If you've got an Android phone or tablet that's got Android 4.2.x and you're not using DashClock Widget, you are, quite frankly, doing it wrong. And the app that turns the Jelly Bean lock screen widgets into more than just wishful thinking — by the way, it's already in the 50,000 to 100,000 download range, and we'd be willing to bet it's on the high end of that — got an update to version 1.2 today, bringing with it a number of improvements.
First up are some new visual tweaks, allowing for custom opacity, as well as the ability to center the clock. You also can assign application shortcuts to the weather and clock widgets. Nice. Then there's the addition of extensions for missed calls and new text messages. Or perhaps you'd be interested in support for French, German, Spanish and Russian. Use Microsoft Exchange for your calendar? It's now supported. Some of this is tucked into a new "advanced" menu, so dive into the settings to see the new features.
Everyone's favorite social check in service Foursquare has just pushed out a notable update in the Play Store, bringing a refreshed UI, some new features and a lot of polish. The previous UI wasn't bad or ugly by any stretch, but the Foursquare team has managed to add a bit more functionality and design to this latest update. The main homescreen is now a bit cleaner, with a universal "explore" search bar at the top and options to check in, see your last location and add a photo at the bottom of the screen. A now Android-standard swipe to the right reveals a settings screen to access your profile, lists, settings and friends — although curiously there's still a very iOS-like menu slide button in the upper left corner.
The Check In screen has received a facelift as well, with some cleaner lines and little more visual flare. The text box asking "What are you up to?" is now more prominently laid over a map of the check in location with an option to add a picture still prominently set to the right of it. There's still a bit more cleaning up and unification of the UI to go, but things are looking better with each update.
Plume for Twitter updated its main app to closely tie into Android's new design guidelines many months ago, but its widget still lacked the new visual holo flare until today. The new widget is the same as far as functionality goes, but has received a drastic facelift. It is now a "holo dark" theme, with buttons and colors that more closely match that of the actual app. You still get a great visual representation of tweets, mentions and messages, as well as direct compose, refresh and search keys.
There are also several other improvements as part of this update. You can now make multiple columns in both the app and widget that specify between accounts — which is a huge deal for multiple account users — and Facebook accounts can now display in the widget as well. There's also now smoother scrolling, resend dialogues when picture uploads fail and fixes with pull-to-refresh.
That's a whole bunch of notable updates that should keep Plume users happy. If you've yet to try out Plume, you can head the Play Store link at the top of this post to check it out.
Instapaper for Android has been updated to version 1.2, bringing bug fixes, performance enhancements, and a couple new features. We're not sure which bugs and performance issues were addressed, but we do know which features were added.
Pagination allows you to scroll an entire page versus line by line. If you're used to this type of scrolling, it's quite nice in any app that's built for reading. It's now available in the settings menu for those who want to give it a shot. In addition, you can enable tilt scrolling, which is just what it sounds like — tilt your device to scroll the page. If you're the type who likes gestures and such, this one is for you.
On the visual side, Instapaper now supports in-line footnotes, and a new sepia mode that should prove easy on your tired eyes,
Probably the biggest new feature is actually called The Feature — a section of curated, editor recommended articles. While not for everyone, often times it's nice to have a place where quality content is the norm.
Grab the update from Google Play, or install Instapaper ($2.99; Android 2.3.3 or higher) from the link above.
Today, we have some good news for owners of the Galaxy Note 10.1 by Samsung. Even though it originally launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, we’re happy to report that Samsung finally began to roll out the latest Jelly Bean update. The update brings Android 4.1.2 to the Galaxy Note 10.1 along with several new features and enhancements.
Owners of the Samsung tablet can expect to use multi-window for multi-tasking, easy clip capability, and Air View (which allows for the S-Pen to hover over the screen to launch a dialog box. Other general Jelly Bean features and enhancements are in tow as well.
Feel free to wait patiently as the OTA Software Update will hit in waves, otherwise, you can try connecting to Samsung Kies in order to download the update.
The Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.1) update for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 that started back in early December is still rolling out across the globe, and users of the 7-inch model in the Americas are now reporting an OTA as well.
Early in the fall of 2012 we saw an update roadmap from Samsung that included the Tab 2, so we shouldn't be surprised that it's here. We have no idea of the mechanics behind Samsung's update schedule, but we hope that the rest of the world will see the Jelly Bean update in short order. To check for your own update, look in the settings under "About tablet" or use Samsung Kies' update tool. As 4.1.1 brings much smoother performance and great new features like Google Now, this is one update you won't want to skip.
Via: Android Central forums. Thanks, Salvador!
Popular homescreen replacement Nova Launcher has just hit version 2.0 with a whole bunch of notable feature adds and improvements. The free version gets most of the improvements including custom wallpaper cropping, increased maximum desktop grid size and an infinitely scrolling app drawer setting. There's also a fix to force wallpaper scrolling on U.S. Galaxy SII (S2) variants, as well as a setting to force the phone to keep the launcher locked in memory.
As for the paid "Prime" version, users can now set custom icon sizes and use their swipe actions on any homescreen, rather than just on the main one. You can give the new features a try by downloading Nova Launcher at the Google Play Store link above.
One of our favorite Twitter clients for Android, Falcon, updated just in time for 2013 with a bunch of new features. The biggie is that Falcon now uses the fancy YouTube APIs for Android that Google introduced before Christmas, but there are also a few subtle tweaks that have been added, including a spam reporting button, a slider for setting refresh rates, and a logout button. Here's the full changelog for Falcon Pro 1.4.
The Daily Mail reports today that Google Maps has already been a staggering success, with more than 10 million copies downloaded in the past 48 hours since the app appeared in the App Store, taking it straight to the top of the iTunes charts. The stunning tally was announced by Google?s Jeff Huber, who said: ?We?re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world.? Huber went on to congratulate the Google Maps Team ?for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.? The Daily Mail says that Google?s engineers had already begun working on the new Maps app even before Apple announced on September 19 of this year that it would be replacing Google Maps in iOS with its own in-house, and, as it turns out, ill-fated, iOS Maps app. The new Google Maps app includes several new features, such as turn-by-turn directions, but it does not yet include other Android-exclusive features, such as in-building directions in places such as malls.
Source: iPhone users download 10m copies of Google Maps app (but find they can’t delete Apple’s disastrous app) | Mail Online
Yesterday the BBC detailed exactly what it's planning to do with its iPlayer app for Android over the next few months, highlighting the importance of tablet support, feature parity with iOS and improved video quality. Now it seems the first of those improvements have arrived, as the Beeb is now pushing out an update to version 184.108.40.2066 of the TV and radio streaming app.
New features include better video quality over Wifi connections, a re-vamped UI more in keeping with Android's "Holo" design guidelines, and support for Android 4.2. Previously, it had been possible to use iPlayer on an Android 4.2 device, but only if it was installed before applying a 4.2 update. Today's app update means iPlayer has full support for the latest version of Google's OS, and can be directly downloaded onto newer devices like the Nexus 4. There's also a support new TV channel, BBC Alba, which may be of interest to viewers in Scotland.
Alongside iPlayer, the BBC Media Player companion app has also been updated. That update brings similar improvements in video quality over Wifi, along with background audio playback support, including ICS lock screen controls, and "currently playing" info in the notification bar. This makes it possible to listen to radio content without keeping the app in focus and the screen switched on. The Beeb cautions that there are still issues with the Sony Xperia Arc running Android 4.0 on this version, however, so owners of that device may want to hold off updating.
Readers in the UK can hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version of iPlayer, or here for the BBC Media Player app.