We're starting to see homescreen and launcher replacements settle into a groove. Nice UIs, smooth transitions, and the Regina launcher fits nicely in that space. It's the same basic principle: You have five home screens on which to flip around and place apps, widgets, shortcuts, folders, etc.
The main homescreen features a slick flip clock (hello, HTC!) and weather widget. The bad news is that the weather widget might not include your town (yes, really) and to add it manually you need to know some sort of region code. Which I don't know. And I'm not going to bother looking up. And it gets a little worse -- to use the weather feature at all, you have to install the Regina Weather and Regina Weather Server apps in addition to the launcher. And then I still have to look up my region code? No, thanks.
But the launcher and homescreens (they're called workspaces here) are pretty nice. And you have secret workspaces that you can password protect and access from the corners of the home screens. That's not all that intuitive, as you'll see me scratch my head in the video after the break.
Transitions are smooth, if a tad slow for our taste, and look sophisticated enough. The launcher only scrolls horizontally -- we'd love to have the option to go vertical. Removing items from the home screen (or uninstalling them altogether) is helped along with some handy graphical reminders.
Check out our video of the Regina launcher and find downlinks after the break.
If you're a fan of augmented reality apps then you no doubt have checked Layar out. If not, then now is a great time to give it a go as they've recently released version 5.0 which brings a bunch of new changes over previous versions.
Layar 5.0 now features the ability to share content with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The next time you find a really cool layer, gain achievements or even spot a cool 3D model you want to take a screenshot of, you can quickly and easily share it with the world.
Layar 5.0 also comes the ability for more interactivity within layers thanks to our animation capabilities. Layers are no longer limited to static content; now icons and 3D models can come alive with animation, adding a new layer of engagement to augmented reality.
In the above image, Layar was showing me all the Android apps that were being installed around me using the App Aware layar. Pretty cool -- but it can used for many other things as well. Looking for restaurants, hotels, ATM's and more. Layar 5.0 is available now in the Android Market, download links can be found after the break. [Layar]
For corporate users, or anyone without a Gmail account, really, Android's stock e-mail client can leave something to be desired. If you're looking for an e-mail app that can offer multiple Exchange accounts and sync IMAP/POP3 accounts simultaneously, I suggest Enhanced Email.
Enhanced Email is an email client based 100 percent off of the source code from Gingerbread. What that means is you'll be getting all of the goodies from the stock e-mail client plus all of the extra bits and pieces the developer has thrown in. Let's take an in-depth look at these features after the jump.
We've posted about the awesome and free pinball ball game Pinball Deluxe before, and now the folks from Mobigloo have let us know the game has been downloaded over 1 million times and to celebrate, they just sent an update to the Android Market for everyone to enjoy. The latest update adds a new pinball table to the mix adding even more of that classic pinball game feel to it. Wild West is the new table and if you're looking to try out your pinball wizard skills head on past the break for the download.
There's a definite lack of Windows Phone-themed music players in the Android Market -- can't imagine why -- but simplePlay hopes to remedy that.
SimplePlay is actually a dual music/podcast player that boasts a clean UI, innovative navigation system, and some slick, eye-catching effects. Setup is simple, with the app asking you to locate your music and podcast folder on its first boot up. From there, you're given the option to download album art, and after that you're off to the races. Let's take a closer look after the break.
Want the stock Gingerbread keyboard with a little extra oomph in the text prediction? Check out the A.I.type keyboard. It's currently in beta but is pretty darn stable. The gist is this: You get the stock Gingerbread keyboard with some pretty good text prediction. It claims to be able to save you 75 percent of keystrokes (or taps, we gather). Don't think we'd go quite that far, but the prediction is rather accurate, and we'd expect it to get better in future releases. Also, text prediction requires a data connection. So if you're in BFE, you might be SOL.
A.I.type currently supports multiple languages, voice recognition, keyboard themes. It's free in the current beta, and we've got promo video and download links after the break. [A.I.type]
This week we decided to switch it up a little bit, and bring you a special edition of our favorite weekly applications. Not only are these some of our favorite applications, but all of this week's pick require root access on your device. Be sure to join us after the break to take a look at some of these applications!
Busting up some blocks on a cell phone goes way back, and has always been a fun way to pass some time. If you came from a BlackBerry you are probably very familiar with Brick Breaker, and may have missed it when you made the switch. Well, miss no more, because the folks over at MCurrent have blessed us with Block Busta, an Android game that is fun, yet challenging.
