Google Reader client Press has just added support for the popular new widget DashClock just a few days after its release. DashClock Widget provides a platform to make "extensions" that plug into the widget from other apps to put pertinent notifications and information on your screen. Users on Android 4.2 with DashClock installed now have the ability to see their Press unread count and last sync time on the widget. This should play nicely with the recent update to Press that added background syncing support.
So far we've got Falcon Pro and Press that have updated to support the widget's extensions, along with the built-in items like weather and Gmail, and we're sure to see more as DashClock Widget becomes even more popular.
ROM Manager, a staple app used by practically anyone who roots and switches ROMs often, has just added support for both delta (incremental) updates and TWRP recovery. Delta updates (downloads, really) will let users who are downloading and flashing new ROMs — like those of you on nightlies — just download and apply the new portions of the ROM, rather than the entire thing. If you have a previous zip file of your ROM on the device, ROM Manager will send you an incremental zip (of about 20MB) to apply and get the changes. This will save a lot of time, battery and data when flashing updates to the same ROM over and over again.
The latest ROM Manager also supports TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project), so if users prefer that over ClockworkMod Recovery, they can flash it directly through the app rather than separately. If you're not using ROM Manager yet, give it a look at the Play Store link above.
Flipboard for Android was updated today, and along with a fix for "accidental" flipping and some minor bug fixes, there is a major feature added in — support for Android 4.2's Daydream feature. Flipboard says this "allows you to create a screensaver made out of Flipboard covers," and that's a pretty good description.
You won't find any new settings inside the Flipboard app itself, but if you open the display settings on your Jelly Bean 4.2 device you'll see Flipboard listed under the different Daydream modes. The screensaver itself is well done, with the zooming and gently panning of images you'll find in the Photo Table Daydream provided by Google. It uses the entries in our Cover stories category, so you'll probably want to adjust those a bit.
It's more media centric than the Currents Daydream, and lacks a lot of textual information, but we're really excited to see a major player take advantage of the tools Google provides to make unique and awesome apps. Grab the update or install the app for the first time from the link above.
Samsung has just announced a new set of digital audio equipment, most importantly to us smartphone nerds being a new Bluetooth speaker for pairing with phones and tablets. This newest speaker, model DA-F60, supports both NFC pairing and the apt-X audio codec. This is a not-so-common yet interesting use of NFC, which lets users tap a tablet or phone to the speaker to initiate the bluetooth pairing connection meaning there's no messing around with a manual Bluetooth setup — pretty neat.
Apt-X, if you're not familiar, is a relatively new audio codec available in some devices that improves the dynamic range and quality of streaming bluetooth audio. The list of supported devices is small but growing — including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, the HTC One (X, S, V) line and Motorola RAZR (original, HD, Maxx, i, M) line.
We should see a bit more of the new speaker (and Samsung's other offerings) at CES this week, and hopefully have some time to play around with these new ones. No pricing or availability is out just yet, but we should expect those shortly as well.
Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)
Light Flow, a popular app to control notification LED's and sounds, has added support for a whole host of new apps today. In total, 62 new apps can now have their notification sound, vibration and LED flashing controlled including some notable apps like Falcon Pro. The app now also supports Ice Cream Sandwich users with multiple calendars, as well as the ability to swipe away calendar notifications to clear the LED flashing. As is usually the case, several different bugs have been squashed in this update — from black screen and color issues on the Nexus 4 to translations for Turkish and Arabic.
You can get a list of all 62 apps added, as well as the complete list of all apps supported, at the source link below. If you haven't given Light Flow a look, it's well worth your $2.49 to buy it. There's also a free version with limited app support if you just want to give it a test drive.
More: Light Flow Changelog
Google has released today on its Android Developers blog information about localizing graphics for Play Store listings. It's no secret that Google Play is quickly expanding its reach to many new countries. Part of making the expansion to new markets successful is targeting promotional materials to specific countries. Along with offering localized translations of apps and descriptions, developers can now use different graphics and promotional materials depending on the country the user is accessing the Play Store from as well. Developers could now, for example, offer a different splash page for a country or region's holiday during a certain period, or offer language-specific graphics in each region which the app supports the language.
Google notes in its blog post that a full 2/3 of app revenue in Google Play now comes from outside of the United States, making it clear to developers that this is something important to pay attention to.
Source: Android Developers Blog
Although there is a plethora of instant messaging clients available on the Google Play Store, one of the favorite ones has consistently been imo.im. It's a pretty useful app that includes a lot of features in a small package.
The latest update, available now, is aimed at improving their overall tablet experience as well as updating to OAuth for Google logins. I've been putting it to test over the past bit and all seems pretty fine with this release, if you're an imo.im user be sure to grab the update.
Although Tumblr has had an Android app for what seems to be forever now they've never managed to offer up tablet optimized version for their users to make use of. Instead, folks were stuck using the phone app and while that wasn't all that bad, they've now finally gone ahead and released a tablet version. That's the big news but included with this release you'll also find some design updates as well as a new follow screen. You can grab the update from the Google Play store right now.
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 220.127.116.116 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.
Google has edited the online help manual for the Nexus 4, removing references to USB support for mice and keyboards. Previously mentioning USB and that you might need an adapter to connect these peripherals, now it simply states
You can connect a keyboard, mouse, or even a joystick or other input device to your phone via Bluetooth and use it just as you would with a PC. USB is not supported for connecting such devices
Taken at face value this isn't that big of a deal, but any effect it may have on USB OTG (On The Go) could get a bit more worrisome. Many were counting on support for USB flash drives to supplement the 8 or 16GB of internal storage, and if the Nexus 4 can't properly power USB OTG devices that can't happen.
We're not going to say USB OTG support for the Nexus 4 is dead just yet. It's a complicated affair, needing the correct hardware and software to properly function. If this is just a software issue and is a temporary "adjustment" there is no worries, but if the hardware can't properly support USB gadgets or provide the right voltage, we're likely to be out of luck. We've reached out to Google, and hopefully someone gets back to us Monday. We'll let you know whatever we find out.
Source: Nexus 4 online help