Kellex over at Droid-Life has obtained what is purported to be build 4.0.16 of the Google Play Store for Android, and this gives us our best hint yet of how Matias Duarte and company are planning to take Android’s design with the expected release of Android 5.0, codenamed Key Lime Pie, at Google I/O. In the 6 minute video below, Kellex shows off the functional parts of the new store (with many pages such as the home page not yet working with the new design) but what is evident is that the new version of the Holo design language is set to be a lot lighter and colourful than the black and blue introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich in October 2011, with italicised Roboto Light being used in headings for the first time. Contrary to Google Keep, a note-taking service that the company officially launched today with an overdose of yellow, responses to the new look seem overwhelmingly positive, and we will wait with baited breath to see what further UI overhauls Google may announce for Android, now under the reigns of Chrome and Apps head Sundar Pichai, at I/O in May.
When Android 4.0 came out, Matias Duarte, Google’s head of Android design, laid out a set of rules for ‘Holo’ style applications to go with the sweeping UI changes brought in by Ice Cream Sandwich. The guidelines have been adopted slowly, but the apps that have adopted them have risen to the top of their respective categories. One of these apps is Boid, a free Twitter client.
Team Boid set out with one objective – to make the best Twitter client. It makes effective use of the space on the screen, providing a tabbed interface that covers the entirety of Twitter. It also follows the Android design guidelines to the dot, making it a pleasure to use. The app is currently in beta, but don’t let that deter you from downloading it. The app is stable and packed full of features. The only notable omissions are autocompletion of usernames and push notifications, although both of these are planned for future releases. The team keeps users updated constantly through their Twitter account, and they have promised to push on with development (and a Chrome version) in the face of Twitter’s API changes.
Boid is available on Google Play for free, and I have been assured by the team that it will stay that way, and it is ideal for casual tweeters and power users alike.
Boid for Twitter (Beta), Android, Free
Download it from Google Play or visit the website
The keynote is over, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is official and Ice Cream Sandwich finally has a version number, but how does it all look?
Firstly, the phone. The Super AMOLED HD 1280 x 720 16:9 screen sounds fantastic, even if at the mahoosive size of 4.65 inches. The 8.49mm deep handset houses a full gigabyte of RAM, a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments dual core chip and 2 cameras. The 1.3MP front shooter is standard fare but one expects better than a 5MP lens on the back, especially in comparison to the fantastic cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S II, Nokia N8 and of course the iPhone 4S. An NFC chip is incorporated for Android Beam tap-to-share and of course Google Wallet whenever it launches on this side of the pond. The phone will ship with Android 4.0 and will come in both LTE and HSPA+ variants, depending on location and demand. No pricing has been announced, but NTT DoCoMo will be carrying the phone in Japan along with it being another Verizon exclusive stateside if earlier leaks are to be believed.
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