Today we're releasing Kairo, a new theme with a ton of fresh new widgets. We're also excited to announce FREE versions of our theme packs. Last, but not least, we've created a new G+ Community for HD Widgets to share designs and ideas.
FREE themes packs? Yes!
Are they just sampler packs? No!
We're basically going to try a free / expanded pack approach to theme packs.
Free packs will have the fundamentals: plenty of widgets in all the popular sizes for most the most common uses. They'll have lots of features but won't be too advanced or overwhelming for casual users. People still have to buy HD Widgets to use them, but now they won't have to pay each time we do an major widget redesign.
Expanded packs (XP) will have everything in the free versions plus more: more widgets, more features, and more creative control over more details. It also gives us a way to provide for advanced users and unique use cases without bloating the basics. Want us to make a particular size widget with particular features? We can do it... in the expanded pack.
What does that mean for today? It means Kairo and Colourform now have FREE and XP theme packs.
We're very excited to share with you Kairo, our newest theme for HD Widgets. Kairo is super friendly and colorful, combining design themes from iOS, KitKat, and Colourform to create a refreshing new look for ultra-HD screens.
Our previous themes (Glass Gems and Colourform) are 1-2 years old at this point, so we made sure Kairo was robust enough to cover all of the essential widgets people use between those two themes. Kairo is also the beginning of a series of new theme packs rolling out over the next few months.
We created two packs, Kairo and Kairo XP:
Kairo is FREE and contains over 40 widgets ranging from 1x1 up to 8x2, including
new 1x2 & 1x4 column (tall) widgets
4x1 & 4x2 Smart Weather Stats widgets
current weather, 3-day forecast, and 5-day forecast
custom weather icons
color elements as groups (text, icons, active icon color, clock time, clock meridian, and background)
multiple clock fonts
background color and opacity
65+ utility switches / settings
Kairo XP is the extended pack with over 60 widgets. It has all of the features of Kairo, as well as:
Split "fancy" clock w/ Smart Weather Stat or custom indicator
Lots of indicator-based widgets
More color presets
Color individual clock parts (hours, dots, mins)
As you will see, we didn't make Kairo a small sample pack - it's actually very fully featured. Our XP packs are more for messing around and trying fun and interesting layouts beyond the basics. We also get a lot of requests for custom widgets sizes so we figure the extended backs are best for that.
Another way to look at it: the free packs are simple and clear so anyone can use them without a lot of clutter or getting overwhelmed by design choices. By contrast, the extended packs (XP) are for advanced users who simply want *more*. Easy!
HD Widgets 4 is rolling out from the Play Store starting today. There's some good stuff in there: updated UI, more weather information, and new widgets.
We actually have more, but there's a catch...
With over 800k active installs, we can't release HD Widgets to everyone all at once. It's just too risky for our small team. Instead, we're using Google's staged rollout system to release to limited portions of users per day over the next week or so.
After the rollout, there's even more coming. We just need to make sure everyone has access to HDW4.
UPDATE: if you're using Google+ on your device, see below for links.
HDW users can opt-in to the beta group and play with the new app now. There's also a new Colourform theme pack beta available in the same group.
The UI is fresher and lighter while under the hood got a major revamp. The new app uses a side menu for fast and easy navigation. The weather screen now includes an hourly forecast graph, 7-10 day forecast, and more details. There's also new prefs, support, guides, widgets, and much more to be announced next week.
Please help us spread the word about the beta so we can round up as many people as possible to test the new app. HD Widgets currently has almost 1M active users and it's been over a year since our last major update; we really want to release the best app we can.
HD Widgets 4 is scheduled for staged roll out beginning Thursday, May 1st. We'll have complete details (and a few surprises) at that time.
At long last, we're very happy to announce the release of Colourform for HD Widgets.
Colourform features over 50 colorful new Jellybean / 4.2 style widgets for Android phones and tablets. This light-weight pack (only 2MB) focuses on a simpler, more minimal, flat UI design while allowing more flexibility and customization than ever before.