What’s on our home screens! [Roundtable]

Image result for What's on our home screens! [Roundtable]

One of the things that people love about Android is how easy it is to customize and personalize. The companies that make the phones we all love have no desire to restrict us to keep the design and style they use, and nobody cares how beautiful or gaudy we make things. Some even provide a theme engine to make it easy to mix things up with one tap.

Everyone does things a little differently, and that includes the staff here at Android Central. This week we’re going around the table so each of us can show how we do it, and of course, we want to see how you do it, too!

Andrew Martonik

For me, it all starts with Google Now Launcher — or, the stock launcher when using my Pixel. I don’t necessarily mind the stock launchers on most other phones, but when it comes to keeping things visually consistent between phones I like to toss Now Launcher on them all. I also really like having the Google Now feed just a swipe away.

I use a single home screen, with a large portion dedicated to the Google Calendar widget so I can always see what’s happening at a glance. I only use a couple of folders — primarily my “tools” folder that has things like Drive and Dropbox, travel apps and banking apps. The rest are single apps arranged from bottom to top in terms of how many times I use them.

Daniel Bader

I used to be ambivalent about setting up all of my phones the same way. I’d either use the default launcher and haphazardly create folders on my main screen, or I’d just leave the home screens alone and use the app drawer. Well, old me is disgusting.

These days, I have a Nova Launcher backup on Dropbox that I use for every new phone, and it’s amazing. I have my 15 most important apps on the home screen and a number of secondary important apps in folders on the screen to the right. Then, simple Google Calendar and Todoist widgets and I’m good to go.

Nova Launcher recently got even better with a recent beta update that added native Google Feed support. I’m in love.

As for icon packs, I messed around with a bunch of them before settling on the simplest: Pixel Icon Pack. This set of icons mimics what you’d find on the Google Pixel, round icons and all, and it’s great. I have yet to find an icon that’s not perfect.

I’ve experimented with other launchers, and on devices like the OnePlus 5, Google Pixel and Moto Z2 Play I tend not to change the launcher since I’m quite happy with the stock experience. Aside from Nova, however, I’m quite fond of Evie Launcher, which is new and still growing in popularity. My next go-to icon pack is Dives, which has a great selection of icons and is perfect for when I feel like something different.

Jen Karner


I don’t tend to change what’s on my home screen very often, primarily because once I find a setup that I like, I tend to stick with it. I installed a Beauty and the Beast theme a few months ago, and haven’t really touched or adjusted anything since.

I’ve got a widget up top for my music player, the weather, and a few groups of the apps I use most often. This includes the Google Suite, all of my messenger apps, and social media. I’ve also got it set up so that Google Play and my camera can both be launched with just the press of a button.



Marc Lagace

I don’t spend too much time thinking messing with themes or tweaking the app icons on my phone because I prefer a minimalist look and like to keep things simple. If I’m going to install my own launcher, it’s typically going to be Google Now. Currently, my home screen is quite bare, with just a few widgets (Spotify, Weather, and Google Search) and my home row of the stock apps that I rely on a daily basis.

I use the second screen to store all my most-used apps, and I’ve actually been testing out a new layout on the taller Galaxy S8. By default, new apps populate from the top-left corner down, but that’s quite the stretch for my thumb when I’m using the phone with just my right hand. So I determined the natural range of motion of my thumb and mapped my go-to apps within that grid. Also props to Samsung for their Game Launcher app, which keeps all my games in one place without cluttering the home screen.


Ara Wagoner

Well, my home screens change a lot for my many, many theming articles, but they’ve been especially chaotic of late as I deviate from my modus operandi of dock folders. I’ve been using dock folders for the last five years, and while they’ve worked wonders for me, I get that not everyone is onboard with them. So I’ve ditched the dock entirely and taken to have a small array of apps scattered about the home screen in various places depending on the theme.

While the icon layouts have changed a lot in the last month, my widgets have barely changed. I’m still in love with the themeability of Material Music Komponent for KWGT, which I can easily color match to my wallpaper using the hex codes extracted by Kolorette. 1Weather’s widgets might not be quite as themeable as KWGT, but they’re a hell of a lot easier to set up, and they link to my favorite weather app when I need to see forecasting outside the newscasts I direct. I will say that Google Search widgets have been making a comeback on my recent themes, both to remind me of the Google Now pane Nova Launcher Beta added and to help add another color pop on my screens.

