When it comes to information, Wikipedia changed the game. It’s become the mobile argument decider, and is perfect for that moment you find that you’re the only one at the lunch table that has no clue as to what a “Poké Ball” is.
The Android port is getting an update; this one brings a new feed look; the current iteration looks to be dynamic and personalized.
Additionally, the search bar is front and center, with a telltale microphone that underscores the incorporated voice search.
– Introducing the Explore feed: a complete redesign to the app’s home screen. The feed offers personalized, dynamic Wikipedia content for you to dive into, including current events, trending articles, reading suggestions, and more.
– Voice-integrated search in the app.
– Miscellaneous bug and compatibility fixes.
Once again, it’s Theme Thursday, where I dig through the Android Market to find the latest ways to prettify your Android handset or tablet. For this week’s theme, I decided to do something a little more bold and daring than the social norm; I went pink.
Did you know that pink used to be considered a boys’ color? According to Wikipedia, in the early 20th Century, pink was considered appropriate for boys because, being related to the color red, it was a more masculine and authoritative color, whereas blue was more delicate and dainty. Then, for some unknown reason, attitudes shifted in the 1940s. Since then, blue has been for boys and pink for girls. So, depending on whether you want to prove how strong and authoritative you are, or dainty and delicate, it looks like pink might just be your color.
Coming from ADDesigns, PinkyBubbles is a theme for ADW Launcher, a highly customizable home screen replacement that allows you to radically alter the way your phone’s graphical user interface looks and behaves. Everything from icons, docks, wallpapers and layout can be easily changed. Once you’ve got ADW Launcher up and running on your phone, all you need do is install the theme and select it within ADW’s settings.
PinkyBubbles features more than 250 custom app icons plus 165 extra icons in an icon pack for use with ADW’s custom shortcuts.
This theme also comes with 4 matching wallpapers featuring pink swirls, floral starbursts and other interesting collaborations between pink, silver, gray and black.
Wherever your tastes may fall on the color pink, you have to admit, it’s a striking look. So, whether you believe real men really do wear pink, or you think you’re honestly fooling anyone by telling them it’s actually magenta, this theme is not for the shy types. Be bold!
One of the coolest developments of the smartphone era has been the rise of augmented reality. Using your phone’s camera, AR apps place information and entertainment directly onto the world around you. In essence, they turn your phone into a magical lens, through which the world becomes more interesting and local knowledge can easily be attained.
Wikitude World Browser, from Mobilizy GMBH, allows you to build an AR world of your own, filled with details, directions and other snippets of information about the area you find yourself in. It also lets you look at any geo-tagged tweets, Flickr pictures and last.fm users that are around you as well. You’re building up a picture of your surroundings, using data that’s widely available on the internet.
For example, if you’re in a new town and you fancy finding something interesting to do, you can set the app to show all of the Foursquare check-in points. Hold your phone up and Wikitude will show you the direction you have to travel, as well as how far away the check-in points are. There’s a handy map view as well, if you want to double check your route to whatever activity you fancy.
Wikitude also allows you to create your own â€œworldsâ€, by joining together different search options. Maybe you want to check on all the tweets that have been posted nearby, and all the Wikipedia points of interest â€“ create your own world and you can do that every time you’re somewhere new.
There are a few problems with the app â€“ it’s awkward to use if you’re sitting down, because the app expects you to be standing up, meaning you have to wave it about above your head if you’re using the camera view. Also, sometimes the directions aren’t perfect â€“ a fault of the information the app is collating rather than the app itself â€“ but it’s still annoying when you’ve followed your camera into a dead end rather than a happening nightspot.
As a first step into the world of AR apps, Wikitude is brilliant. It shows off a lot of features and ideas that are, over time, going to become the norm in smartphone applications. It’s not perfect, but updates and more user input will likely smooth out the worst of its problems. If you haven’t downloaded Wikitude yet, then might I suggest you make your next stop the Android Market, because it’s going to open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.