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Articles Tagged:

icons

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This evolution of Google Play app icons graphic is funny, but also a little depressing

An infographic posted on Google+ yesterday really has managed to capture the emotional roller coaster of Google's app icon evolution on Android over the past four years. Using the icons for Play Books, Music, Movies, Newstand, and Games, we can watch as Android goes from toy-like skeuomorphism, to paper cutouts, to triangles (!?), to triangles in circles (disgruntled face here) in Nougat.

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Google Messenger v2.0 adds unread counts to several launchers, brings a new launcher icon, prepares for RCS support, and much more [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google Messenger app officially hit version 2.0 yesterday. There are plenty of changes, largely related to visual tweaks like a new launcher icon, color changes, and some revised layouts. While a mostly visual release, there are some functional improvements, as well. A teardown also brings a good look at some interesting things in the future of messaging.

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Play Store v7.1 adds a round launcher icon and an app shortcut in preparation for the Pixel Launcher and Android 7.1, and more [APK Teardown]

Google is rolling out the red carpet for the upcoming Pixel phones, ensuring that its core lineup of apps are dressed the part. An update to the Play Store began rolling out yesterday with a new round launcher icon for the Pixel Launcher and an app shortcut (formerly known as launcher shortcuts) for Android 7.1. Also joining the list of upcoming features will be support for purchasing 4K movies and TV shows, a marker to indicate if a device is certified, and a new icon for promotions and gifts.

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Opinion: My early thoughts on Google's round icons (and consistency for its own sake)

By the time this post goes up, I'm sure most of our readers will have seen Google's circlified icons in the new Pixel launcher, bound for the new Pixel phones. I've been asked a few times what I think about the new launcher and, for the most part, I don't have a strong opinion. But I do have some thoughts about the circlified icons, some guesses at the rationale, and some thoughts about the downsides of consistency for its own sake. As with any written-from-the-outside post about design, I want to note up front that we aren't privy to any research, data, or other information Google used to make its decisions, so the best we can do is respectfully speculate and ponder.

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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

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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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