Check out my many home screen themes from this month on Google Photos and tell me if there are any themes here you’d like to see instructions for on Android Central. I’ve also been experimenting with themes in Action Launcher and Evie Launcher to give my beloved Nova Launcher a break, so if you want theme instructions for another launcher, give me a shout!

Florence “my home screen is plain af” Ion

This is my home screen. It’s the stock Pixel launcher, with stock fonts and stock icons and everything is stock, stock, STOCK! I want none of your fancy graphics or crazy involved theming engines. All I want out of life is a simple home screen that’s easy to navigate.

I’ve been honestly working on my perfect home screen since the first day I brought home an Android smartphone. Do you remember how limiting iOS was/is/will always be? And how you could only display your icons in a grid across various screens? Why bother with all of that when you can do what you like with the Android interface? I certainly did what I like. I kept it simple.

My home screen life is pretty tame. I’ve got the most important apps in my world all at the top, including Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. There are also two small widgets provided by HDWidgets that help indicate when my next alarm is and when the sun will rise and set. Below that, I’ve shortcuts to all the important Google stuff; I’ve got Allo and Android Pay in the application dock, wedged right there between the stock camera app, the dialer, and Android Messages. The apps in this row are the ones I rely on most frequently and I’ll swap them out depending on where I’m at in life.

Jerry Hildenbrand

The BlackBerry KEYone and the launcher’s keyboard shortcuts mean I don’t need home screen icons.

Android 7.1.1 and its System UI Tuner means I don’t have to have a buttload of icons across my status bar. Except for that pesky VPN notification.

I put a clock and weather widget there so I know when the screen is on. The widgets are part of the Lines icon set, which is pretty close to the way old BBOS 7 themes looked.

Less is more, yo. I’m good like this.

Your turn

We all really want to check out how you do it.

Take a minute to dump a screenshot post in the AC Wallpapers, Ringtones, and Themes forum then kick us a link in the comments. We know some of y’all can do amazing stuff, so share it!


Rent in Portland is higher than average. But so is income

Image result for Rent in Portland is higher than average. But so is incomeRenters around Portland have been paying about 10 percent more than the national average as Bangor and Lewiston renters have seen costs drop through 2015.

That’s according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that measures purchasing power in metro areas around the country.

While goods and services generally cost less in Maine metro areas, rents varied widely. Bangor was about 10 percent below the national average and Lewiston was about 20 percent below, and dropping.


The bureau combines that cost data with income statistics, delivering a better sense of where in the country people stand to get the most bang for their buck.

While the data does compare costs to per capita income, it doesn’t provide a detailed look at housing or rental affordability.

[Here’s where to find the most affordable homes in Maine]

The figures show that while rental costs are dropping, purchasing power per resident around Bangor and Lewiston still hasn’t grown as quickly as in the Portland area since 2008.

The chart below shows short-term changes on the vertical axis and the longer-term change, from 2008 to 2015, on the horizontal axis. Maine’s metro areas are in blue.

Image result for Rent in Portland is higher than average. But so is income

The figures show Portland-area purchasing power has grown more since 2008, at 5.6 percent, but it still lags the national average of 7 percent growth.

As opposed to overall income figures, the per-capita measure controls in some way for differences in population growth across the metro areas.

By that measure, Portland is above-average nationally. Bangor and Lewiston were behind, but showed signs of catching up in 2015 as they grew faster during that period than Portland.


As a whole, Maine’s per capita real personal income grew 2.8 percent from 2014 to 2015, lagging the national average of 3.4 percent.


United Grommets to buy United Widgets

Image result for United Grommets to buy United Widgets

ver wondered why news of those “secretive” merger talks between United Grommets and United Widgets leaks out? Cass Business School has a theory, as Martin Waller explains.

Leaking information on mergers and acquisitions before any public announcement adds an extra $21 million to the average price at which that company is taken out, according to research by Cass and Intralinks published overnight, which gives United Grommets (and its advisers) good reason to ignore that Second World War advice to “keep mum”.

The research also reveals that ambitious financial journalists (and insider traders) should head to India, where 16.7 per cent of deals were leaked last year.


Widgets in iOS 10: Notifications, streaming videos, 3D Touch and more

Apple’s use of the term “widgets” may not match what Android users consider a widget, but at the end of the day the two distinct approaches serve the same purpose: To provide snippets of information at a glance.