The free version contains five stages, while the paid version contains 25 with three rounds of blocks on each. Both versions available in the Android market, and the paid version will only run you roughly $2.15 and is sure to deliver hours of fun. Hit the break for download links.
After getting into a battle with Twitter over its use of Twitter's real-time search access, the folks from Scoopler have moved on and have now released their Just Spotted celebrity tracking application to the Android Market. As described in their press release, the Alpha version release allows you to:
Receive push notifications whenever a celebrity is spotted in your area. Check out the list of nearby spottings to see other spottings near you or click ‘everywhere’ to see the latest spottings world-wide. Click any spotting for more details.
Stalkerish? Certainly, but that's pretty much what they are going for here -- if all you Justin Bieber fans out there are ever going to have a chance at meeting him, you'll first need to know where he is. Jump on past the break for the full press release.
After having earned user approval after a long open beta testing period, LinkedIn for Android has finally hit the Android Market and is now ready for mass consumption. If you are looking to download the app you will need a device running Android 2.1 or higher. You'll find the current release sitting at v1.0.0.
Having done some of the beta testing myself I can say overall, the application is built rather well. No doubt it'll see some updates as it gets into the hands of more users but for now, it's certainly worth a look if you're looking to maintain your account on the go If you've got a LinkedIn account and haven't grabbed it, jump on past the break for the download link.
With The Masters golf tournament starting today, it's nice to see that an official app has been released for anyone looking to keep up to date on the action. The Masters app has some nice features added to it, and it even works on the Motorola Xoom -- although it's not fully optimized for it.
Real time scoring - Interact with the live Leader Board, which features up-to-the-minute scoring and video highlights of the greatest moments on the course
Course overview - Detailed course information with imagery, flyover videos, and par and yardage for each of the Masters Tournament’s prestigious 18 holes
Live radio - Live streaming radio coverage from Augusta National
Comprehensive news coverage - Pairings, tee times, player information, alerts, and all of the latest news and updates from the Masters Tournament.
If you're not able to catch The Masters at home or just want to check out the app while taking it all, the official app is available in the Android Market right now for free. Jump on past the break for the download link and images of it on the Motorola Xoom. [Android Central Forums]
The Amazon Appstore got itself a little update tonight -- it's now at version 1.08 -- and we'd start to get excited about it if we had any idea what was changed. But, hey, an updated app is always better than an un-updated app, unless it breaks something. And, oh, look at that. Icons are missing. That's likely not because of the update, but we'll point fingers anyway.
And FlightBoard's now optimized for tablets. You get about 15 flight listings for a given airport when you're looking at it in landscape (horizontal mode). Tap a flight and you have options to share it over e-mail, chat, Twitter, etc., or you can open it up in the FlightTrack companion app and get even more details. And with FlightBoard, you also get:
Get real-time status for any flight in the world with automatic updates every 5 minutes.
Access over 4000 airports and 1400 airlines worldwide.
View FlightBoard on home screen with Live Wallpaper.
Seamlessly switch between Departures and Arrivals view.
Easily share flight info with friends and family via Twitter, Facebook, SMS and E-mail.
Instantly narrow results via an exceptional search interface.
Save flights in FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro for real-time tracking.
FlightBoard's a tad pricey at $3.99, and you're really going to need to be a travel nerd for this, but we'd love to see it, say, sitting on an Android tablet in an airport lounge somewhere. Download links are after the break.
As we first told you last night, a developer test Market has surfaced, along with a new version of the Music application from Google. Here's your (and mine) chance to get some hands-on time with both, as they have been leaked out in the Android Central forums. Your're warned to have a full backup before trying these, and mentions a few different methods to install them. On stock Android 2.3.3, they both installed and overwrote the normal system apps, but your mileage may vary.
We also have a bit of new anonymous information about exactly what we're seeing:
"As for the test bed it is actually the android developers market related testing site for new versions of the market, security fixes, and the new in-app billing. Gallery 3D & Desk Clock are not available on gingerbread devices, Camera v12 is a redesigned camera that only has a different icon and background color inside the app. And the Android Music Store can only be accessed if you have an android music account."
As I said last night, it's pretty cool to get a peek behind the scenes of Google's closed-source stuff, even if most of it isn't that useful. You can find a link to both the Market and Music app at the source, with no guarantees how long either will work -- so hurry, hackers :)
We also have a couple more pictures of the Music player after the break. [Android Central forums] Thanks, Anonymous!
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