Ever since its introduction many, many moons ago, Material Design was promised as an adaptable design language that's suited for our modern web: it works across platforms, it feels vibrant and responsive, and it brings layers and a sense of real interactions with something as static as a flat mobile or desktop screen. But even Google hasn't been diligent about implementing Material Design in its own sites. Contacts and Google+ are perhaps the most prominent two that got the makeover, but other entities still lag behind. (Like Calendar... Why?!)
Today, however, is a happy day for MD lovers who also happen to manage sites or ads — ie, probably not many of our readers.
Analytics may not be one of Google's most widely used apps, but it's an invaluable tool for administrators, website or app developers, bloggers, and anyone else who makes things using computers and the World Wide Web. The new version, 3.2, adds in a few improvements, namely landscape support and speed gains across the board.
Here's a little secret about people who run YouTube channels: a lot of them are obsessed with analytics. There's just something about having numbers that compels them to track, analyze, and obsess over every detail. This is the one thing they definitely have in common with website operators and certain types of sports fans. If you happen to be among this crowd, you're probably going to love the latest update to YouTube Creator Studio. It is now absolutely packed with new analytics about your channels, individual videos, audience, earnings, and more. Along the way, it also saw a little bit of restyling to clean up the interface and make it just a little more consistent and easier to read.
Building a good, profitable game these days is more challenging than ever. Players are more demanding, business models require more creativity (at least they should), and there are plenty of competitors that are just as desperate to hold the attention of players for as long as possible. Since users are all over the world and generally don't point a camera at themselves while they play, the hardest part is actually figuring out what works and doesn't work for them. Google Play Games is trying to help with that by launching some very informative tools that can help make player behavior a little easier to understand.
April was a bit sparse when it comes to new apps - there aren't any real standouts, though Facebook certainly made a splash with its self-branded phone dialer. The rest of the best picks from last month are mostly advanced tools for power users, or in the case of the impressive edjing, experienced music producers. Here in no particular order are our picks for the best of the lot, plus a few honorable mentions that might have broader appeal.
Google has just announced its second new app in one day, releasing Google My Business to the Play Store. With the goal of "helping your business shine," My Business offers smart insights for your Google-connected business. From Google+ page insights to the ability to update your company's information, My Business helps you find and connect with "your people."
The app offers insights on your business' appearance in search, how users interact with you on Google+, and how you're displayed in services like search and Maps, with the option to update your information any time. My Business also has quick access to your Google+ page for quick business-related sharing on the go.
One of the truest shared experiences between people who create anything for public consumption is a ravenous desire to know how many people are using it and what they think. Just ask most bloggers and web developers, and you will hear how much they love the real-time statistics from Google Analytics. Unfortunately for app developers, there really isn't a great way to keep fresh information in front of our eyes without mashing the F5 key while staring at a web browser. The engineers at cloud.tv, known for HD Widgets, felt the same way and created App Stats, a very capable tracking and notification app.
A little less than a year ago, we saw a report that showed the Galaxy Tab was the most popular Android tablet, followed closely by the Kindle Fire. A lot has happened since then. The Nexus 7 has rolled out and set the new bar for what a small, cheap Android tablet should be. So, what's changed worldwide? Well, according to Animoca, not much.
According to the firm—which distributes games and entertainment apps—the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is the top Android tablet with 11.8% of its network, followed closely by the 10.1 model of the same line. Following that is the Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD which collectively make up another 12.4% of Animoca's users.
One of the biggest problems Google faces with Android is avoiding a situation where one manufacturer controls so much of the market that everything else falls by the wayside. As study after study shows, though, this is becoming an increasing risk as Samsung gobbles up more customers. To wit, this survey from Localytics—a company that provides analytics for mobile apps— showed that of the top ten Android devices its customers used, eight were made by Samsung, and seven had the Galaxy brand attached.
The trend is staggering, but not surprising. After all, between Samsung and Apple, the two companies account for somewhere between most and more than all the smartphone profits.
In the second half of a double Google Analytics whammy, Google has introduced new features for mobile developers and marketers in the Analytics dashboard. While Google's other announcement, an Analytics mobile app, made our site's founder combustible with joy, this announcement is sure to bring cheer to those with products already in the Play store. These new features give insight into how Android users discover apps, along with their usage patterns, in order to enable developers and marketers to increase their products' reach and improve their performance.
Said features include tracking of new user numbers, of traffic sources for Google Play hits, of installed app versions, and of the different devices accessing your apps.