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Google+ Link And 'Share' Shortcut Disappear From The Google Bar

It looks like Google is performing some surgery on the Google bar, the familiar toolbar that appears across the top of many of Google's web properties (including Chrome's new tab page). Until recently, the bar held a G+ sharing shortcut, a profile switcher, an "app drawer" to switch between Google products, and a link shortcut to your Google+ profile.

Today it looks like two of those things have been axed - specifically the Google+ link and the sharing shortcut.

Of course, while "Google+ is dead" sentiments have been floating around virtually since the service's inception, we'll resist the urge to speculate about the rationale behind removing Plus-specific functionality from the bar for now.

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Android's System Bars And Your Interface - Whether And How To Theme

Google updated its design spec recently. The material spec, which Google says is a living document (as evidenced by its ongoing updates), gained further guidance on floating action buttons, dialogs, updates on typography, and a lot more.

One less-advertised update was a change to the section in "Structure" concerning the navigation bar in Android. The "color variants" text is still identical to that from the "status bar" subsection, but an image showing nav bars themed to match your device's hardware was removed. Here's the image in question:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.39.01 AM

Theming according to device color is - as far as this writer knows - not possible on Android at the moment, and neither is theming the nav bar to its "light style" variant also shown in the guidelines, where the nav bar is white and the buttons become gray.

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Rumor: Google Exploring Richer Quick Settings, Stacking Card Notifications For Android's L Release

A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.

Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.

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Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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DrinkAdvisor Makes Easy Work Of Finding Your New Favorite Bar, Even Suggests What To Drink [Sponsored Post]

We've all been in this situation before: it's the weekend, you're ready to hit the town with your peoples, and...no one knows where to go. So you sit around for like an hour or more trying to figure it out, only to end up at the same crappy place you've been to 100 times before and finish the night up with some IHOP. C'mon guys, you know there's more to life than just dive bars and IHOP. The problem is finding them.

Enter the answer to your quandary: DrinkAdvisor. DA is an app that aims to make your night life a little better, and a lot less complicated.

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From The Creator Of Tweet Lanes: Chris Lacy's Action Launcher Now In The Play Store

Chris Lacy, developer of the gorgeous, widely lauded Tweet Lanes, has finally brought his latest creation to the Play Store – Action Launcher.

As the name would suggest, Action Launcher is a custom launcher with an emphasis on its ever-present action bar. The action bar allows users to quickly open a side-panel app drawer which, in Lacy's words, "aims to allow you to load any app in one second from your home screen." The bar also features Search and Play Store shortcuts, along with an action overflow.

The action bar, as you can see in the video above, is not the only trick Action Launcher has up its sleeve.

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Jelly Bean Feature Closer Look: Expandable, Interactive, All-Around Enhanced Notifications

"Android has always put you in control when it comes to staying notified and connected. Now you can take action directly from the notifications shade," says Android's updated "What's New" page. Indeed, today's Jelly Bean announcement saw a number of improvements to the already handy notification system we've come to know and love in previous iterations of Android. Not only can the new notifications system display larger, richer notifications, developers can create actionable notification with interactive controls for telephony, music, and more.

image jb-notif-ex

With a new and improved Notification Builder, apps can create notifications with a height of up to 256dp.

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[Updated] Infographic: Here Are The Top 10 Ad Networks Used By Android Apps - Bet You Won't Guess Where AirPush Is On The List

Appbrain, which we here at AP use to this day thanks to a few handful features that the Play Store still hasn't implemented, analyzed 140,000 Android apps and came up with a list of the top 10 ad networks.

While they don't openly state the source of this data, I am willing to bet that it comes from analytics reported by their Ad Detector app which hit the Play Store a few months back. The app itself, much like Lookout Ad Network Detector, is very handy - it lets users figure out what ad networks, social SDKs, and even developer tools are used by apps installed on their devices.

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Google Play Books And Street View Updated – Here's What To Expect

Google unleashed a small round of updates today, bringing new features to both the Play Books and Street View apps. Play Books has been updated with a brand new UI for devices running Android 2.2/2.3, including the nifty 3D page-turning animation users of Books' tablet interface have come to know and love.

unnamed shot_Apr_04_2012_1

Users can also add home screen shortcuts for individual books, allowing you to jump straight into your favorite book without actually opening the app. The update also enables offline search, and ensures that your device's display will stay on during TTS.

Google Street View, on the other hand, got a slightly less major update (but an important one nonetheless) – the app now includes Ice Cream Sandwich's signature action bar and action-overflow button for those running Android 4.0+, bringing its interface into line with ICS' current design standards.

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No, There Is No Proof Instagram For Android Is Around The Corner - Just Fake Crap Advertising More Fake Crap

Last week, a "report" by InFlexWeTrust showed a screencap of a popup that invited users to download a "featured" app - Instagram for Android.

With all the crapware pushing AirPush ads to your notification bar that we've seen last week (including the fake Pinterest, Temple Run, and - drumroll - Instagram) and all the clues regarding this so obviously fake Instagram app, one would have thought a bit of caution by the blogosphere would have been a good idea. Unfortunately, the Instagram hype is so strong that plenty of blogs ran with "Instagram was leaked" and "Instagram is almost here" stories.

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Lookout Releases Push Ad Detector To Help Fight Off Airpush, Startapp, LeadBolt, And Other Annoying Ad Networks

Today, Lookout, a mobile security company, released a new Android application that can help figure out just where those pesky notification ads are suddenly coming from and offer you ways to opt out of them or get rid of the culprits altogether.

Their creation, called Push Ad Detector, currently detects apps that use the following ad networks:

  • Airpush
  • Appenda
  • LeadBolt
  • Moolah Media
  • Startapp
  • TapIt!

There are other detectors of notification ads on the Market, but none are as comprehensive and polished as Push Ad Detector. No surprises there - Lookout is known for quality of its software.

Once you perform a scan, you will see a list of installed applications that include support for ad networks mentioned above as well as ways to either opt out of those networks permanently (presumably based on device ID), get more information, or just uninstall the offenders altogether.

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