16
Jul
LocalCast-Thumb

Android's screen casting feature lets people cast all the things, but it doesn't let them cast to all the things. No, Google will officially send media out to a Chromecast, but for other things, that's where third-party apps come in. One of the better options, LocalCast, has jumped up to a new version that brings the app up-to-date with the next release of Android (since L isn't actually out yet, would that make this before-to-date...up-to-early...ahead-of-date?). Regardless, its Material Design-flavored overhaul is looking rather good.

LocalCast1 LocalCast2 LocalCast3

We like what we see here. The floating Chromecast button is easily accessible, and the new green color is rather bold. That said, this isn't the big Gingerbread-to-KitKat kind of redesign that still crops up these days. For anyone unfamiliar with LocalCast, here's how it used to look.

LocalCast4 LocalCast5 LocalCast6

In other news, a snazzy app gets even snazzier. And it has a snazzier icon to boot. I can work with that.

What's new:

  • Material Design
  • Apple TV and DLNA renderers (e.g. XBox 360)
  • Bug fixes

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • vyktorsouza

    devs still refusing to implement coloured statusbar, I see

    • Anthony Tyson

      Google just need to make that automatic with the main color of the apps highlights.

      • Ambroos

        Which is pretty much impossible to infer. What would you base it on? Icon? Actionbar colour (if there is one)?

        Devs just need to set it.

        • Andrew

          Palette... thats what that whole support library does. The new process in L to set the status bar color is pretty easy. Set a Primary Dark color and it will color your status bar that color for you automatically.

    • Joel Anderson

      Without the new API in Android L, it requires a third party library to color the status bar.

      • vyktorsouza

        there were no difference from KitKat to L as in how to implement transparent bars

        • Joel Anderson

          Wrong. Android L includes a new API to change the status bar color.

          With a transparent status bar in kitkat, it will just change the color to the window's background color. More info in the links below.

          http://i.imgur.com/Eh9wHtT.png

          http://mindofaandroiddev.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/making-the-status-bar-and-navigation-bar-transparent-with-a-listview-on-android-4-4-kitkat/

          ^ Note Part 2: Status Bar Tint

          • vyktorsouza

            the apps that show translucent statusbars on KitKat automatically show the semi-transparent one in L, what's your point?

          • Joel Anderson

            My point is that implementing a colored status bar is not as simple as turning on status bar transparency. Did you read my source links at all?

          • vyktorsouza

            of course I didn't read, I still want the statsbars anyway

          • Joel Anderson

            Maybe you should educate yourself before you whine about something that's far more complex than you think it is.

          • David

            Not just that, but the original point was about colored status bars, not transparent ones.

          • Joel Anderson

            I think this guy was under the impression that the translucency automatically makes the status bar the color of the action bar.

  • David Margolin

    Top of the second screenshot really scared me... Gingerbread flashbacks!!!

  • Blane Stroud

    This is seriously one of the best free apps out there. It looks awesome and functions very very well. I use it every day with Showbox.

    • Paul_Werner

      Same here. Only thing I wish is that the media controls didn't disappear at times. I have to either go back to the lock screen or bring up the app multiple times before it decides to show these.

      Hopefully that's fixed in this update too

      • Kevin

        I switched to Bubble UPnP. It doesn't disconnect on me have the controls bug. It also has folder queue which is a big plus for me.

        • Paul_Werner

          After the update the media controls stick. Only issue I had with this app. Even though a lot of people are saying it's not really Material Design I still like it. It's better than it used to be anyway

  • Gabriel Melo

    Green on yellow FAB: Bad.
    Left menu: Bad spacing, bad alignment and font size choices.
    Weird black space on the second screenshot.
    On the 3rd screenshot, only the 'L' seems to be bold, and the rest, regular. Differently from the 1st screenshot, where all 'Local' is bold.

    Oh, and what the crap is that yellow vertical line on the 1st screenshot?

    This is not material. This is "lets randomly use an ugly FAB and call it material" design.

    • vyktorsouza

      just check the Material apps communities on G+, that is a MESS, no one has a clue about wth is material or the difference between it and holo
      if someone implements FAB the app is automatically material, I cackle everytime

      • David

        Actually, Material guidelines are leagues ahead of Holo. I remember how sticking to Holo guidelines was difficult in the beginning because all the language was filled with flourishing and lacked objective details.

        Material design is pretty much settled, and the web site has very precise directives and standards. IO app has a Material version, and you can experiment with the design both for web and for Android, using the preview SDK. They are working and the definitions are there.

        What we see in communities, however, is the normal adjustment period while everyone try to grasp all the changes and think about how to *correctly* implement it in code and make it look beautiful at the same time. That's why Google gave us time.

        Finally, yes, to call that app Material is an offense. Besides all reasons posted, no material app (using material components) can currently be published on Google Play, so the most we can see are Frankenstein apps like that one. I think he should stick to Holo. It's decent and everyone already knows how to roll it while still making the app beautiful.

        • Ian Santopietro

          They should really just use Theme.DeviceDefault.Light and Theme.DeviceDefault.Light.DarkActionBar. This gives you Holo on 4.4 and earlier and Material-esqe on LDP. It's not a perfect Material theme, but it will work until you can actually publish apps that use both dyanmically depending on version.

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          • David

            No, it doesn't. DeviceDefault themes point to the standard theme in the device. Mostly always, this will _not_ be Holo: it will be TouchWiz, Optimus UI etc. On Nexus devices it's Holo. Gladly, developers generally avoid these device-specific customizations because many of them are a caleidoscopic mix of inconsistent elements, and may ruin the appearance of an app regardless of how well the Dev themed it.

            You gain Material for the few Nexus that are in an island testing Material, but create a mess for the ocean inside which everyone else is.

