Who would have thought that glass would become so important to smartphone manufacturing that device makers would start putting it on both the front and the back of $700 devices? And the company that's making out like a bandit is Corning, the maker of the super-scratch-resistant "Gorilla" tempered glass that's now in a majority of premium phones. While Corning could probably rest on its laurels for a decade or two (at least until synthetic sapphire becomes a lot cheaper), its engineers are cranking out some new novelties for manufacturers to try. Read More
Google released the second Android N developer preview update yesterday, and it came with a new folder icon. Instead of the stack, you have a clipped array of the top four app icons in a circle. Here we are a day later and the new Nova Launcher v4.3 beta already offers those folder icons as an option. Read More
Asus scored a big win with its high-end but relatively inexpensive Zenfone 2 design. It looks like the Taiwanese manufacturer is hoping to leverage that into a larger series of handsets, very much as Samsung has done with the Galaxy S. In fact, that's not the only thing the next Zenfone will have in common with the Galaxy S series. Red Dot 21, a a sort of product design showcase organized by the same people behind the Red Dot design awards, has new profiles for the as-yet unseen Zenfone 3 and Zenfone 3 Deluxe. (Note that this isn't an actual award, it just means that someone - presumably Asus itself - posted the profile pages.) Read More
In a spec update timed perfectly for Pi day, Google has introduced some interesting new guidelines for developers and designers including - love it or hate it - bottom bar navigation.
Besides bottom bars (which we'll talk about in just a moment), Google has new guidance on split screen design (for Android only right now), advice for displaying passwords in input fields, and expanded guidance on accessibility including color, contrast, sound, motion, and hierarchy.
Back to bottom bars, though. We've seen this navigation pattern emerging in Photos and Google+ over the past months, and we've been questioning whether it might become A Thing on Android just as long. Read More
Earlier this month, Google began testing a new look for the review interface inside the Google Play app. The designers took away a dialog box and embedded it directly in the page. In the process, they removed the space to insert a title.
Now we're seeing this new look make its way to the web version of the Play Store as well. Read More
Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store layout, and these tweaks are often server-side. A new line here, a different dialog box there, and the experience changes. This time, Google appears to be testing a layout for reviews that takes away a dialog box when you leave a review. Instead, the review dialog is embedded in the page. Read More
Have you compared YouTube on your phone to YouTube on a friend's phone lately? There are better than average chances that the two are at least slightly different. The video consumption app is a bit like a snowflake, at least in the sense that it's not the same experience for any two people. The latest experiment for some users is introducing a new icon for the floating action button (FAB) and an entirely new screen for uploading content to YouTube.
Left: older look. Right: new look.
There's not much of a change to the FAB itself, just a new icon. The somewhat generic upload icon has been replaced by a camcorder. Read More
Yesterday, I was starting work on some sketches for Android TV. When it was time to move into Sketch (my current mockup tool of choice, mostly because of its Zeplin integration), I realized I hadn't really seen any good ready-made sheets, frames, or stickers for Android TV UI. So I decided to just go ahead and build a few screens, and then maybe - if they came out decent - upload them for other designers who might want to do a quick TV mockup or two.
The Sketch file you'll find below has 7 artboards, covering the Android TV home page, a basic leanback UI, a video player, a list, settings, and keyboard/text input. Read More
AccuWeather is one of the most popular dedicated weather apps in the world - on the Play Store it's racked up somewhere between 50 and 100 million downloads, and that's just for the free version. The latest update actually started sometime around Christmas, and it's been going out in Google-style stages, so it's taken us this long to spot it. Version 4.0 significantly updates the user interface of the app to bring it more in line with Material Design standards... sort of. Read More