With iOS 10, widgets are still displayed in the Today view, and can still be accessed by sliding down the Notification Center and swiping to the left.

However, you can now access widgets in more places and they can and (eventually) do more.

More than just notifications on your lock screen

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

iOS 10’s lock screen has completely changed. Beyond the new unlocking method (which requires you to click the home button), you now swipe to the left to view your widgets. Using this same gesture, you can view widgets to the left of your main home screen on an unlocked device.

On an iPhone, you’ll see a single column, while on an iPad there are now two columns of widgets. You can edit the left and right side, or the single column but scrolling to the bottom of your widgets and tapping on Edit. Select the green “+” icon to add a widget, or the red “-” to remove one. Tap and hold on the three lined icon to put your respective widgets in order.

On a locked device, when you attempt to view a widget where personal information can come into play, such as the Activity widget, you will need to place your finger on the home button to unlock your device. Notice, you don’t actually press the home button to open the home screen. With your device unlocked, information in the Activity or Find My Friends (just two current examples) will fill in.

3D Touch

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Beyond iOS 10 widgets hiding just off the left side of your screen, apps that have been updated for iOS 10 can now show a widget when you Force Touch on its icon.

Pressing on an app icon reveals the standard shortcuts, plus a widget regardless of whether or not you’ve added it to your curated list in the Today View.

If you haven’t added a particular widget but want to, you can tap on the Add widget button when viewing it.

Streaming video, interaction and more!

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Now that we know how to access widgets in iOS 10, let’s talk about just what you can do with widgets.

While viewing your widgets, you will notice a button in the top-right corner of some widgets that says “Show more.” Selecting it will expand the widget. For something like the Calendar widget, you’ll see more of your upcoming agenda, whereas the Weather widget will show you the week’s forecast along with current conditions.

During the iOS 10 announcement, Apple used a sports app to demonstrate viewing stats for a basketball game and video highlights directly within the widget. This is an area of iOS 10 that will undoubtedly grow in feature set now that iOS 10 has officially launched and as developers begin to push updates to the masses.


[Update: Gone from the beta too] Twitter removes its homescreen widget support from the latest alpha

Twitter is struggling to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Life can be tough when you’re a social network that almost everyone has heard about but no one knows how to use when they’re just joining for the first time.

But despite these tumultuous times at Twitter’s headquarters, the Android app has seen some of its best days in the past few months: an overhauled Material Design inspired interface, a test for a night mode, Android N Direct Reply, and more. But instead of giving something new, the latest Twitter alpha 6.9.0 takes away a feature: the homescreen widget.

If you have the widget added to your homescreen, you will see the above message instead when you’re on the latest alpha. The widget is clearly no longer functional. Whether this change will carry through to the beta and stable versions remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Twitter’s Android developers are at least considering the possibility of removing the widget support altogether. Maybe they found out it wasn’t used all that much and the people who had added it were so few that it didn’t warrant keeping it alive and supported. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, feel free to cry foul in the comments below.

[Source:-Android Central]

Create A Scrollable Widget Full Of App Icons Using ‘Foldery’

There are a ton of apps for Android that allow you to improve your productivity. As this is Android we’re talking about, you have far more freedom than you’d have on iOS, for example. There are apps that can boost your messaging experience, multitasking, and even change the look and feel of your entire home screen while adding some extra features into the mix. Well, we’re here to talk about an app called Foldery Multicon Folder Widget’ or ‘Foldery’ in short, which is basically a widget that will help you organize your home screen in a unique way, read on.

Many of you probably have quite a few icons on your home screen, and some of you are probably reluctant to use too many home screen pages. Well, with Foldery, you can create scrollable widgets and place app icons inside of them. You can essentially create a 1-by-1 widget on your home screen and place a number of icons inside of it. You can go through them by swiping either vertically or horizontally, that’s totally up to you. If your launcher allows you to, you can resize this widget and truly take control of what will it look like. The app also allows you to manipulate the size of the icons you include, you can make them huge, or simply use the standard size, it’s totally up to you. You can also increase the number of columns you’d like to use in a widget, change the background of the widget, and Foldery also supports icon packs, which means you can use whichever icon pack you want, as long as it is installed on your smartphone.Foldery worked great during our testing, and the app is very well designed, it’s not exactly in line with the latest Material Design guidelines, but it looks nice and it’s fairly easy to navigate. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you can create only 1 Foldery widget in the free version of this application, if you’d like to add more of them, you’ll need to make an in-app purchase. Interesting enough, you have 5 levels of contributions to choose from, ranging from ‘Patronage’ to ‘Coconut Cocktail’, which essentially means you can choose how much you’d like to pay for the app, though do keep in mind that you won’t be able to pay less than $1. All of these aforementioned options will give you access to ‘Foldery Premium’, and this is a one-time payment.