            Unless you are deliberately targeting custom manufacturers UIs, the proper solution for production apps is to target Holo explicitly (considering no Material support libraries are available), and wait until Play Store allows apps targeting L to release an app targeting Material inside the res/values-v2?/ folder.

    • Nathan Borup

      "Oh, and what the crap is that yellow vertical line on the 1st screenshot?"
      I think it is a type symbol for closing the drawer... whereas the 3 yellow lines on the 3rd screenshot it is a symbol for opening the drawer? Make sense?

    • Stephen Gomez

      I've used it,and it is an imitation material design,a desperate attempt to look like it,and they pick a pretty ugly color scheme.

    • Mike Harris

      The yellow vertical line is there to indicate the menu is open (from what I can tell). It changes back to the hamburger menu when it's closed and I have to admit, it's a pretty cool animation. I've never used this app before, but I just opened it up to check it out. I'm not a fan of the colors either, but the screenshots don't do this app justice.

    • Shining Wing

      I totally agree. This isn't a very good Material app.

    • BetterWithRoot

      FAB = Floating Android Button?

    • Mario

      "Oh, and what the crap is that yellow vertical line on the 1st screenshot?"

      Did you even use the app? If you did you would know why it's there.

      LocalCast is an awesome app the is given to us for FREE. It amazes me how many ungrateful folks we have in our community. Yes the UI needs a little tweaking, I'm sure the DEV will make attempts to fix it. In the meanwhile you're welcomed to make your own casting app with the perfect UI and share it with the world.

      • Gabriel Melo

        If you look again, you might notice what the article refers to as the "innovation" here - the adoption of Material Design.

        I'm not criticisizing the app functionalities. I haven't even mentioned them, nor the fact it's free or not. I'm looking at the design. The design is being showcased here as "looking pretty good" as an example of Material Design. Matter of fact, it's not. Plain and simple.

        There are a lot of great apps out there, free and all. Respect for those. May those be praised by their great functionality. But not because of their UI designs.

        • Mario

          I agree some Devs are great at code and suck at UI. Nevertheless folks should try the this app first before they make comments on just screen shots. Yes the UI is not "perfect", but it's a good improvement from the previous version. Hopefully it will get better.

    • bL4Ck

      Devs need a couple of sample apps to get inspiration from, since most aren't Designers, a Developer is supposed to write code, not come out with enchanting and user friendly user interfaces, that's why most of the famous apps, like Titanium, Xposed, Tasker, etc. always had poor UI while having great functionality.
      Give them time, everyone will learn what Material really is.

  • ahhh yes

    Is there a way to 'screen cast' to chromecast with sound for games etc? N5 not rooted.

  • Shining Wing

    Over on reddit I commented on what I think is wrong with this app's design, here's the comment:

    "I don't like it. I love Material, but I could list so many ways this doesn't do it right.

    * The navigation drawer is supposed to overlap everything, including the app bar. The animation in the app bar looks nice, but is pointless.

    * The navigation drawer icon isn't supposed to be colored. It can be white or black, depending on the app bar color. Similarly, the contents of a floating action button are also not supposed to be colored.

    * The title in a toolbar (in this case the app bar) isn't supposed to be stylized, as far as I can tell.

    * The accent color doesn't seem to have a point. It doesn't go very well with the app's primary color. It seems to be there just for the sake of having one. Also, the app icon uses a different green and a light blue instead of green and amber, which I feel would've looked much better.

    * The app doesn't use Roboto Regular like most normal apps, instead opting for a choice of Thin, Light, Bold, or Slab.

    * When connecting or disconnecting from a Chromecast, the floating action button shakes horizontally for seemingly no reason.

    Well, that was my list-based rant on everything I think is wrong about LocalCast's design. While some of it is nitpicking, I think that this is rather important considering that one of the biggest reasons behind Material design is consistency between apps."

    • Blane Stroud

      Maybe it will be tweaked when Android L is available?

      • Shining Wing

        I hope, but most of these are things that could be fixed long before then.

        • David

          This, and I'd even say the dev shouldn't bother trying to implement Material on anything 19-, since it will be probably impossible to implement many primary Material features, as many depend on framework functionality that just won't be available on support libs.

          He should stick to a beautiful and perfectly executed Holo, and leave Material for L and above. This is not Holo Everywhere where we can just override drawables and states and release it to Gingerbread users. It's much more.

          • Shining Wing

            Yeah, I agree. While it's definitely possible to recreate Material on lower versions, it's not really worth the effort.

          • Blane Stroud

            Could just be practice or doing it just for kicks. I don't think it's particularly ugly (color choice is odd). Just seems like the dev picked a middle ground design. It all seems to function nicely. Smooth transitions and animations. I'm sure any kinks will be worked out in the coming months.

    • MeCampbell30

      Buttons are supposed to be colored according to brand. That includes flat buttons like the slide out menu button and the floating action button. http://www.google.com/design/spec/components/buttons.html#

      • Shining Wing

        While it's true that the FAB is supposed to be colored, the icon inside the button isn't. Look at the examples on the page you linked.

        The navigation drawer icon also isn't supposed to be colored. It uses a semi-transparent shade of white or black, depending on the toolbar color. Again, look at the examples.

        • MeCampbell30

          Watch the session on Material Design for developers rom google I/O. Color selection is covered there.

          • Shining Wing

            There's multiple videos on the I/O site for Material Design.

  • David VanHouse

    Mkv support would be amazing

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Wow, this... surprisingly doesn't look all that good :/

  • Mario

    When will Android Police get "Materialized"?

  • David

    You're very welcome! :)

  • Guest

    You don't get to give the almighty Koush $5.