention when a new message comes to your phone, you need a more extreme option. The developer of HueNotifier Beta has provided one: an impressive sync between any Android 4.0+ device and Philips' range of Hue connected LED lightbulbs. After installing the app and setting it up, new notifications from any app can be assigned to pulsate the light bulb or bulbs in any available color.
The app is pretty basic at the moment, but seems to have all of its bases covered, with easy setup and quick modifications.
Falcon Pro, the beautiful Twitter client born of Joaquim Verges' Falcon Widget, got an update today, bringing the app to version 1.5. Besides the usual bug fixes, this update brings several big enhancements, not the least of which being a completely new, completely appealing "light theme," which will switch your Twitter experience to a pleasing holo light look.
Cold Beam Games' Beat Hazard Ultra, the fascinating rhythm-based shooter we covered a few days ago, officially came out of beta and into the Play Store today, offering to bring with it all the bullets and enemies you can handle while you supply the music.
For those who missed our initial coverage, Beat Hazard is a bullet hell-style shooter that uses your own music tracks to control just about everything in the game, from the frequency of enemy attacks and their movement patterns to the rhythmic pulse of your own weapons. In this sense, the pace and style of the game is up to you.