Many a double-take were... taken? when the brand new Google+ redesign was unveiled. Not because the design didn't look great, or didn't perform well (as we know, the website is highly responsive and super speedy), but because of an interface element that appeared on the new Android app - the bottom tab bar.
Not since the days of holo have we seen the split action bar in Google's apps (unless you count the bar in Keep), so it seemed odd to find a bottom tab bar so prominently featured on almost every screen of Google+ in 2015. But there's more to the tab bar than just its unfamiliarity on the platform. Read More
A couple months ago some Google Opinion Rewards survey-filler-outters received questions about the OnHub that suggested Google had new shells in the works. At least one of the three options provided looked like a paper towel holder, and the others could easily pass for trash cans. Google wanted to know which one people would be most willing to buy. Well, all three variants have appeared in the Google Store, where they're listed as coming soon. Read More
LinkedIn's main app rarely gets significantly updated. It has added a few new features here and there over the past years, but it has looked the same since time immemorial. Very Holo, very grey, very Ice Cream Sandwich. You can finally bid adieu to that old design though, since version 4.0 is ready to coat your smartphone's screen with fresh animations, a cleaner design, more white, better use of space, and some nicer transitions and animations.
LinkedIn's design reshuffled and reorganized the app too. Gone is the side drawer, replaced by a blue bar at the top with icons for each tab. Swipe left and right to switch between your feed, profile, messages, connections, and search. Read More
Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.
Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant. Read More
If you didn't already know, photographer Carl Kleiner is the mind behind the enchanting "material" wallpapers that came with Android Lollipop, and with more recent versions of Chrome and the Google app on iOS.
With the release of Marshmallow, Kleiner is back with even more creations and two bonus wallpapers to celebrate the release. But besides all that, Google Design has posted an interesting peek into the process behind the creations, called paperscapes, to its blog.
The new paperscapes go beyond the scope of the original pieces, integrating more complex geometry, greater color and textural contrast, and new materials like colored water and powdered ink to create compelling pieces that - at first glance - don't look like they could possibly be photographs. Read More
The Android Asset Studio is an indispensable tool that offers quick icon and nine-patch generation, along with a device art generator that graduated to Google's official Android Developers site. And since there are new Nexus devices (hopefully shipping soon), it's time for new shells to frame your screenshots. Today, the Nexus 5X and 6P joined the lineup.
Of course older devices are still available under a separate dropdown - the Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7 (2012), and 10 are all represented though interestingly the Nexus 7 (2013) has fallen out of the selection.
Google still advises developers not to use device frames in their Play Store collateral, since materials with device frames may end up looking dated and may distract from things like screenshots, but then again Google itself doesn't always follow this advice, right? Read More
People were understandably excited when Nova Launcher added icon normalization to the beta app. This feature automatically scales app icons to make the sizes more visually consistent. It's been a few weeks, but icon normalization is ready for prime time as part of the new v4.1 update in the Play Store. Read More
Google has always encouraged developers to design their app icons with a "unique silhouette." This gives designers the freedom to come up with neat stuff, but there are drawbacks. For example, icons that are just weird sizes and look out of place on your device. Well, there's a new Nova Launcher feature coming that could fix that. "Icon normalization" is in private alpha now, and it's coming to the beta channel very soon. Read More