It seems mobile customization is regaining popularity with the recent rush of software updates on Android and even iOS. Not everyone will witness the fresh capabilities of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich’s lock screen security features first hand, so It’s no wonder GO Locker’s custom lock screen options have become so popular this week. Google’s also readying its mobile apps for a brighter future with ICS, pushing a major revamp to its Google+ social app.
GO Locker (Free)
If you’re tired of looking at the same lock screen on your Android, why not customize it? Your idle screen can get a touch of personalization with the GO Locker app, providing a variety of wallpapers and themes. And if you don’t like the pre-selected options, head to the GO store to see a few additional options. Beyond the look of your lock screen you can also change the sound associated with unlock, and even the notifications for missed calls, new texts and email. If needed, set an emergency unlock that activates with a long press on the volume button. You’ll need to install GO Launcher Ex before using GO Locker or any of its other theme apps.
Google+ update (Free)
Google’s serious about its social efforts this time around, overhauling the Google+ app just weeks after its public launch. It’s been spruced up with a cleaner interface (something several Google Apps are getting lately), along with added functions and the promise of improved battery life. The perk of being part of the Google family is access to the ICS team, applying some of the design points to the new Google+ app. Photos in the image gallery are bigger, and your Circles now have image-lined previews. Profiles have also been de-cluttered, with a slicker and more navigable look. Surprisingly, the original Google+ app had no sign-out option, so it’s good to see this has been added as well.
I’m Getting Arrested (Free)
Occupy Wall Street has sparked a lot of action across the nation, and the movement’s even inspired a new Android app. As demonstrators sometimes find themselves in handcuffs, the I’m Getting Arrested app only seems fitting. The free app will alert the necessary people (lawyers, family members, friends) that you’re being arrested with a single click. Its function is simple, but you’ll need to prepare the app beforehand by writing the text message to be sent to your selected contacts, and listing the necessary phone numbers. Developer Jason Van Anden calls his app “technology that fits well with democracy,” though you’ll need to have an early idea of your impending incarceration in order to take full advantage of it.
Facebook Messenger update (Free)
While Google+ is pushing through updates to its Android app, Facebook Messenger’s own upgrades are all the more relevant. Version 1.5 adds some new features, including the ability to see who’s online and who’s using a mobile device. It will also show you when the other person is typing, along with new options for faster message composition to your regulars. Initially launched on Android about two months ago, the revised Facebook Messenger is ramping up its private, real-time communications for sharing media and your location.
Fandango Movies for Tablets (Free)
Fandango is a great mobile tool for movie-goers, and now it's optimized for Android tablets. The popular app lets you browse through movies, drilling down your search for popularity, release date, genre, fan rating or critic rating, and even IMAX or 3D screens. Each film details the cast and crew, with a description, photos, trailers and tweets. See a list of local theaters and movie times, and best of all, buy your tickets straight from the app and skip the line at the theater.
Meshin Beta (Free)
Unifying multiple communication streams, Meshin is a one-stop shop for managing messages across Gmail, SMS and social networks. The free app’s primary goal is to downsize the number of apps you have to use in order to keep up with the fast-paced world of technologically-advanced communication. Still in beta, Meshin’s goal is to understand how you communicate to help you prioritize your actions. Syncing contact info, aggregating content threads around those contacts and pooling shared documents from groups or individuals, Meshin looks to be an assistant of sorts to help you work smarter and faster.