GPS Status & Toolbox is a very popular app with tens of millions of downloads. It's a useful way to test your device's GPS functionality, but it's also ugly. The app was just updated to v6.0, and the changelog says it includes material design, but it's not very material at all. Luckily, there are some other things in this release too.

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Okay, here's the changelog with the totally misleading material design item.

  • NEW: Material design
  • NEW: Side navigation bar
  • NEW: Runtime permission support (on Android 6+)
  • NEW: In-app payment instead of the separate key application (for new purchases only!). Old purchases remain valid of course!
  • NEW: all sensor values can be shared now
  • NEW (PRO): aGPS data can be downloaded automatically without starting the app
  • FIX: External storage access is no longer needed for data export (on Android 4.4+)
  • FIX: Better night mode
  • FIX: Backup to Drive

So about that material design UI, it's barely different than the old version (see below). GPS Status & Toolbox still has the awkward jumble of sensor readings and the compass up above. There's a slide-out nav menu now, but there are only two screens in the app, so I'm not sure why this is necessary. There's also a weird action bar that only shows up when you drag down on the screen. Oh, and a FAB to add new GPS points. See? Material.

Okay, but moving on, GPS Status & Toolbox is a useful app, and some of the other improvements in v6.0 are important. You can share all those jumbled sensor values to other apps, and night mode is better now. If you want the ad-free pro version, it can be obtained via an in-app purchase rather than with a separate unlocker app.

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The old app. Look familiar?