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Articles Tagged:

circles

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Opinion: My early thoughts on Google's round icons (and consistency for its own sake)

By the time this post goes up, I'm sure most of our readers will have seen Google's circlified icons in the new Pixel launcher, bound for the new Pixel phones. I've been asked a few times what I think about the new launcher and, for the most part, I don't have a strong opinion. But I do have some thoughts about the circlified icons, some guesses at the rationale, and some thoughts about the downsides of consistency for its own sake. As with any written-from-the-outside post about design, I want to note up front that we aren't privy to any research, data, or other information Google used to make its decisions, so the best we can do is respectfully speculate and ponder.

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Pixel Launcher Sneak Peek Part 1: Google's new circular launcher icons [APK Teardown]

If there is anything you can count on to remain the same in Android, it's that Google is continually looking to change it. The visual style of the world's leading mobile operating system is updated every year as new versions are released, but it's with Google's own apps that there are almost constant shifts in what we're seeing. As we all know, Android 7.1 is in the works, and it's expected to be released alongside the upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which themselves will include a brand new (and much leaked) Pixel Launcher. For its latest daring design move, Google appears to be adopting a new look for the home screen, and it's all about circles.

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Google Now is testing search shortcuts in a new circletastic UI

Google is always trying something new with its different apps. Our personal nightmare is YouTube — ask Cody, trying to monitor the dozens of tips we get each week about a new YouTube UI are his personal nightmare. But Google Now might be an exception. The app's stream of cards has looked the same for a while and it's rather consistent between users. Not anymore.

The server-side switch plague has claimed another victim. Some users are seeing a series of blue circle icons on top of their Google Now stream for weather, dining, movies, and shopping. Others, like me, are not.

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The icons don't do anything beside launch a search — and thus trigger smart cards and results — for their respective purposes. They're basically glorified search shortcuts, or maybe big hints for those who don't know what exactly you can search for on Google Now.

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InBrief
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The Shared Circles Feature Is Now Gone From Google+

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New 'People' Section Appears In Play Store App To Keep You Up-To-Date On What Content Others Are Into

A new "People" section has popped up inside the Android Play Store app, and it doesn't require an update to hop into (we're still using 4.6.17). This corner of the market will point you towards other Android users, particularly those in your circles, and offer a look at what apps and content they're using. The area is accessible right from the app's sidebar, and it's significantly glossier than the similar "From familiar faces" section of the Play Store's home page.

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The feature integrates with Google+, pushing you to follow users or view their full profiles. Within the Play Store app, the focus is entirely on content.

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Google+ App Updated With The Option To See What Your Friends Have Plussed In Your Stream

Just like the web version of Google+, the Android app will now show you at least some of your friends' "+1" activity in the main social stream. The new functionality (which has more than a little in common with the way Facebook does things) should allow Google+ to be even more social - you'll be able to weigh in on more of your friends' activity, or at least the activity that doesn't include full posts. The updated app went live yesterday.

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The tiny changelog reads as follows: "Discover posts that your friends have +1'd." Google stresses that people who have added you to their circles won't be able to see anything they couldn't before just by clicking on your profile - the public and private options for new posts are intact.

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[Editorial] Welcome To Google+: Your Social Network Is Finally Ready, So What Are You Waiting On?

Google I/O isn't even finished yet, and everyone's favorite search company has already shaken things up quite a bit. One of the biggest things Google announced was Google Events. Google said that this new feature would allow users to coordinate events and share them with others. What Google didn't say was that with the addition of this feature, Google+ is ready. Cooked until golden brown and ready to be served. And, guys? It's time to dig in.

By Your Powers Combined

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Social networks will continue to evolve as long as people do, but today marked a subtle, yet important transition for Google: the day that the biggest majority of its key features finally became unified in a meaningful, social way.

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Google+ Update Rolling Out Now, Ditches Its Old New Interface For A New New Interface, Now With Tablet Support

The Google+ app has received another fancy new update today. Avid Google+ followers will remember that just a month ago, the mobile Google+ got a facelift. Well, forget everything you knew about that app. Google's social network is getting another new facelift. And a sweet tablet interface to boot.

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The new interface has a much lighter, brighter look, while still maintaining the large focus on pictures and videos of the previous update. The update also brings a much-needed tablet interface to the app, and finally enables the latent Events support that we knew was hiding there. Also, Google subtly snuck in the ability to see your entire feed, or just the feed from certain circles in a drop down box.

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Google+: Where Real Life Meets Social Networking

When it comes to Google-powered social networking, its track record hasn't been so great. Today, though, a new social service has been announced by El Goog: Google+. It's been a long-time coming, and judging by what I've seen thus far, it looks like it won't disappoint. In my opinion, it's the social network to save us from social networks by adding a very real-world feel to the mix. Google has clearly put a lot of thought into how to incorporate our virtual life with the way we do things in the real world.

Circles

The core of the service is called Circles, and it allows you to categorize your friends into groups, so you can decide who sees certain information, and who is left out of the loop.

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