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.
When we first discussed Google's effort to re-imagine interface design, it was expected that Google would release fresh designs in small steps, gradually easing its own apps into the new design language a few pieces at a time.
Inside an update that officially only contained stability improvements, Chrome Beta got one more lovely design element today - a beautiful build-out animation for the overflow menu. Readers who have taken a look at Google's new design spec will recognize the mechanics of the animation right off the bat - the menu appears in a sensible way, expanding from one origin point and building out menu items in a coordinated, predictable manner.
Searching for a restaurant that can satisfy everyone's culinary preferences isn't particularly easy on a smartphone's data connection. The process typically involves searching for a specific website, hoping there's a mobile version (nope), and searching around for a menu. Now Google's rolling out a feature in the US that should streamline things a bit. Just search Google for the menu and watch it appear as the top result.
The physical Menu button is an interesting holdout from an earlier age of Android. While Google's devices and those manufacturers that roughly follow Google's guidelines (like Motorola and LG) don't use it, Samsung and a few others do, leaving app developers in a tight spot when it comes to implementing an overflow button. Today a Reddit user found this change to the Action Bar Policy file for KitKat in Google's Git repository.
There's been a quiet trend among user interface augmentations as of late: the swipe-out app and menu bar. SwipePad is probably the progenitor (and still my go-to app), and we've featured a handful of interesting alternatives, but Edge: Quick Actions deserves special attention. This little app has managed to outdo Google itself by making the Recents function (the right-most button on the default navigation configuration) obsolete.
How so? Instead of tapping a button and then tapping the app you want to switch to, Edge embeds the last five open apps into a quick-firing mini-launcher that comes across the screen as a ribbon.
Facebook's made a series of slip-ups in its transition to mobile. Their previous Facebook app, with its HTML5 underpinnings, was a slow and clunky mess. Facebook Home was launched to minimal interest, and the core app itself continues to stagnate. Through all of this, there has been one minor, but essential, change Facebook could implement to improve the experience for a sizable number of users. As of today, an update to the Facebook beta has finally done away with that unforgivable blemish - the legacy menu button is apparently no more!
Titanium Backup, one of the most powerful – and popular – backup utilities available for Android, got an update to version 6.0 today. Don't get too excited though – the version bump consists primarily of bug fixes and optimizations, along with a few updated translations. Oh, and a redesigned menu. Yes, Titanium Backup's design is finally getting some attention, but not quite in the way we'd hoped – take a look at the before and after screens below.
Following up on the success of its Current Caller ID app, WhitePages has released version 2.0 of the WhitePages app, bringing a slick new Android-oriented UI and new social/discovery features along for the ride.
Besides its newly holo-fied interface design, the WhitePages app adds the ability to connect with friends and neighbors with a Nearby People functionality that can be used, as seen in the video, to "find a friend" and plan a lunch.
Today, a software update began rolling out for the Galaxy Note in Germany. The primary changes are cosmetic, it seems, to bring the phone more in line with the look and feel of the Galaxy Note II. The menu interface has been updated to be more consistent, and Samsung has also added a brand new Gallery that looks fantastic.
The gallery has some impressive new UI flair.
While the TGI Friday's brand might not exactly inspire awe in food critics, the fast food chain's flashy new Android app's functionality is undeniably impressive.
It has all the standard features you'd expect from an app of this sort (e.g. finding directions to a local Friday's, checking out the chain's menus, and placing orders); however, it also has one notably unique feature: the ability to pay your bill. Powered by a service called Tabbedout, Friday's app lets you create "tabs" of items you'd like to order, before paying the tab directly from your phone.