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Pixel Launcher Sneak Peek Part 1: Google's new circular launcher icons [APK Teardown]

If there is anything you can count on to remain the same in Android, it's that Google is continually looking to change it. The visual style of the world's leading mobile operating system is updated every year as new versions are released, but it's with Google's own apps that there are almost constant shifts in what we're seeing. As we all know, Android 7.1 is in the works, and it's expected to be released alongside the upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which themselves will include a brand new (and much leaked) Pixel Launcher. For its latest daring design move, Google appears to be adopting a new look for the home screen, and it's all about circles.

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Play Books v3.8 Brings A New Search Bar, New Book Notifications For Favorite Authors, Performance Improvements, And Much More [APK Download]

This is certainly a week for updates. Between the latest dev preview for Android N, the rest of the April security updates, and a decent stack of apps from Google, things have been really busy. Play Books joins the lineup, bringing with it a number of visual and functional changes. Of course there is a new icon to join the rebranding effort, but it also includes some updates to the search bar, the reading experience, and more. As always, we've got a link to the download at the bottom.

What's New

Many thanks to the Play Books team for providing a very thorough changelog!

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Play Movies & TV v3.13 Includes The New Play Branding Icon And Details An Aspect Of Streaming From The Family Library [APK Teardown + Download]

A few days ago, Google announced newly revised icons for its Play-branded apps. Newsstand was the first to emerge with the updated look, but aside from very minor tweaks to a few of the icons inside the app, there wasn't anything significant to be seen. The Play Movies & TV app received a pretty similar update, again with a few minimal icon changes and the new launcher icon, but there's actually something more interesting in the teardown: new rules about streaming paid content when it's shared in the family library.

What's New

product_logo_play_movies_color_192-oldproduct_logo_play_movies_color_192

After Google announced the new icons, I insisted that AP should not post about the individual updates if those were the only changes worth pointing out.

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Google Announces New Google Play App Icons

Google is kicking off the week by revamping the look of its "Play" family of app icons. That includes the Play Store, Play Music, and anything else that starts with "Play." The look is much more consistent, but I imagine the redesign will be rather divisive. I mean, isn't everything?

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Android N Feature Spotlight: System UI Tuner Expands Status Bar Options With Auto-Rotate Status Symbol, Clock, Battery, And Others

System UI Tuner made its debut in the Android M developer preview, and a little less than a year later it's getting some interesting new additions in version N. It's still activated in the same way: lower the Quick Settings shade and hold the "settings" gear icon for a few seconds. After that, the System UI tuner option will appear in the main Settings menu. We've already examined the new color balance calibration tool and the return of Night Mode, plus the new Quick Settings options, which are now exposed to the user by default. Let's take a look at the new Statusbar options, some of which are new and some of which are carried over from Android M:

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[Update: Normalization Is Gone] Google App v5.8 Beta Brings Back Launcher Auto Rotation On Phones And Now Normalizes Icon Sizes For A Bit Of Consistency [APK Download]

Following the big improvements to Maps on Monday night, Google is hitting us again with another update that is sure to make quite a few users happy, at least for those that use the Google Now Launcher (a.k.a. GEL). Support for a rotating launcher screen on phones is back, and if that's not enough, there's also a nifty new rendering feature that resizes app icons so most of them will look more consistent on your home screen. This update appears to have come out of Google's beta channel, but we've got download links at the bottom if you want to jump on it right away.

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[Android 6.0 Feature Spotlight] Home Screen Settings Shortcuts Now Have Individual Icons

It's not often that we find an Android feature worthy of coverage after months in the wild, but Marshmallow truly is the OS that keeps on giving. It looks like there's a notable tweak to those home screen settings shortcuts. Rather than having identical settings icons, they all have their own.

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YouTube v10.43 Cleans Up Some Icons And Prepares To Add Fast Forward And Rewind [APK Teardown + Download]

Since the launch of YouTube Red, there have already been a couple of minor updates to fix little bugs and make further tweaks to the interface. The most recent upgrade, version 10.43, just started rolling out this morning and it appears to share the same purpose. However, a teardown also reveals YouTube is preparing to introduce a feature many of us have been dying to see: fast forward and rewind.

What's New

2015-10-31 23.53.512015-10-31 23.53.41

Left: previous versions.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Android Beam Gets A Shiny New Share Icon

That new default Android icon in 5.1 we pointed out earlier appears to be showing up in more places than expected. It's the basis for an updated Android Beam icon, which you can see below.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-12-34-43 2015-03-10 19.38.55

Left: Old, Right: New

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