HTC has officially confirmed on Twitter that 4.1 Jelly Bean is now rolling out across all of Europe for the HTC One X. What does it get you? Sense 4+, for one, as well as a few minor tweaks. What should really get the blood pumping is Project Butter (to iron out those rough laggy patches) and Google Now. Excited? I hope so. Now, go hit that check update button a billion times – and hope you’re lucky enough your CID is one of the first on the roll out list. Shout out in the comments if you’ve got it! Check out the original tweet here.
If there’s just one single are in which Android stands head and shoulders above the competition it just has to be notifications. Windows Phone’s notifications are basic, but rather rudimentary. Notification Centre on iOS is a step in the right direction for the platform but is still a clumsy and inefficient method of handling notifications. No no, Android is indubitably superior. Notifications on Jelly Bean are clean, organised and oh so versatile. Any app can plug into the notifications and expandable notifications just make everything that much better. See the basics when busy, expand for more info when the shade isn’t quite that full.
That, fellow readers, is the basic premise behind Notification Weather for Android. A weather app hiding away in your notification shade. As I said earlier this app has 2 views, a “collapsed” view and and “expanded” view. The UI is spot on – the damn thing looks stock! Really, Matias Duarte himself could have designed this. Read on past the break for more.
On HTC Germany’s Facebook page HTC officially denied rumours of the Deluxe DLX coming to Europe. In response to tech blogger Igo Hochheim HTC said
Hi Ingo, the Deluxe will unfortunately not come to Europe. Kind regards, Dennis
So, what’s going to happen? My two cents are that we will still see a DNA variant with the same specs but perhaps repackaged into something different. A Note 2 competitor perhaps? Or a DLX by a different name. That could work. Can HTC really afford to miss out on an opportunity like this?
The good folks over at GSMArena.com got their hands on what look to be official press shots of the HTC Deluxe DLX – the Droid DNA and J Butterfly’s European brother. On the outside, the device looks nearly identical to the Droid DNA (a CDMA yet SIM unlocked Verizon exclusive) and it seems we can get it in the same red and black configuration as the DNA. The other colours are a particularly nice silver and white, and an all black. To me the white model bears a striking resemblance to the HTC Sensation XL. Check out the rumoured specs and more shots after the break.
Sure, us Maltese don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but we are pretty damn grateful for offers like this. Swiftkey 3 and Swiftkey 3 Tablet Keyboard are HALF-PRICE for Thanksgiving and Black Friday (today, the 22nd and tomorrow the 23rd).
Right at this very moment the homescreen on my Galaxy Nexus is perfect. Over the past 10 months I have fine tuned it to a point where I can probably use it with my eyes closed. My most used/most important apps are all in their respective folders, all the widgets are set to display all the information I need at a glance, I’ve got contact shortcuts, etc. That doesn’t mean I’m happy though. The one thing I can’t seem to get right is the wallpaper.
I’m guessing most of you out there have been through this. First you get bored of the stock wallpapers. Then you try a photo, but all the interesting details are hidden behind widgets and icons and whatnot. My solution?
Patterns. Nice, modern (or classic, or art nouveau) patterns. Pattrn is an app built around that. But how good is it?
What is it?
Pattrn is a simple app that connects to a database of high resolution wallpapers online. Officially,
Pattrn is an unique wallpaper app for phones and tablets that gives you access to the huge collection of patterns created by the COLOURlovers community.
That’s it in a nutshell.
What does it do?
Pattrn let’s you browse 2 categories of patterns: Latest and Popular. Each category gives you a snippet of the pattern which you then press for an expanded view. In this screen you can “star” the pattern (thus adding it to favourites), see the primary colours (limited to 5), and set it as your wallpaper.
One major feature that I love, however, is the option to change wallpapers on a weekly (every Monday) or daily basis. The wallpapers can be sourced from your favourites (that’s what I went with) or you can let Pattrn surprise you. The choice is nice and greatly appreciated.
On a tablet, it’s gorgeous. Features are identical, with the only difference being that the tablet UI makes the most of the larger screens to show you a larger pattern. You can’t swipe from category to category, these are instead listed on the left. Search is at the top right. Very easy to use, quite intuitive.
What doesn’t it do well?
Not much, actually, but there are a few niggles.
Firstly, load times can be a little slow. I’m not entirely sure if its my network or the app itself, but the Latest column is slow to load both on WiFi and 3G.
Secondly, I think the You column could use some eye candy. For instance, instead of 2 buttons why not have 2 sections with thumbnails of the patterns stored in each? It’s a small detail that would help to make a great app perfect.
The tablet version has one particular caveat. Unfortunately, any patterns you starred on your phone will NOT be synchronised with your tablet. However, I reached out to Pattrn’s developer, Lucas Rocha, who has this to say:
Yes, I have plans for syncing your favourites, wallpaper history and saved searches to the cloud. I’m still figuring out the infra details for it to happen.
Conclusion and Rating
If you crave beautiful patterns some and/or variety on your homescreen then go and get Pattrn right now. If you hate patterns, well, why are you still reading this?
I’m always on the lookout for the next best app, but I really can’t see myself ditching this for another app soon. Pattrn aims to be one thing, and one thing only, a portal to the COLOURlovers database, and its execution is near spotless.