If you're as frustrated at Google's somewhat inconsistent implementation of the new Material Design user interface as our own Liam Spradlin, you'll be happy to see the latest small change to the Google Play Newsstand app. Newsstand got its major Material re-design early last month, but version 3.3.1 adds a few more tweaks to the UI. This demonstrates that Google intends to keep working on Material Design in general and its look in individual apps in particular.
It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since Google rebranded Play Magazines to Newsstand, essentially combining Magazines and Currents into one app. While we've seen updates come and go to Newsstand over the months, today's update marks the biggest one yet: a complete makeover.
According to the Android Blog, Newsstand is now using Material Design, which incorporates "larger images, more contextual headers, and smoother transitions" into the overall feel of the app.
Update 2: Google has updated its official list of countries with access to paid Newsstand content, and it looks like Spain is the only other country to get in today. Enjoy your magazines and newspapers, amigos - better luck next time for everyone else.
Update: At least one of our Russian readers says that paid Newsstand content is available in Russia as well. Nasdarovje, Pavel Azroyan! If anyone else sees paid content in a previously unsupported country, check out the Contact page and drop us a line.
The Google Play Newsstand Android app is pretty and all, but without the ability to subscribe to magazines, it's little more than a dumbed down pseudo-RSS reader. So it's a pretty good thing Google is rolling out access to the digital magazines to more countries. By now, residents in France and Germany should have access to the Newsstand content available in Google Play.
Newsstand is one of the younger apps in Google's portfolio, but today it's getting a significant update to version 3.1. The biggest change - and a welcome one for at-a-glance newshounds - is a brand-spanking new widget. It's a pretty basic 4X3 affair - the widget will display a single story at a time, complete with headline and embedded image. Tap the arrow button to advance to the next headline, or anywhere else to go directly to the story in Newsstand.
Two days ago, Google officially launched Newsstand, an app that combines Play Magazines and Currents to offer an all-in-one-place news source. To celebrate the launch of this new product, the company is now offering several magazines for free or at a discounted rate, presumably so potential customers can get their feet wet and see what the mag experience is all about.
There's a pretty wide variety of titles available for free and/or cheap right now, including MaximumPC, Men's Health, People, PC Gamer, Maxim, Wired, Women's Health, Entertainment Weekly, Runners, In Style, Sports Illustrated, BeerAdvocate, Vanity Fair, Bicycling, Linux Format, Redbook, and a lot more.
Earlier this week, we posted the first look at the upcoming Android Play Store app v4.4. As it turns out, besides sporting a new look and a secret message to the teardown team, the updated Play Store is strongly hinting at another new arrival - one we've been waiting for since March. And now we have the updated name for it - Google Play Newsstand.
March 2013: Google Play News
But first, allow me to refresh your memory.