6 Bitcoin Apps You Need to Know About

top bitcoin appstop bitcoin apps

If you are a bitcoin enthusiast, there are a few bitcoin apps you need to know about, as they might come in handy. Whether you want to earn a few free satoshis playing games in your free time, or whether you want to constantly keep track of bitcoin’s price, there is an app out there that will take care of your needs. Here are a few examples:


This free app allows you to check conversion rates for over 500 different cryptocurrencies, in over 40 different exchanges. Essentially, Cryptonator makes it easy for users to find out how much cryptocurrencies people own are worth.

It also includes a portfolio tool that allows users to see how their selected coins perform over a specific period of time, as well a “winners & losers” section that shows which coins are doing good, and which aren’t.


Bitcoin Ticker Widget is exactly what it sounds like it is: a widget that gives you bitcoin’s price directly on your home screen. Widgets with the price of other cryptocurrencies can also be set up, showing conversion rates for a few different fiat currencies. The prices shown in the widgets are taken from some of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, such as BTCC and Bitstamp.


If you want to introduce someone to bitcoin, you need to show them this game. Not only will it give you context to explain what blockchain technology is, but it will also help the other person earn a few satoshis and start playing around with bitcoin before they get serious about it. The game itself is pretty entertaining, and killing free time while earning bitcoin makes it a lot more enjoyable.


Bitcoin Map is a free app you can install on your smartphone that shows you where you can spend your bitcoins. This way you will be able to know whether the local burger joint accepts bitcoin or not. Even if you know every brick-and-mortar store accepting bitcoins in your area, the app may still come in handy when you decide to go for a road trip. There are other Bitcoin map apps out there, but most of them only give you the location of bitcoin ATMs, not actual brick-and-mortar stores accepting the cryptocurrency.


Blockfolio is a free financial app aimed at cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Not only does it show price information for bitcoin and over 800 altcoins, it can be set to send the user a notification whenever a specific currency reaches a price threshold. Moreover, as if that insane number of altcoins wasn’t enough, it also features over 30 different fiat currencies so it can reach a global audience.


zTrader is the trading client app every cryptocurrency trader needs. It features information from most major exchanges and can show in-depth analysis on different currencies, giving the user a great market overview. The app is pretty complex and gives users tons of information that can, at first, be overwhelming. It will, however, make traders’ lives easier.

The app features secure, encrypted storage of API keys, and even though it’s free to download, there is also a pro version.


bunq heeft handige widget met saldo van al je rekeningen

bunq-app met rekeningoverzicht.

Het is nu een stuk eenvoudiger om snel het saldo van al je bunq-rekeningen te bekijken. De app heeft met ingang van de nieuwste versie namelijk een widget, waarin je het saldo van al je rekeningen snel kunt bekijken in het widget-overzicht op je iPhone.

Saldowidget van bunq

De widgets in iOS zijn handige kleine toepassingen, waardoor je allerlei informatie van een app kunt ophalen zonder dat je de desbetreffende app hoeft te openen. Er zijn allerlei apps die gebruikmaken van zo’n widget en met de update van vandaag heeft ook bunq deze toegevoegd aan haar eigen app. Met de widget van bunq kun je zo snel het saldo van al je bunq-rekeningen bekijken, zonder dat je daarvoor de app hoeft te openen. Dit is vergelijkbaar met de saldowidget van ING Bankieren die een jaar geleden toegevoegd werd. Toch zijn er wel een paar verschillen in de saldowidget van ING en bunq.

bunq-widget met saldo.De saldowidget van ING toont behalve het saldo ook het IBAN-nummer van de rekening en de datum waarop het saldo voor het laatst is bijgewerkt. De widget van bunq laat alleen zien wat het saldo is, samen met de eigen gekozen naam van de bijbehorende rekening. Bovendien werkt de widget van bunq alleen als je ingelogd bent. De bunq-app logt na een bepaalde tijd automatisch uit. Hierdoor krijg je in de widget de melding te zien dat je in moet loggen voordat je het saldo kunt bekijken. Dit maakt de widget wat minder bruikbaar dan die van de ING, omdat je daar altijd het saldo kunt bekijken, ongeacht of je ingelogd bent of niet.

