New Google Play Store design rolling out to devices

Posted by: Brett

Google has made the Play Store design update official today and it will soon begin rolling out to Android devices. The update brings a fresh new Google Now-edque card look to the Play Store rather than the dark, Windows Phone tiled theme. The Roboto font and all its forms are now more prevalent and everything is much more Holo-themed and modern. This is the same design that leaked a couple weeks ago thanks to Droid Life and now it’s official.

The update will be rolling out over the course of the next few weeks to devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and newer.

Source: Google

Facebook Home made official

Posted by: Brett

Facebook made their new Android home screen overlay official today at a press event at the social network’s headquarters. Dubbed Facebook Home, the application takes over the entire home screen and lock screen experience and replaces it with a full screen news feed which shows up right when you turn the phone on. You can like and comment on pictures and status that you encounter as you scroll through the feed. Notifications will appear directly on the main screen of Facebook Home and you can swipe them away or click into them.

Pressing a circle containing your profile picture at the bottom of the screen and dragging it up brings you into your app drawer which you can customize. You can also drag it to the left for Facebook Messenger and to the right for your Gallery. The app drawer has quick shortcuts to posting an image, status, or checking in to a place.

Another cool feature of Facebook Home is called Chat Heads, and it allows you to access your Facebook chats from anywhere on your phone, even if you’re in another app. When you’re chatting with someone or multiple people, a little circle with your friends profile picture appears on your screen. You can click it and the chat conversation will come up and you can respond. The Chat Heads will stack if you’re apart of multiple conversations and you can get rid of them or move them around if they’re in the way.

Facebook Home will be preinstalled on the just announced HTC First, but will be making its way to a variety of Android devices through the Play Store on April 12th.

Source: Facebook

OUYA to launch in retail on June 4th

Posted by: Brett

The OUYA Android gaming console, which started as a massively popular Kickstarter project last year, will be launching in retail stores on June 4th for $99. Those who backed the project on Kickstarter will be recieving their consoles soon as many have been shipped already. The OUYA has access to Google’s Play Store, since it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, as well as OUYA’s own store. The console has surprisingly received very low ratings and reviews due to the lack of games and poorly designed interface, despite its success on Kickstar a year ago. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to pick one up on the 4th of June.

Source: OUYA

Nexus 4 now shipped with tweaked design to protect from scratches

Posted by: Brett

According to Android Central, a new, tweaked version of the Nexus 4 is shipping with small “nubs” at the bottom corners of the device allowing for the device to be ever so slightly raised when laid on a flat surface. The addition of these nubs are likely to help combat the scratches users have been getting on the glass back of the Nexus 4, even with light use. In addition, the camera housing has been slightly modified with less open area around the lens, although the purpose of this tweak is unknown.

Source: Android Central

Google Play version 4.0 leaks out

Posted by: Brett

Droid Life was able to get their hands on the APK file for a yet to be released update to the Google Play Store – version 4.0. Version 4.0 looks to bring a visual overhaul in that it’s more light and colorful and resembles Google Now with it’s card interface and font styles. It also utilizes the Holo-themed interface Google has been pushing for app developers to embrace in their apps. Download / nformation pages are more minimal and have been cleaned up.

There are likely more goodies, but Droid Life noted that many pages and features were broken, so this was all they could see. Check out the source link for images and a video.

Source: Droid Life

Real Racing 3 launches on iOS and Android

Posted by: Brett

Real Racing 3 has finally launched today on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store after months of video teasers and excitement. Real Racing 3 is one of the most anticipated app launches of the year and the best part about it is that it’s available for free. The third iteration of admittedly the most realistic mobile racing games brings with it a bevy of new cars from makers like Porsche, Lamborghini, Dodge, Bugatti, and Audi. It features officially licensed tracks and a new feature called Time Shifted Multiplayer which let’s you play someone, even if they’re offline, thanks to new AI technology.

The only real downside to the game is that it uses a freemium app model and therefore you have the option of purchasing coins to advance faster in the game. Real Racing 3 is available now in both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

Source: Google Play Store, iOS App Store

HP announces Slate 7 with Android 4.1

Posted by: Brett

HP has announced it’s first Android device today in the HP Slate 7. The Slate 7 is a 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, in addition to a dual-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with a micro SD card slot, a VGA front-facing camera, a 3-megapixel back camera, and Beats Audio – all for $169.

For a $169, you get an OK tablet, but then again, all you have to do is pay up $30 more and you get the Nexus 7, which has a better processor, NFC, more storage, GPS, and the latest updates from Google, although you’d be sacrificing a measly 3-megapixel back camera and SD card support. Then again, you can probably find a Nexus 7 for cheaper than $200 online.

Source: HP