Last week was pretty busy with some big app updates and even bigger product announcements. One update that slipped through the cracks was Allo v6. There aren't any obvious new features, but there's plenty for a teardown. Some of the upcoming features will include a chat bot to enable voting among members of a group chat, Android Auto support, animated emoji, and some new drawing tools.
Animations are an important part of an app's design and user experience, so much so that Google made them an integral part of material design. The folks at Airbnb just made making an animation a whole lot easier, with a new tool called 'Lottie.'
Lottie is an open-source library for iOS, Android, and React Native that renders animations in real time. This means that animations such as the 'hamburger-to-back-arrow' animation is now easy and simple to create. The library uses an open-source After Effects plugin, Bodymovin, as its base, which enables Lottie to use data exported from After Effects as JSON files to animate in real time on the device.
The Clock app doesn't get a ton of updates, but when it does there's almost always something worth talking about. The latest version does a little bit of everything with a little bit of visual polish and updates for the Android Wear app. As usual, there's a link at the bottom if you'd like to grab this version before it rolls out to your devices in due time.
Googler Kirill Grouchnikov likes to clue everyone into the subtle design tweaks in upcoming versions of the Play Store as they roll out, and today he's posted not once, not twice, but three times about a slick new hamburger animation. Is that overkill? I don't know... it's a pretty cool animation.
It's Father's Day. If you have a dad and you appreciate him, go have lunch with him. If he's too far away, call him on the phone, like people used to do before things like touchscreens and smartwatches and Taylor Swift. Don't send him a text message or IM that says "Happy Father's Day" - that's just so tacky. It's the communication equivalent of a last-minute drug store gift card.
If you decide to ignore this advice, and you send Dad a "Happy Father's Day" message through Hangouts, Google won't judge you as harshly as I will. In fact, they'll actually reward you with a series of custom animations, as is their wont for wide-reaching holidays lately.
Good things happen when I'm asleep. Or driving. Or offline. It's a fact of life that I have gotten used to. So was the case with WhatsApp's latest update and I woke up today to dozens of email tips (thanks, everyone!) about the new Material Design overhaul the app has received. It's not like all of you were waiting with bated breath for this update, na-ah, or like we had not one, not two, but tens of comments on every article we wrote about WhatsApp in the past months clamoring for a Material makeover. So you can all finally breathe a sigh of relief and go enjoy the good stuff.
Despite its appearance on Android One devices, we've had complete radio silence from Google about Android 5.1. Still, as long as it is in the wild, we're going to keep hearing about it. In this case, we have found out that the animation associated with toggling the auto-rotate feature has come back in 5.1 after disappearing in 5.0. Take a look.
This might not exactly change the way you use your Android phone or tablet, but it's nice. Google has done some big talking about being more of a design-focused company, which means the minutiae like this have to be important.
There comes a point many, many months after the release of a new version of Android where devoted users just can't quash the desire to get their hands on an even newer version. A preview of Android L is already available for download, but unless you are willing to flash your device and put up with any number of potential bugs, I wouldn't recommend installing it on a phone you actually need to use. But this doesn't leave you without options. The talented folks behind TeslaCoil have sprinkled some of Android L 's style all over the latest version of the Nova Launcher. They've slowly added these features into the beta since L's debut, and now things are ready to go stable.