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File Expert Goes Material And More In Update To Version 7.0

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.

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Slack 2.0 Is Coming, And It Looks A Whole Lot Better

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.

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Google Product Forums Finally Get A Material UI Refresh

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.

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YouTube Creator Studio v1.3 Adopts Material Design, Adds Stats For Traffic Sources [APK Download]

In just 3 weeks, we expect Google to officially announce a new subscription option that will allow users to enjoy YouTube completely ad-free. In the lead-up to this, both the web service and its Android apps have received a swarm of updates and features. In just the last month, there has been a revised web player, search for 360-degree videos, and some improvements to YouTube Kids (with more to come). There has even been a pretty severe service interruption for Music Key subscribers, most likely as a result of upgrades to the software. With so much happening, it comes as no surprise that the YouTube Creator Studio app also received an update.

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Microsoft Remote Desktop App Updated With New UI, Multiple Sessions, And Overall Improvements

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).

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Total Commander Gets Much Less Ugly (But Still Pretty Ugly) And Vaguely Material In Version 2.6

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.

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Hipchat Beta Gets A Material Redesign, Native Message Rendering

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:

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The "lobby" has been transformed into a "chats" screen, with people and rooms in the same view.

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Ready Contact List Goes Material In Big 2.0 Release, Gains Third-Party App Integration, Call Bubbles, And More

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.

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DashClock Is Back With New (Materialized) Beta

Roman Nurik, a Design Advocate at Google, launched the DashClock Widget back in early 2013. It's an extremely versatile, modular widget that - by default - supports things like time, weather, unread Gmail messages, and alarms. But its modular nature is the real selling point. Users can add extensions for apps they're already using, allowing a lot of information from disparate and unrelated apps to be displayed in one handy widget.

After an update in December 2013, though, it seemed that DashClock had gone on a break. Happily, version 1.7 is currently in beta mode and its refreshed (materialized) interface is ready to try out now.

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Google Updates Material Design Spec With Dedicated FAB Section, Updates On Typography, Cards, And More

Back in November, Google updated its new design guidelines for the first time, adding guidance on the navigation drawer and launcher icons, and - happily - a "what's new" section, which it said would serve as a place to explain future updates to the guidelines.

Yesterday, Google gave the guidelines another sizable update, adding an entire section to guide devs and designers on when and how to use floating action buttons, along with new guidelines for data tables, overall app structure, and guidance on important units and measurements, plus a lot more. Here's Google's full list of changes.

What's new

The April 2015 release of the material design spec includes the following new sections:

Additional significant content updates include:

  • Typography adds further guidance on style and line height for dense and tall languages
  • Cards includes more specs for laying out actions and content
  • Dialogs contains additional layout guidance
  • Tabs adds guidance around label content and more complete sizing specs
  • Scrolling techniques adds guidance for overlapping content

Where Google's last update to the guidelines seemed to be about filling holes, this update is positioned as a response to the community, giving more specific guidance on things that seem to have arisen as points of interest in material design.

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