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Pattrn for Android: A Techno Speak Review

Pattrn for Android: A Techno Speak Review

Pattrn on the Xoom and Galaxy Nexus

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.

Check out a gallery of screenshots here and get the app from the Google Play store here. 

LG Nexus 4 reviewed and leaked on Google+

LG Nexus 4 reviewed and leaked on Google+

lg nexus 4 front

LG’s Nexus phone seems to have a name now, as pictures posted on Google+ have “LG Nexus 4” listed as the device name in the pictures’ EXIF data. Want to know who posted the photos? LG and Google employees. If that’s not confirmation enough for you, I don’t know what is.  The photos themselves are nothing special, and the ones posted by LG have been removed (the person who took them was testing the front-facing camera and an LG Electronics lanyard is clearly visible around his neck. Read on after the break for more information and a gallery.

exifdata

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LG’s Optimus Nexus spied in the wild

LG’s Optimus Nexus spied in the wild

LG Optimus Nexus

Images hit the blogosphere last night of the LG-E960 – LG’s Nexus device, maybe called the Optimus Nexus. Alleged specs are a quad core Qualcomm Krait S4 Pro procesoor, 4.7″ IPS screen, and onscreen buttons. All in all, rather standard fare for a late-2012 device. What do I like? While reports are that the Optimus Nexus won’t have a removable back I do see two screws flanking the microUSB port on the bottom. Modding FTW!  Secondly, the bezel is nice and slim and, like the Galaxy Nexus before it, this phone’s facade takes the big black slab to the max. I personally adore the Monolith look.  The back, on the other hand, seems to get some much needed love.  It has a weird, glossy texture akin to a really fine glass mosaic.  Don’t know if it will carry on to the final design, but I sure hope it does. Read on after the break for more photos and information.

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[DOWNLOAD] Get the Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard on your Android phone now!

[DOWNLOAD] Get the Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard on your Android phone now!

 

Thanks to the enterprising folks over at XDA the Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard (with a lot of supported languages) is available as an apk file for download. It is the full ICS keyboard, except for the new fangled voice-input/dictation system.

It works well and far better than the Gingerbread offering, despite looking quite similar. There a few differences, such as the flat-gradient coloured keys and soft blue accents, and it is also a wee bit faster in operation too. I’m keeping it on my Desire Z even after my Galaxy Nexus arrives, how about you?

You can download it here.

icskeyboard.apk