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Google changes the Allo and Duo icons in the Play Store

When Google announced its new communication apps Allo and Duo at I/O 2016, it said that they were coming this summer. With June 21 nearly upon us, the countdown until the quarter of the release is starting in most of our heads. And right on queue, Google seems to be getting ready too. Since the app listings are available on the Play Store, but only under pre-order, all we can keep an eye on is the description, screenshots, and app icons.

The latter have changed for both apps from when you first saw them. When Allo was demo'ed at I/O, it had a red icon with white letters (as seen here), but once it made it onto the Play Store, it switched to a light grey background with red letters (see here).

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Play Games v3.7 Finally Enables Gamer ID And Automatic Sign-In For Everybody [APK Download]

Remember that time Google said it was abandoning sign-in with Google+ accounts for Play Games and introducing a brand new Gamer ID system with automatic sign-in and improved privacy controls? Don't worry if that's not very fresh in your memory, the announcement was almost two months ago. Well, it's finally time to make the switch for real. The latest Play Games update switches users to the new system (for those that weren't already on it) and fully enables the account customization features.

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A small number of users were switched over to the Gamer ID system within a day or two of the original announcement, but the rollout to existing accounts stopped very abruptly.

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Todoist Gives Its Brand A Visual Refresh, Introduces New App Icon In Latest Update

Todoist gave its Android app a complete material makeover early this summer, providing users with the most changes they've seen in years. But it seems the company left one thing off the list at the time, and today it's rectifying that. The to-do list and note syncing service has come out with a new brand identity, one that does away with its old TD logo.

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Twitch For Android Gets New On-Demand Streaming Video, New App Icon, And A New Play Store Listing In The Latest Update

Why did the Twitch app move from its old Play Store listing at "tv.twitch.android.viewer" to a new one at "tv.twitch.android.app?" Beats me - maybe it's because the added functionality in version 4.0 makes it more of a "full" interface for the popular streaming game video service, as opposed to simply a viewer. You still can't stream video directly from your Android device, but now you've got access to the whole expansive collection of gameplay videos.

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In particular, that includes previously-recorded video sessions and highlights, which used to be off-limits to the Android app for some reason. Twitch calls these "on-demand" videos, which is an odd way of classifying videos that aren't actually streaming live right at this moment.

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Tha 13 Icon Pack From Tha Phlash Is The Bloodiest, Goriest, Nastiest Way To Rotten Up Your Home Screens

Most people who know me are aware of how much I love horror movies. And out of all genres of horror, old school slashers are probably my favorite - the more guts, the better. Also, I'm a sucker for a chainsaw...but generally only when Leatherface is holding it. <3

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If you're into blood and gore like I'm into blood and gore, and you want to translate that particular obsession onto your homescreen, a new icon pack from Tha Phlash called 13 is sure to make you tingle all over. It was mostly likely released in celebration of the Friday the 13th that hit at the end of last week, but pay that no mind - guts are forever, friends.

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[APK Download] YouTube Update Adds A New Share Menu And Brings Back Voice Search, Oddly Jumps From Version 6.0.3 To 10.02.3

Say Google, is there something big you're hiding in the latest version of the YouTube Android app that justifies a massive jump in the version number? Because if you are, we can't find it. The YouTube app currently propagating across the Play Store is version 10.02.3, a huge jump from the previous (and not altogether different) 6.0.3. The newer version adds a grid-based share menu and a few changed icons and brings back the voice search option, plus a few changes under the hood, but it's a very strange jump for a comparatively small update.

What's New?

The biggest user-facing change in YouTube 10 is a new share menu which lists out all the sharing apps in a grid rather than a list, making it much easier to see everything at once.

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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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The Many Faces Of Google's Hamburger Navigation Drawer

It goes without saying for most Android enthusiasts that the side-navigation drawer is a hot point of contention right now. With the introduction of material design, Google emphasized information hierarchy heavily, giving advice in its design specifications on how to arrange just about everything, including side navigation. According to the specifications (and Googler Roman Nurik), the "correct" behavior for the side drawer is to slide in as a sheet of paper over the entire canvas, including the app bar or toolbar.

The issue with the new navigation drawer paradigm is that it has not been followed consistently by Google. It could be argued that Google implemented a placeholder drawer design in some places because the support libraries were not available, or to maintain fidelity with other drawers on pre-L systems since Android Lollipop is not actually released yet.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Android Now Defaults To Mobile Data When Wi-Fi Has No Internet Access, Signal Icon Adds A '!' For No Connection

Staying in a hotel with crappy Wi-Fi is frustrating, but not half so frustrating as finding this out by starting up your phone, connecting, realizing there's no Internet access, then manually disabling Wi-Fi to make sure it goes back to 3G or LTE. In Lollipop, Android 5.0 will do that for you: when the system sees no connection to the Internet (or more probably Google servers) via a Wi-Fi connection on a device with a cellular radio, it will automatically default to mobile data to keep an active connection. Neat!

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There's also a stronger visual indication of connection problems on both Wi-Fi and mobile data.

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Google Play Services Updated To 6.1.71 With New Google Settings Icon, UI Tweaks [APK Download]

Just over a week after its last update, it seems Google Play Services is receiving another bump - this time up to 6.1.71.

Of course, Google hasn't posted an official change log for the update quite yet, but we've already got the APK and can point out a few differences. The most obvious one is of course the new launcher icon for Google Settings, which follows Google's yet unspoken launcher icon design guidelines

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The various menus also have new L-style checkboxes on pre-L devices. We're still digging around to see what's new, so we'll add more details here as we find them.

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