custom Stories May 12, 2016

instagram icons

If you’re unhappy with the new Instagram icon, you’re either naturally averse to change or you — perhaps more likely — think that the iOS-inspired glyph and gradient just doesn’t look too hot on your Android home screen. I’m in the latter camp, but no matter your reasoning, there’s always an anonymous internet user ready to solve your problems. In just a few quick steps, you can replace the new unicorn vomit-inspired Instagram icon with one of the above much tamer options…

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custom Stories February 25, 2016

YouTube gets new custom blurring tool to blur moving objects & anything else in videos

YouTube announced a new blurring tool for creators today that lets them apply custom blurring effects to any objects in their videos. The new functionality is an enhancement of the face blurring feature that YouTube has had for a few years now.

custom Stories April 15, 2015

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Evidence of a Moto Maker-like “Google Workshop” service for designing custom Nexus 5 cases surfaced last year, but no real product or service ever came of the rumors. The speculation has now been given new life, though, thanks to a recently posted photo from a Googler on Google+, and this time the Nexus 6—Google’s latest flagship—is the subject smartphone getting a custom case… expand full story

custom Stories February 2, 2015

Paranoid Android hits Lollipop in newly-released 5.0 Alpha 1 build

The team behind the second most popular custom Android ROM, Paranoid Android, has today updated the software to have a baseline AOSP Lollipop 5.0.2. Along with this first Lollipop-based build, the team has included a bunch of new improvements and features.

Today’s update is “ready to be used in public,” according to the Paranoid Android team. But keep in mind that this release is still an alpha build. “Hope for awesome buttery smoothness, be ready for a bumpy ride,” the announcement post says.

Here’s what new in this version:

  • Update the baseline to AOSP Lollipop 5.0.2
  • Improvements to Heads Up, such as an option to disable heads up interruptions completely
  • Add Quick Unlock
  • Extend the power menu
  • Animate the volume panel in a more material manner
  • Make it possible to skip songs using volume buttons when the device is locked
  • Add CM12 Theme Engine
  • Fix various small annoyances from AOSP

The last version of Paranoid Android was released four months ago, version 4.6 beta 5.

custom Stories December 11, 2014

SwiftKey updated with five new festive themes in time for the holidays

The popular third-party keyboard SwiftKey for Android has been updated today with minor performance enhancements and five new festive themes in time for the holiday season. The update arrives less than a month after the last major version of SwiftKey was seeded with faster performance and several new languages. The update should be rolling out on the Play Store now.

custom Stories November 25, 2014

YouTube is now offering creators custom URLs that match their channel names

YouTube will now let creators get a hold of a custom channel URL that matches their channel name. The company noted in a blog post that many YouTubers have a channel name, which is often the user-facing brand of their channel, that doesn’t match the original URL they received when first signing up for YouTube. Users that want to change their URL to match their channel name will soon have the ability to do so:

When Tati joined YouTube, her username was GlamLifeGuru, which made her channel’s URL youtube.com/GlamLifeGuru. But as her channel grew, her fans embraced “Tati” as her brand. So her channel web address — often the quickest way back for her fans to watch more of her content — didn’t match her channel name and branding… To make sure creators like Tati and all of you have a consistent place for new and existing fans to find you, we’re introducing an easier way to pick custom URLs that match your channel names and branding.

YouTube is reaching out to creators with more than 500 subscribers starting this week allowing them to claim a custom URL. The company says it will offer several URL choices that are “based on your channel’s description, Google identity and associated websites.”

It doesn’t look like users can initiate the process manually yet, but instead will have to keep an eye out for the “Get a new custom URL” notification in YouTube’s Creator Studio.

YouTube has full instructions and more info in a support document here.

custom Stories November 20, 2014

SwiftKey Android Lollipop Material Design

Just weeks after receiving a Material Design makeover for Android Lollipop, the popular custom keyboard SwiftKey for Android has been updated with performance improvements and support for twelve new languages. The latest version of SwiftKey for Android is available now through the Play Store as a free update. expand full story

custom Stories April 2, 2014

Google continued its April Fools tradition with a long list of pranks yesterday, one of which included announcing a new “Shelfies” feature for Gmail that let users snap and share selfies to use as background in Gmail. The feature, which was completely functional within Gmail yesterday, was clearly just a bit of fun for April Fools day, but Google announced today that it will actually stick around as a new custom theme sharing feature.

While Gmail has allowed users to create custom themes since 2012, it will now provide an option to “Share your theme” within settings. The Gmail team will also be sharing some of its favorite themes shared by the community through its Google+ page. Here’s how it works: expand full story

custom Stories March 7, 2014

Motorola announced today on its blog that its releasing a new “College Collection” of customization options through Moto Maker that will allow those purchasing a Moto X to apply custom school colors and logos for a long list of schools in the US. It’s also offering a discount on the device for students.  expand full story

custom Stories November 11, 2013

MotoMaker

When Motorola launched its first smartphone as a Google company with the Moto X back in August, the big stand out feature for the device was the ability to apply over 2000 customizations at the time of purchase. Motorola let users pick the front, back, and accent colors, match headphone and case colors, and more all though its MotoMaker.com online ordering tool. Unfortunately, until today the MotoMaker tool was exclusive to AT&T with other carriers only selling white and black models of the Moto X.

The good news is AT&T’s exclusivity window has now officially ended and starting today you can order a customized Moto X through Moto Maker from all major US carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. expand full story

custom Stories May 30, 2013

Google Calendar for Android updated with custom colors & redesigned date/time pickers

Google announced briefly on its official Android blog last night that a new update to the Google Calendar for Android app would be rolling out and with it comes a couple highly requested features.

First off, Google is adding new customization options including the ability to select colors for calendar entries directly from on the device. It’s also including redesigned date/time pickers and making it easier to schedule repeating events:

For all of you world travelers, our redesigned timezone picker makes it simpler to find the region that you’re looking for, whether you’re in San Francisco, Tokyo or Zurich…Finally, it’s easier to schedule repeating events. You can now set events to repeat every Tuesday and Thursday, every month, or every 7 weeks, it’s completely up to you… Adding events is now easier and more fun with our redesigned date and time pickers, which let you schedule your special dinner date or the start of your well-deserved vacation in a snap.

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