At the beginning of this year, Google launched the Android Design Principles Web Site. This site outlines how and why the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich User Interface (UI) is built the way it is. For those of us who work as User Experience Designers, it’s a treasure trove of information and insights into the minds of Matias Duarte and his team.
What I would like to do is break down a few elements of the Android 4.0 UI and talk about how they follow tried-and-tested user-centered design principles. Yeah, this might be a bit geeky even for us geeks, but trust me… it’s these kinds of solid building blocks that can make or break a platform. Read on after the break for my take on how Android is implementing and evolving their User Experience (UX).
Fetchnotes just hit the Google Play Store about a week ago. This app allows you to make quick notes for yourself that might include todos, shopping lists, ideas, or whatever you might use a sticky note for. If you’re a hardcore tasker, this one is probably not for you, but if you’re looking for something simple and easy you might one to take a look. Each note can include a hashtag for easy organizing. Fetchnotes will show you all your notes or you can just show notes with certain hashtags. What’s also nice is they have a website that syncs with the app. You can enter or look at your notes from your desktop or phone/tablet and it’s always synched.
Overall the interface and UI is simple, in fact it might be a little too simple, but if you’re looking for something quick and easy, give Fetchnotes a try. It’s free. Download links and more screenshots after the break.
Today T-Mobile announced their highly anticipated flagship device, the HTC One S. The One S is the middle brother of the new popular One family from HTC and packs tons of features all in a super slim form factor. And though there are a few cons with the device, such as the lack of a removable battery, no memory expansion and a pentile display, it’s still a power device not to be reckoned with. Talk Android was in New York live for the unveiling event and we got our hands on the juicy handset for your viewing pleasure. Check out the hands-on video from our cool rep Matt and don’t forget to let us know what you think of the device in the comments below. To quickly recap the features of the handset, it’s sporting a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD (960 x 540) display with Gorilla Glass technology, Beats Audio integration, 16GB of on-board memory and ICS 4.0 with the new HTC Sense 4. And under the hood you’ll find a dual-core 1.5 Krait CPU with an Adreno 225 GPU. You can snag this guy for $199 on a two year contract on April 25th but in the meantime, check out the hands-on video.
Yay! Zombies just made it’s way to the Google Play Store. It was originally available for iPhone users, but this is drahtwerk’s first offer for Android. If shooting and slicing ragdoll zombies flying in the air is your thing, you’re going to love this one. All you have to do is tap to shoot your MP5 or swipe your finger to cut the zombies to pieces. If you dissect all limbs, you get a humiliation bonus and you can earn combos by slicing multiple zombies at once. You will also find running hands that you can grab that will give you power ups such as “Freeze.” Sounds easy right, but the only problem is there are various bombs flying around, and if you hit any one of them, your done.
Yay! Zombies is free and comes with two weapons: an MP5 and a butcher’s knife. You won’t be able to use the MP5 until you can hit 1,000 points. You will also find two gaming modes: Classic and Blitz. Classic is basically playing until you lose, while Blitz gives you 60 seconds to get as many points as you can. If you hit a bomb in Blitz mode, you will lose 5 seconds. There are plans for a paid version that will provide more weapons and modes, but it’s not available yet. They do say it be for the cost of a candybar. What are you waiting for? Grab the download after the break and start slicing and dicing some zombies.
Back on April 2, we reported about the leak of the official Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Nexus S 4G on Sprint along with step-by-step instructions to manually install it (available now as an OTA update). Sitting at work while reading the article, I immediately cancelled my plans to eat lunch that day and reactivated my Nexus S that had been patiently lying on my kitchen table waiting for this day. I have always waited for the OTA updates in the past, never wanting to take a chance messing up my phone or computer, but this update was too important for old habits. The instructions were as clear as they come. I had to register for a free Jumbo Files account before the site would let me download the software, but after a 15 minute download, the rest was a piece of cake. The whole process took about 35 minutes, total, including the registration. Find out if it was worth the wait after the break.
Yes, folks, now you can get TalkAndroid logo gear and other cool Android related products from our very own merch store! We’ve opened up a Zazzle store with everything from t-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers, to hats, pillows, speakers, and water bottles! And we will keep adding new designs as we can (if you have any good Android design ideas, let us know!)
Check out some example products after the break, and be sure to hit our store link to see everything! And also, to save 20% on your entire order, enter coupon code TLKANDROID20 at checkout!
The folks over at Meltus contacted us and wanted to giveaway 25 free copies of Volume+ to our loyal readers. If you’re not familiar with Volume+, it gives you the ability to boost up your overall volume including your bass/treble and save/load your own custom EQ settings on your Android device. You can also utilize their presets for the best sound possible. Since Volume+ works system wide it will work with Google Music, Pandora, Slacker, and every other music software on your device (that doesn’t have a built in EQ). If you’re into sound quality at all, you’re going to want Volume+.
They have two versions. The paid version ($1.99), which includes 9 presets, the ability to go +8 on the levels, and advanced controls. The free version only has one preset, the ability to go +4 on the levels, and no advanced controls.
Hit the break for contest rules and download links
Live Wallpapers just keep getting cooler and cooler for Android, especially with the kind of hardware hitting the market these days. Live Wallpapers are no longer taking the toll they once did on performance and battery life. Latest to catch our eye is the Digital Hive Live Wallpaper, a unique interactive background that allows you to choose from an array of swatches to suite the mood you’re in.
Displays a 3D grid of glowing, pulsing hexagons. This full version also allows you to select any color and enables touch interaction with the hexagons.
The app will run you .99¢ in the Play Store but is well worth the coolness (is that a word?). The application has been brought up to speed to work with most devices including the Galaxy Nexus. The application even allows for multi-color support. The app is compatible with both your smartphone and your tablet. Check out the video below of the quick demo as well as some of the screen shots touting the cool looking digital hive. Run your fingers across the screen and watch the hexagons respond at the touch. Check it out for yourself and if you like it, feel free to drop a comment or two below. Hit the break for the video, pics and to get to the download links. Enjoy. Read more
We can’t help it sometimes, though we know at times and depending on certain devices, live wallpapers can be a damper on your battery. But it’s beautiful ones like the Luma Live Wallpaper for Android that compels you to download a gorgeous app like this onto your smartphone. The Luma Live Wallpaper for Android offers you an array of beautiful colors and shapes such as leaves, hearts, flowers and other patterns to drift smoothly across your screen giving you an overall instant feeling of serenity.
Luma is a colorful, interactive live wallpaper featuring beautiful combinations of drifting shapes and colors. With literally hundreds of combinations, it’s like having 500 live wallpapers in one.
Luma comes with a set of designer themes that are made to match a range of homescreen themes and styles. Transform your screen into a beautiful mosaic of moving shapes and color.
There are a ton of options with the app especially when it comes to the customization department. You have the ability to create your very own color schemes, what shapes are involved and how or in what fashion they float across your device’s screen. The app is interactive as it allows you to scatter shapes and disrupt the flow by a simple touch of the screen. Check out the cool demo below from the dev and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below. The app will run you a buck in the Google Play Store but it’s well worth the design and functionality you’re getting. Hit the break for the video and to check out some more screen shots of the app in action as well as to hit up the download links. Read more
The sensation that is Instagram has iOS as well as Android users snapping pictures and sharing them like never before. There’s no question that with the millions of users on the platform as well as the simple workflow, Instagram is a winner. But does that mean Instagram is the best game in town? Maybe not. We recently brought you a list of seven Instagram alternatives, and today I want to do an in-depth comparison with the one I feel is the closest competitor… Streamzoo, available for both iOS and Android.