Nearly two months after we first saw the in-progress Hangouts 4.0 update, we were starting to worry it would never make its official appearance on the Play Store. But recently our collective wish was granted and Hangouts got a big update. Google says this is Hangouts' update to material design, but what exactly does that mean for the app? There's more here than just a new FAB, so let's take a closer look at some of the notable design changes in Hangouts 4.0.
The journey to material
Despite what the change log may suggest, Hangouts didn't suddenly arrive at "material" with the 4.0 update. Read More
Back in September, Hangouts switched from gray to green in its 2.3 update, ostensibly making the first baby steps on its journey toward joining Google's material design parade. Then in December we first spied a slightly more material version of the app. Now, users are running version 3.3 and many aren't satisfied with the app's layouts or structure. Things like the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the somewhat messy drawer, and the non-standard toolbar are common complaints.
It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0 though. We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app. Read More
We've been waiting on a big update to Google's search app, having seen screenshots here and there that hinted at an updated design. With today's new Lollipop developer preview, the Google app's 4.0 incarnation was made available. We've got a download at the bottom of the post, but be sure to read the instructions first as getting this up and running on pre-L devices requires some extra fiddling. Also, you'll need to be rooted. Before that, though, let's do a quick walkthrough of the new design.
The first thing you'll undoubtedly notice in the revised Search app is the lighter, cleaner cards. Read More
Hordes of excited Google+ users trying to get the new v4.0 update of their favorite Android app were puzzled this morning when their devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean were suddenly listed as incompatible. Numerous "WAT?!"s were exclaimed and heart attacks had, but don't worry, Google isn't canning Google+.
As you can see, the reason your devices are incompatible is simple - the Google+ team set the app compatibility to just Froyo and Gingerbread. As we suspected, it's just a temporary glitch - a Google+ engineer and Vic Gundotra already confirmed that the company is aware of the problem caused by a faulty manifest and is working on a fix:
So sit tight, folks. Read More
If you've been paying attention to TV Guide's official app, you know that it's needed some attention for a while. Its UI through version 2.x was an outdated pastiche of Gingerbread tabs and gradated iconography desperately in need of a redesign (and support for 4.0+). Today, TV Guide has fulfilled that need (for the most part), bringing to the Play Store TV Guide Mobile version 3.0. The update also brought "many cool new features" to the app, which we'll discuss momentarily. First though, check out the difference between the old and new interfaces.
After: yay! Read More
Amazon's Kindle app has just received a significant update, bringing the reader up to version 4 and introducing a refreshed UI, among other things.
Just when I'd decided to try switching to Play Books (despite giving up things like quick two-finger brightness adjustment), Amazon has introduced a redesigned library that's much more lively than a simple grid of book covers. The new library interface has your books plus a nice "carousel" up top for recent items. The navigation panel has also been expanded for quick access to documents and Newsstand items, along with items that used to hide under the overflow button. Read More
We've been seeing leaks about a new Google Play Store UI, that we all thought was going to be released at I/O this year. Nope! The rollout starts today, chaps! According to a post over on the official Android blog, the fancy card-based UI is coming to Android phones and tablets running Froyo (v2.2) and up. Worldwide, the new version will be available "over the next few weeks.
Oh, and you should be happy to know that the ugly pattern across the Action Bar is, in fact, not part of the final release. Additionally, the blog post touts a continuous scrolling interface that will show you more recommendations as you move down the page. Read More
After all these years, two star-crossed lovers have finally found their way back into each others' loving arms. Of course I'm talking about AT&T and the LG Thrill 4G. The two started off as a hot couple, but despite their feelings for each other, they knew it just wouldn't work. After all, one was a major carrier, and the other but a simple smartphone. Still, after months apart, the two rekindled the relationship for a brief fling that resulted in the Thrill getting Gingerbread. Since then, the pair have barely spoken.
Today, AT&T has once again proclaimed its love the Thrill – it's giving it Ice Cream Sandwich. Read More
Popular cloud syncing and sharing app SugarSync, which promises to give you "all of your data at your fingertips," got a major update today – its first since July 20th, 2012.
Probably the most obvious change is to the app's interface. In the 4.0 update, SugarSync has been totally redesigned to bring it closer to its desktop and web counterparts, adding – among other things – a new gallery with larger thumbnails, thumbnail support for common video formats, and some holo-esque elements.
Besides its visual overhaul, the app has several handy new features. Among them are cloud search (which lets users search across all their computers), the ability to sync folders from your SD card, and some under-the-hood performance/battery life enhancements. Read More
Taking a new approach to firmware upgrades, Panasonic has decided to update its Eluga handset to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich via a downloadable Play Store app appropriately named 'ELUGA ICS Update.'
For those who don't remember, the Eluga is a little-talked-about handset that debuted in Spring 2012 in Europe and Japan, touting a waterproof and dustproof chassis.
According to its description, Panasonic's update app "connects to Panasonic download server [sic] and downloads the Ice Cream Sandwich software update." Of course, many of us are familiar with what improvements Ice Cream Sandwich brings over Gingerbread 2.3.x, but Panasonic emphasizes the new "powerful new features" of its custom skin as well, listing the lock screen, status bar, home screen, and app drawer as areas of improvement with the update. Read More