In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.
There have been a lot of leaks lately, and they don't show any sign of slowing down - Yoel Kaseb (via Google+) has shared screenshots of what he claims to be a test build of a redesigned Google+ app. According to his post, the build is unstable and probably unfinished, and he has since been locked out from accessing or using the APK. But what we can see from the screenshots Kaseb managed to capture is both compelling and in line with some of the other leaks we've seen recently.
At the recent Accel Design Conference, Google's head of design for Android, his holo-ness Matias Duarte, sat down for an interview with The Verge Editor-in-Chief Joshua Topolsky. The wide-ranging chat touched on how Duarte approaches design, some things he looks at when thinking about Android's UX, and the death of mobile. How's that for a teaser?
Google's Project Ara might be the very definition of a geek pipe dream: an idea that makes a lot of sense, but isn't quite possible with current technology, being made real with applied engineering and creativity. Even with Motorola being sold to Lenovo, the Ara modular phone project is still full speed ahead at the Googleplex under the new ATAP team. Dave Hakkens of Phonebloks, who presented a very similar concept back in September, was recently given a tour of ATAP's progress.
The Google Glass team knows that if you're thinking about mounting a computer on your face, you should do it with some style. Today, Google and the Luxottica Group announced a partnership that will see the two companies working together to design stylish and comfortable frames to pair with Google Glass. This follows the the Glass team's own Titanium line of frames launched back in January.
The Luxottica Group owns, manufactures, and distributes famous brands such as Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Persol.
Touch of Modern is like an exclusive club, only one that lets anyone in for free. Its only demands are that you register an account and, before now, browse its content within a web browser. Today even that last requirement is going out the window. With the release of a dedicated Android app, you can now whip out your phone and enter this club any time you wish.
For the uninitiated, Touch of Modern is an online catalog of products showcasing innovative, modern design.
Google has really been on a roll this week with exciting news for developers, such as a pair of new game-related libraries and enhancements to Google+ Sign-in. This time around, Chromecast is getting its turn with a brand new User Experience Guide. Coming just 2 days after some new apps were added to the whitelist, this 4000-word document details the recommended design patterns developers should follow while implementing their own Android, iOS, and web applications.
Besides a bevy of new features, Android's update to 4.4 brought forth a ton of tweaks to the interface through GEL launcher and a fresh round of updated stock apps. There's little doubt Android's user experience and overall design paradigms are continuing to evolve, becoming more refined, usable, and useful. We covered most of the changes to the interface in Getting to Know Android but, as with any major update, new changes come with new opportunities for error.