Ben je desondanks bang dat iemand anders jouw saldo kan zien vanaf een vergrendelde iPhone, dan kun je dit eenvoudig uitschakelen. Door het Vandaag-scherm met alle widgets uit te schakelen vanaf een vergrendelde iPhone, moet je het toestel eerst ontgrendelen voordat de widgets zichtbaar zijn. In onderstaande tip lees je hoe je dit instelt.


‘Selling Baby Parts Like Widgets on an Assembly Line’: Pro-Lifers

WASHINGTON — Prominent pro-life speakers took on various issues concerning Planned Parenthood during this weekend’s #ProtestPP rallies. Demonstrators gathered at some 200 locations across the nation to protest forced taxpayer funding of the abortion giant.

At a rally in front of a clinic in Orange, California, undercover investigator David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress blasted Planned Parenthood for its alleged trade in body parts of the unborn.

“This Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino County is one of the places – this exact clinic right behind me, this exact mega-center where they do abortions up to six months – this clinic is one of the places where for years and years they have been harvesting and selling the body parts of our unborn brothers and sisters, like so many widgets on an assembly line,” Daleiden stated.

Daleiden was part of the undercover investigative team that released shocking videos of Planned Parenthood employees talking about this gruesome practice of harvesting those body parts.

“We now know for almost eight years this Planned Parenthood clinic was partnered with DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics up in Yorba Linda, where every week, multiple times a week, their technicians would come into the center and harvest the body parts of late-term aborted children and then re-sell them to make half-a-million dollars every year,” Daleiden charged.

He added, “Planned Parenthood knew that this was going on for eight years.  They received kickback contributions from DaVinci in exchange for the relationship.  And for eight years they used a fraudulent inaccurate consent form to try to coerce their patients to give consent for their body parts to be harvested and sold for profit against the law.”

“They are an integral part of the criminal trade in the body parts of our unborn brothers and sisters and they must be held accountable to the law for their barbarism,” Daleiden said.

Speaking at a rally in Aurora, Illinois, Jill Stanek of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List talked about how Planned Parenthood dominates the abortion scene.

She spoke of Planned Parenthood’s record of “killing one in three babies in the United States from abortion.  Their percentage of abortion increased from 20 percent to 34 percent in just six years.”

Stanek also noted that the amount of taxpayer funding going to the abortion giant has soared in recent years.

“I’m sure that this is in line with President Obama being in charge: Planned Parenthood’s proceeds from our tax dollars increased by 50 percent since 2007,” she said.

At the same rally in Aurora, Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League blasted Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women Foundation, for her recent written critique of pro-life health care advocates.

“One of the things she complained about in her article was the website GetYourCare.org,” Scheidler told CBN News.

“When someone says, ‘Well, how are women going to get their health care?’ – they’re going to go to GetYourCare.org and they’re going to find health care that they need in their community.  O’Neill was complaining that that list of health care providers included dentists,” he said.

“Some of them are dentists!” Scheidler gasped in a tone of mock outrage, then asked, “Show of hands: Whoever’s been to the dentist?”

Every hand at the rally went up.

Then the pro-life leader asked, “Can you go to Planned Parenthood for dental care?  No.  Can you go to Planned Parenthood for the flu?  No.  Can you go to Planned Parenthood if you’ve got a broken leg?  No.”

He continued, “Can you go to Planned Parenthood if you’ve got behavioral issues, depression, heart disease, if you’ve got a problem with sleep, if you’ve got back pain?  One of the most common problems Americans have: back pain.   Planned Parenthood?  Can’t help you.”

Referring again to the pro-abortion NOW Foundation president, Scheidler concluded, “Terry O’Neill thinks the only thing a woman needs to see a doctor for is an abortion or maybe some contraceptive pills.  Doesn’t that show you their mentality?”

“That they would complain we’re trying to connect women to dentists along with other kinds of health care,” he continued. “We believe in comprehensive health care for Americans.   We want to provide that any way we can.”

“And that’s what GetYourCare.org is about,” he concluded. “And that’s the difference between the pro-life movement and the pro-death movement.”

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