Are you in good hands? Is your insurance agency on your side? Is it like a good neighbor? If you answered yes to that last one, then you might want to check out your company's Android app. State Farm has given its Pocket Agent software a material makeover in the latest release.
Yesterday, we took a look at the YouTube Gaming app (at least the creator preview). Navigating through the app, users will see several elements obviously informed by YouTube's existing design - the video player can be minimized and dismissed, the navigation model relies entirely on tabs, and getting users to discover more content is the name of the game. But the app branches off from YouTube's design and UX - and the design of all of Google's Android apps - in some really remarkable and unique ways.
For that reason, I thought it may be fun to take a closer look at the design of YouTube Gaming (Creator Preview).
An app called File Expert is probably going to be an expert at managing files. One would hope, anyway, and in this case, one probably wouldn't be disappointed. File Expert can move your files around, measure your storage space, organize content automatically, and keep track of apps. Now it can do all of these things while looking up-to-date. That's right, in version 7, File Expert goes material.
The user interface is now turquoise and white all over the place. Brightly-colored, square-shaped icons accompany each item. The experience is still very tab heavy, but it has transitioned in a way that looks more at home on Lollipop.
In a post to Slack HQ today, the Slack Android team announced that version 2.0 of the chat service's Android app is coming (graduating from the 1.9.9 beta), and so far it looks much better than the current stable iteration.
Google's product forums have been a design nightmare for some time now, but today they rolled out a Material Design update for them. It is every bit as good as you might have hoped for, though you still have the option to switch to the old style. This extends to all of Google's products' support forums, but not Google Groups, which are technically separate despite the fact they shared a very similar UI before today. And, sadly, the mobile site still has its ancient, burn-your-eyes look.
While we will rightly hope for Google to get things going on mobile devices, let's take a moment and enjoy all the goodness in desktop browsers.
Microsoft's commitment to Android keeps on impressing us with new app releases, frequent improvements to its existing portfolio, and decent overall adoption of Google's design guidelines. Case in point, Remote Desktop. This handy app that lets you remotely connect to any Windows computer has been available for a while on Android, but its design was outdated and its features were slightly limited. Well that's no more.
Remote Desktop is finally getting the updated design and multiple account support that have been in testing through the app's Beta channel for a few months now. As you can see from the screenshots, the interface is more in line with Lollipop and although the nit-picky amongst us can point out a few missteps here and there, it's still a significant improvement over the old UI (pictured at the end of the post).
If you haven't heard, there's an Android version of the popular desktop file manager Total Commander. It has been around for years, and through all of that time, it hasn't been a particularly pretty piece of software. Okay, it started out somewhat fine by Gingerbread standards, but successive versions of Android have not been nice to it. If you go to the Play Store right now, here's one of the screenshots you will see.
Yup, that's some kind of Gingerbread-Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Holo-Frankenbaby.
Now things are starting to improve. Version 2.6 isn't exactly what we call pretty, nor does it hang out with anyone we'd consider all that attractive, but it's making an effort.
As our internal collaboration platform, Hipchat is special to the AP team. It's a great service for keeping track of assignments, chatting with team members, and sharing info, but until now the mobile app has been just a little behind the curve on design.
Today it looks like that's changing, as Hipchat beta received an update with material design.
The new Hipchat beta has native rendering for messages and will now honor your system's font size settings, but of course the overarching design is the real story here. Here's a look:
The "lobby" has been transformed into a "chats" screen, with people and rooms in the same view.
Ready is a third-party dialer that, from the beginning, has prided itself on being prettier than the one you're currently using. And for people where looks aren't enough, it consolidates various aspects of mobile communication into one place in order to improve the experience of actually making calls. You can know when you last talked, what was said in your last text, and when the next meeting is scheduled for all as you dial a person's number.
Now Ready has gone 2.0 after spending weeks in beta, and for this release, the developers have made the app Lollipop ready.