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Leaks, leaks and more leaks. That’s the word of the week in the Android world over the past seven days. This one-time run of week 42 of 2013 has hosted Nexus 5 leaks on the Google Play store, giving us a glimpse of the design and pricing of the device. We’ve also had a sneak peek at the future of SMS in Android post-KitKat and an unofficial glimpse at a redesigned Google Play Store for Android. Let’s jump in and take a look!

With Android 4.0+, Google introduced the Holo scheme of design principles that promoted clean and digitally authentic design. Many third-party apps have since adopted these design themes, but the phenomenon isn’t exclusive to just social networking clients and calculators. In this roundup, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen awesome Holo-inspired games that you can grab for your Android handset from the Play Store today!


I have used Android since late 2010, when it started becoming a more mature operating system and a respected player on the market. Although I switched to Google’s platform about 2 years after its initial release, the system has kept on evolving, and came to be my favorite mobile operating system. Android has been a trendsetter over the years and has introduced several handy innovations, such as a central notification hub, remote installation of applications and more. Even today, Android has features neither iOS nor Windows Phone or Blackberry have and remains a source of inspiration thanks to its unified sharing system and widgets.

Nonetheless, not all Android devices are consistent and easy to use at first, and many find iOS to be simpler to get accustomed to. While I don’t fully agree with this, I have compared the ease of use of my iPad with my Galaxy Note II, and it is clear that there are instances where Android could learn a bit from the simplicity of iOS.


In the first of a new series on Android.Appstorm, I look in turn at each of the Android manufacturers and the changes they make to Android’s start up, interface and basic functionality. In each case, does the end result justify the huge investment in programming time and the resulting delays for end users in seeing each new version and update for the Android OS?

Here, for the purposes of the review, Samsung’s TouchWiz is implemented on Android 4.1.1 on the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S III mini, and on Android 4.2.2 on the Galaxy S4 — I’ve sprinkled screenshots from each throughout, as needed. Summary? There are significant benefits here for new users, and for advanced users too, provided they’re happy to delve deeply into Settings to turn a few things off. The level of Samsung’s ‘additions’ to the platform is slightly worrying in places but is, overall, manageable.


Holo first saw light in Android 3.0 for tablets and has since found popularity in Android 4.0 and above with Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean. No doubt the best looking aspect of stock apps, it was only a matter of time before the design principles started to make their way into third-party apps.

In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at some of our favourite Holo apps that you can install to give your phone the design unity it deserves!


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’re probably aware of the battle that has been raging between the iOS and Android platforms. Loyalists on both sides have been taking turns throwing punches at each other. For a good few years, the one punch Android fans were having a tough time deflecting was about the visual quality of apps on iOS. Make no mistake: to this day, iOS apps trump their Android counterparts in the aesthetics department.

Things have been changing pretty rapidly though, and since our first roundup of beautiful Android apps, a huge number of new contenders have arrived. Here, then, is a look and some more Android apps that are gorgeous to look at and – in most cases, if not all – also do a stellar job of functioning as well as they look.


This is one of those arguments that keeps coming up: “Android is ugly”. Well, okay, it’s usually framed as, “Android is ugly compared to iOS“, as in Connor’s recent article.

But you know what? I don’t think that Android, as a platform, is so hideous that we should be embarrassed about getting a Desire out in the same room as an iPhone user.

Okay, vanilla Android is a little plain — so install a new launcher, get a decent wallpaper, and replace the stock apps.

I’ve seen a lot of comments about Android apps being less attractive than their iOS counterparts. On paper, I guess this is annoying, but to be honest, I don’t care. None of the big apps I use every day (like Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote) look ugly to me on their own; it’s only when I actually compare them to the iPhone versions that I see why people complain. I do consider some of the apps I use regularly to be unattractive, like iSyncr and Titanium Backup, but their features more than make up for this. Maybe I just have bad taste?

So my question to you is: do you think Android is so ugly that it’s actually a problem?

The Mac vs PC argument is long-standing and has evolved over the years. However, recent times have introduced a second major battle in the technology industry: Apple vs Google. The platform war has become mobile with most arguments coming down to Android vs iOS.

However, most of the core points on the Android side centre around the OS rather than the applications. Some argue that Android’s open nature is an advantage, while the iPhone defenders mainly look at apps, and how many there are. Both are valid arguments but in the average consumer’s mind, the need for quality applications is a big one. (more…)

The strict review guidelines followed in the Apple iOS App Store, in spite of all the flak it gets for being too strict or whimsical at times, ensures a certain quality for applications that get on the market. The Android Market’s open nature tends to work against it in some aspects, not the last of which is eye-candy. For those yearning for good, usable and contemporary UI design, trying to find the right applications in the Android Market can be quite a horrifying encounter.

Let us save you that hassle then. Presented here are 40+ Android applications that boast some of the best user interfaces and icons. Although most of these applications score high on usability and utility, those are not the primary criteria for selection in this list. What we were looking for — and hopefully succeeded in selecting — were applications that offer gorgeous interfaces and equally suitable icons.