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Articles Tagged:

design

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Contacts Gets A Few Welcomed Tweaks

We've already posted plenty of interesting tidbits and changes from Android 5.1, but of course there's still more to uncover. It looks like in the latest version of Lollipop, Google has given the Contacts app a few welcomed tweaks.

With Lollipop 5.0, most of the Contacts app graduated to a slick new experience inspired by material, but for some reason the contact creation/editing screens clung to old holo paradigms.

The newly tweaked editing layout in Android 5.1 makes a decidedly more thoughtful use of horizontal lines and adheres to material design's standard keylines (at 16 and 72dp) making for a cleaner, clearer interface with helpful iconography highlighting each type of field.

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Google Seems To Be Testing Some UI Tweaks For Google+ On Android

From time to time, Google engages in A/B testing with its live products. Flipping switches from somewhere deep in its Mountain View HQ, Google will turn on new design tweaks or feature changes for small groups of users, and measure their impact on engagement. This is generally a helpful process for validating design decisions, and occasionally we catch them in the act and get a peek at what might be around the corner.

Today, reports started popping up that Google might be testing some UI tweaks with its Google+ app for Android. Before you get excited, these tweaks don't include a hamburger menu.

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Trello For Android Takes 'First Foray Into Material Design' With New Update

Trello for Android, a popular task management app that describes itself as "a whiteboard with super powers," got a big update today, introducing the app's "first foray into material design." The update comes with revamped layouts, new navigation paradigms, and tons of aesthetic improvements.

In a post to the Trello blog, Dan Lew explains that the revamp was "a ton of work," noting that not a single corner of the interface went unnoticed - the entire interface was given close inspection with Google's new design philosophies in mind, but Lew stresses that the core experience remains the same.

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Those not running Android Lollipop needn't worry - the app is compatible with 4.0.3 and above, with most of the app's material-inspired goodness available to anyone running the app (some things, as Lew rightfully notes, simply aren't possible on older platforms yet).

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An Exclusive Early Look At A Slightly More 'Material' Hangouts

Back when we first took a look at the design initiative that would become "material design," we noted that Google planned to update apps incrementally, with changes happening over an unspecified period of time, until they'd evolved to full compliance. A couple of months ago Hangouts began its journey, but to many the app still doesn't feel quite up to par. A messy, improperly-layered drawer, lack of some familiar actions from the app's previous iteration, and of course no revised launcher icon are a few complaints begging for resolution.

Since that last design update, we've been waiting on the edge of our collective seat for the fabled update that would "fix" Hangouts.

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YouTube Gets Updated With Material Design [APK Download]

The update everyone has been waiting for is finally here - YouTube has been updated with some material design goodness. The app's makeover is essentially what you'd expect - along with circular avatars (per Google's spec), it features a tall, tabbed toolbar in YouTube's signature vibrant red brand color, a full-height material nav drawer, and a clean white background.

Channels receive special attention, with Lollipop's Palette API pulling colors from the channel art to color the app's toolbar. Of course YouTube 6.0 brings a new launcher icon too, falling into line with the rest of Google's product icons.

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The update also brings more advanced search filters to YouTube, a welcome addition to anyone who's struggled to find just what they were looking for in the past.

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B&H App Gets Big Material-Inspired Makeover [Update: New Icon Too]

You may not be able to tell from the product icon (update: B&H has issued another update with a new icon, seen above) but B&H, purveyor of everything photo, video, and audio, has updated its app with tons of material-inspired elements.

Apparently inspired by Google's new design direction, the company's app is now jam-packed with illustrations, material-inspired transitions, vivid colors, and cards.

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The app's approach to organizing information swings in both directions - the home page serves up a huge, colorful illustration, along with bright promotional cards and shortcuts (along with a search FAB). The interface progressively gets more organized and sparse as you dive into the app until, in places like the "used" section, you've got just text-based lists.

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Google Play Services 6.5 Spruces Up Android's System Update Screen Too

Google Play Services version 6.5 began rolling out to users a few days ago, and as we work on an APK teardown to see what's under the hood, it looks like there's at least one more user-facing change in the update. Specifically, Android's system update screen is prettier.

The screen which, until now, consisted of the same drab title, horizontal break, "last checked" text, and "check now" button, has been granted a better design treatment. There's a new header image, new colors, and refined typography, along with a flat text button, per Google's design spec.

Screenshot_2014-11-20-19-15-32 Screenshot_2014-11-20-15-50-14

before and after

The functionality of the system updates screen may still resemble the button on a crosswalk signal, but it at least looks better.

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Authy UI Update Lets You Access Your Two-Factor Authentication Tokens More Quickly

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of defense to your online accounts. Typically there are two ways to go about it: having a text sent to your phone containing a numerical key, or typing in one that appears inside of a dedicated app. Google Authenticator serves this function just fine, but you have to settle for something that hasn't been spruced up since the Ice Cream Sandwich days. Authy is an alternative offering that looks a bit easier on the eyes.

With the app's latest update, the company has made your various accounts significantly easier to access. Rather than having to slide out a menu from the left, each one appears inside a tile positioned across the bottom.

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Raising Google's Gingerbread-Era Finance App From The Dead In An Unsolicited Redesign

Google's Finance app is in desperate need of attention. If you haven't checked in on it lately, it's still stuck with Gingerbread design. No seriously, go look. Tiny header bars, legacy menus, odd layouts, and assets that look tiny or pixelated (or both) on today's high resolution devices.

Just for fun, I decided to take a look at the app and see if I could give it a fresh coat of paint, inspired by material design. It's worth noting that, when the rest of Google's product icons were updated in its web launcher, Finance received a new icon too (the basis for the thumbnail of this post), so it's possible that Google really is working on a new design, but that's okay - I think exploring some ideas early is still worth while.

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Google Updates Design Guidelines With Clarity On Nav Drawers, Launcher Icons, And More

In a rather exciting post to its Google Design Google+ page today, Google announced a big set of improvements to the material design guidelines. The design spec, which - since this summer - has been a "preview," has been updated with links to relevant Android developer documentation, a new section called "What is Material?" a "What's new" section (to stay up to date on any changes), and a couple of other exciting changes.

First among those is clarity on more design patterns, including scrolling, swipe to refresh, time and date formats, errors, and navigation drawers. Readers may remember my recent post about the many faces of Google's nav drawers.

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