Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

19
Dec

According to Wayne Piekarski, senior developer advocate for Android, Wear, and Glass, the rollout of OTA updates to Android Wear 5.0 is complete now, meaning all users should have - by this point - had the opportunity to download and install the update if their watch is paired with a phone.

Piekarski reminds watch face makers that time is ticking to migrate their faces to the official Watch Face API

17
Dec
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It appears Google really doesn't want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to easing its own apps into material design (no matter how long it may take). The latest to get an incremental refresh is Google Opinion Rewards - the app has been updated with a revised launcher icon (seen in the thumbnail for this post), and a new toolbar inside the app. The icon is a bit closer to material, but doesn't carry the exact same use of shadows as Google's other recent updates.

17
Dec
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Yesterday, Google Cardboard revealed that Maps has a pretty awesome easter egg hidden in plain sight - users can take a look at streetview through Cardboard with a simple tap.

As the gif below explains, users need only double-tap the "look around" FAB in streetview to trigger a stereoscopic view of the location they've looked up.

Slide your phone into a Cardboard viewer, and you can "see the sights" just like you were there (as long as you've got a fast connection, anyway).

17
Dec
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Trello for Android, a popular task management app that describes itself as "a whiteboard with super powers," got a big update today, introducing the app's "first foray into material design." The update comes with revamped layouts, new navigation paradigms, and tons of aesthetic improvements.

In a post to the Trello blog, Dan Lew explains that the revamp was "a ton of work," noting that not a single corner of the interface went unnoticed - the entire interface was given close inspection with Google's new design philosophies in mind, but Lew stresses that the core experience remains the same.

15
Dec
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The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.

11
Dec
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From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.

A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other).

10
Dec
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The foldable cardboard VR kits Google gave away at I/O 2014 weren't just a one-off stunt. Today, in its developers blog, Google had some big announcements for the home-brewed virtual reality viewer.

First up, Google has grouped a handful of Cardboard-compatible apps into their own collection on the Play Store. The Cardboard app itself has also received an update, with the ability to discover cardboard apps on the Play Store, and launch them directly from the viewer.

10
Dec
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Roman Nurik's Muzei, the live wallpaper that puts art (or any other collection of images) front and center on your home screen, got a big update to version 2.0 today.

The most noticeable changes are in the app's interface, which has been updated for Lollipop. The design stays true to the experience many users are already familiar with, but adds some new touches, including a revised launcher icon, and a FAB for adding images to the "my photos" category.

06
Dec
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Last Updated: December 8th, 2014

Back when we first took a look at the design initiative that would become "material design," we noted that Google planned to update apps incrementally, with changes happening over an unspecified period of time, until they'd evolved to full compliance. A couple of months ago Hangouts began its journey, but to many the app still doesn't feel quite up to par. A messy, improperly-layered drawer, lack of some familiar actions from the app's previous iteration, and of course no revised launcher icon are a few complaints begging for resolution.

05
Dec
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The update everyone has been waiting for is finally here - YouTube has been updated with some material design goodness. The app's makeover is essentially what you'd expect - along with circular avatars (per Google's spec), it features a tall, tabbed toolbar in YouTube's signature vibrant red brand color, a full-height material nav drawer, and a clean white background.

Channels receive special attention, with Lollipop's Palette API pulling colors from the channel art to color the app's toolbar.

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