It has been around a month since Chrome 76 entered the Beta channel, and right on schedule, it has graduated to the Stable branch. The new browser is now rolling out on all platforms, including Android, and it's one of the largest Chrome updates we've seen in a long time. Let's dive right in!
Chrome 75 was just released earlier this month, and right on schedule, Chrome 76 has entered the Beta Channel. This version is fairly massive, with plenty of changes that have been in the works for months. Without further ado, let's jump in!
There isn't a shortage of Tron-inspired watch faces for Android Wear with bright neon blue colors, but finding one that is customizable to different styles and watch shapes can be a bit difficult. Enter NAVI, from Tha PHLASH (lots of capslocking there), a cool watch design that hits all the right notes.
Available for both round and square watches, with a setting that lets you remove the redundant digits on the G Watch R (finally someone thought of that!), NAVI comes in both a day and a night mode. It has several colors and settings for the clock hands, with weather, date, and battery placeholders, and a very battery-friendly ambient mode.
Despite having some serious (and apparently isolated) issues with his unit's battery, our fearless leader Artem is thoroughly enjoying his Moto 360 smartwatch. He described the Stealth360 watch face from developer Flying Rhino as, and I quote, "sweet as hell."
Stealth360 shies away from some of the more conventional Braun-style designs included with the Moto 360 itself, in favor of something closer to a Razer or Alienware look. (Think Tron, but with a little more restraint.) Despite hands and markers that are designed to look sleek, it's pretty functional as a standard watch, thanks to easy-to-read layout. The gradient on the background really helps the hands pop, despite the all-dark color scheme.
Mobile games are a hot category these days. Multiplayer tablet games, on the other hand, are a bit harder to come by. The larger form factor lends itself well to multiple players gathered around a virtual game board, but few apps pursue this route. Fireballs HD is one of those few. Up to four players can join a Tron-like game, competing to keep their fireball alive without hitting the trails of others.
The graphics aren't the greatest in the world, but the gameplay is solid. At the beginning of each game, two to four players can select to join in.
We can't say we didn't see it coming, considering we saw this preview of the tablet-optimized SwiftKey keyboard during CES, but what SwiftKey is announcing today looks quite a bit different, to say the least.
Allow me to introduce Swiftkey Tablet - a tablet-only Honeycomb keyboard set to launch around the same time as the Motorola XOOM tablet. Sticking with the 3-way-split design, the new holographic look reminds me quite a bit of Tron. If you watch the video below, you'll see that the UI is quite... magical, with suggestions floating up when clicked. The dual space bar design and the presence of arrow keys are very welcomed as well.
Buried deep in the depths of the Honeycomb SDK that was released yesterday, this Tron-inspired Honeycomb logo, which, as we later found out, was actually part of the Honeycomb Easter egg. Whether this logo is THE Honeycomb logo or not remains to be proven, but it is definitely official, as it came straight from the SDK. Judging by my reddit submission, many of you liked it quite a bit but had ideas of your own of how it could be modified to be more in tune with the Android theme. Here are some of the mods.
The Android team sure has a sense of humor. Previously, in the Froyo SDK, besides tons of awesome code, they've also added a function called wtf() (What a Terrible Failure) and an even more hilarious isUserAMonkey() that returns true if the user interface is currently being messed with by a monkey.
Examining the Honeycomb SDK docs released earlier today, armed with a hint from Roman Nurik, I found the following gem: fyiWillBeAdvancedByHostKThx(). The docs are not online yet, but if you've downloaded the SDK, you can find this function at android-sdk/docs/reference/android/widget/
AdapterViewAnimator.html#fyiWillBeAdvancedByHostKThx(). What it does doesn't matter (it's actually a legitimate function), but its name is hilarious.
Android is known for its customizability and freedom, therefore it's not a surprise that it supports a variety of theming methods. Unfortunately, the vast majority of themes are either low quality or incomplete, which is a natural side effect of what happens when everyone is given a chance to contribute. When a truly great theme comes along, one worthy of changing the default launcher, it needs to be given credit. And the Tron Legacy Pro theme by Mariux is definitely one of those themes.
The theme doesn't just change the wallpaper or a few icons - it is what the author describes as "ultra-detailed." What this means is Tron's infamous neon effect was actually studied by Mariux to match the movie, a ton of icons have been changed, including popular applications outside of what ships stock (Angry Birds, Aldiko, Foursquare, Facebook, Goggles, etc), and even widget styles match the overall theme.