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Android Messages updated again, reinstating the FAB and potentially fixing the notification bug [APK Download]

Google's stock SMS app for Android should be an undramatic affair, but it's been in the news more than you might expect recently. This is largely due to a bug that has been preventing notifications for many people, and that's a pretty big problem for a messaging app. The decision to remove the FAB (floating action button) in the last update has been controversial, too. In the latest update, it seems everything is back to "normal."

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Android Messages v2.5 removes the FAB for new conversations, prepares to launch video calls, read QR codes, and exchange money [APK Teardown]

"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change." That's a famous quote by the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Nobody knew it at the time, but he had been sent back from the future and was actually making a snarky comment about Google's approach to design. It was only about two years ago when every app was adding FABs (floating action buttons) regardless of how much or little they made sense, and now we're saying an abrupt goodbye to the one in Android Messages as it vanishes with the latest update. Alongside that simple change, a teardown also turns up signs that the app will soon provide shortcuts to launch video calls, exchange money with contacts, and read QR codes.

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Google Maps gains Street View images for directions and a bottom bar for location info, directions, and more

Go check out the Google Maps app and you might notice a few things have changed since the last time you poked around. In the last couple of days, Google pushed some changes to the Maps interface that add Street View images to the directions screen. It seems there's also another change showing up on more recent versions that will also move around a few widgets on the screen.

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Facebook is testing a floating button for suggested videos

It seems like every week there's something new popping up in Facebook's Android app. I've lost track and count, but I'm fairly sure we've never seen them mess with floating action buttons (FAB) in this way before. Two tipsters have reported seeing a new FAB in Facebook for suggested videos... and really, that's about it.

Tapping the FAB opens a new page that shows a list of videos suggested for you to watch. Because Facebook needs you to watch more videos, obviously, and a FAB is one of the best ways to attract a user's attention and/or elicit accidental taps.

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Google Photos v1.19 Allows Custom Music In Generated Movies, Adds Better SD Card And Folder Management, And Makes A Bunch Of UI Tweaks [APK Download]

Update Wednesday went by a bit quietly with relatively few rollouts. However, the tail end of the day brought a bump to the Photos app with a lot of unusual and interesting changes. There are plenty of visual tweaks throughout the app, not to mention a couple of new features. Auto-generated movies now support custom music and there are some improvements to folder management and SD card support, such as it is. As always, hit the bottom of the post for download links.

What's New

Official Changelog: (summarized from Google's post)

  • Provide your own music for automatically generated movies
  • Folder renaming and partial SD card support
  • Replaced the FAB that launched Search with a search bar
  • New search interface
  • Many other small visual tweaks

Substitute Your Own Music in Generated Movies

2016-04-28 16.37.492016-04-28 16.54.38

Photos, like many other apps and services that have cropped up over recent years, is pretty awesome at stitching together short videos from our pictures and movies, then adding background music to give them some extra punch.

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YouTube App Starts Introducing A New Record And Upload Screen And Updated Camcorder FAB For Some Users

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.

2016-03-01 14.59.592016-03-01 16.35.35

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.

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Facebook Is Testing A Slightly More Material Look For Messenger, FAB Included

Facebook Messenger on Android doesn't look exactly Material, but it seems modern. Well, at least more modern than the regular Facebook application. And often times it feels like the developers working on these two apps are completely different teams because the Messenger one seems willing to experiment and try new things and go in weird and fun new directions, whereas the Facebook app team is just stuck in its ways.

One change that might be headed to Facebook Messenger is a cleaner look with a hint of Material Design inspiration. The most visible change is the switch from the full-width bottom blue bar to the blue floating action button (FAB) that lets you start new conversations.

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Medium 2.0 Gets A New Logo And A FAB, Adds An Explore Section And Highlights, And Looks Great On Any Marshmallow Device

I have been trying to write about Medium's 2.0 update for a few hours, but I got lost using the app, enjoying it, and I even decided to sign up and write one of my first non-Android stories in years. That's how you know the app is not just good, it's great. I have always thought about joining Medium, but I never felt compelled to. I guess this update was the final push I needed, and I decided to pull the trigger and dive deep in the service.

But let's get back to Medium's update. You may recall that the app was released mere months ago, but it has seen a steady stream of improvements since then.

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YouTube v10.24 Makes Some Visual Tweaks, Hints At A Wide Rollout For The New UI, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google gave us an update for YouTube a little early this week, bumping the latest version number up to v10.24. Aside from a few bug fixes, which we certainly won't complain about, the changes appear to be mostly cosmetic. A new splash screen appears at launch and quite a few icons have been replaced. On the surface, this update doesn't seem to deliver any new functionality, but a teardown reveals some hints about what may be coming in YouTube's future.

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[Hands-On] WhatsApp Goes Material With Cool Animations, FABs, And Lots Of "Purty"

Good things happen when I'm asleep. Or driving. Or offline. It's a fact of life that I have gotten used to. So was the case with WhatsApp's latest update and I woke up today to dozens of email tips (thanks, everyone!) about the new Material Design overhaul the app has received. It's not like all of you were waiting with bated breath for this update, na-ah, or like we had not one, not two, but tens of comments on every article we wrote about WhatsApp in the past months clamoring for a Material makeover. So you can all finally breathe a sigh of relief and go enjoy the good stuff.

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