One of the greatest problems in stock Android since the debut of Lollipop last year has been the volume slider - putting aside Lollipop's initially confusing volume modes, the slider unceremoniously pops into place when the user hits the volume keys on their device. Of course I'm kidding, but nevertheless it looks like Google has enhanced the volume controls in the latest Marshmallow dev preview with some motion design love.
Now, when users hit a volume key, the panel slides into place from off canvas. The slider's current position is highlighted with its own translucent halo (which may or may not really be necessary). Read More
Personally, I'm usually not a secure lock screen user. Very rare is the occasion that my phone is out of my sight, so I usually just breeze right past the lock screen. But after a tip from a reader, I'm giving the lock screen a second look on Android 5.1. For users who rely on a pattern-based lock, Android 5.1 has yet another delightful detail - a new animation after a successful unlock. Now, the pattern dots float up more elegantly, gently rolling into the transition that delivers the home screen. The dots have animated in gracefully since 5.0, so it's nice to see their out animation catch up. Read More
When Google introduced Android 5.0 with material design back at IO14, one part of the new design methodology that received a lot of attention was animation. Implementing cohesive, sensible, predictable animations is a big part of Google's new design push, but - as the guidelines point out - "delightful details" are just as important.
In Android 5.1, Google has turned the "dismiss all" button in the notification shade into one such detail. The icon has been flipped around to accommodate a new animation. When the user touches the icon to dismiss all notifications, it smoothly animates out, mimicking the motion of the notifications above it. Read More
Ever wanted the Moto 360's charging screen on another Android Wear watch? Ever wished you could see more information on that charging screen? If you answered yes to at least one of these two questions, then you might be interested in Wear Charging Widget.
The application automatically triggers when your Android Wear watch is charging. With a Moto 360-inspired design, it has an evolving circle that shows the current amount of charge on the watch, along with the time, date, and weather. Then if you want to disable it for some reason, you simply long press the screen to exit the app. Read More
DualBoot Games, the makers of the Live Wallpapers that our team had taken a shine to back in 2012-2013, have been in a deep slumber for many moons. But they have just risen up (the forced metaphors will make sense in a bit, trust me) and released, of all things, an Android Wear watch face: Celestial 3D.
Celestial builds on DualBoot Games' animations and design capabilities to create one of most impressive and intricate watch faces I have seen on Wear so far. Each time your watch turns on, the dial rotates and the inner metallic glow moves a bit as if you had just tilted a real watch toward you. The entire face seems to execute a bit of a parallax effect sometimes, a globe appears out of nowhere and spins at some points, and there's even an option to customize an engraving with a photo on the "back" of the watch. Read More
Google has used the CRT-style screen-off animation since Gingerbread. That animation is gone in Lollipop, replaced with a gentle fade out. Frankly, I'm surprised the CRT stuck around this long. However, the new animation isn't just a fade to black. It actually fades to black and white—observe.
Left: normal speed, Right: slowed by 5 times Read More
Here's the thing about customization on Android, or any other interface for that matter: it's time-consuming. Whenever I try out a new launcher, I end up testing every option and toggle just to see if I like it, which inevitably means bouncing back and forth between the homescreen and the Settings menu for the launcher to see the results. It takes forever, which is why I've generally given up on fun things like themes and icon packs.
It's also why the new animation preview on Nova Launcher 3.1, now available in beta, is so nice to see. It's not a huge feature, just a little animated window that appears at the top of the pop-up settings menu for the launcher transition animations. Read More