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Android's System Bars And Your Interface - Whether And How To Theme

Google updated its design spec recently. The material spec, which Google says is a living document (as evidenced by its ongoing updates), gained further guidance on floating action buttons, dialogs, updates on typography, and a lot more.

One less-advertised update was a change to the section in "Structure" concerning the navigation bar in Android. The "color variants" text is still identical to that from the "status bar" subsection, but an image showing nav bars themed to match your device's hardware was removed. Here's the image in question:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.39.01 AM

Theming according to device color is - as far as this writer knows - not possible on Android at the moment, and neither is theming the nav bar to its "light style" variant also shown in the guidelines, where the nav bar is white and the buttons become gray.

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Google Updates Design Guidelines With Clarity On Nav Drawers, Launcher Icons, And More

In a rather exciting post to its Google Design Google+ page today, Google announced a big set of improvements to the material design guidelines. The design spec, which - since this summer - has been a "preview," has been updated with links to relevant Android developer documentation, a new section called "What is Material?" a "What's new" section (to stay up to date on any changes), and a couple of other exciting changes.

First among those is clarity on more design patterns, including scrolling, swipe to refresh, time and date formats, errors, and navigation drawers. Readers may remember my recent post about the many faces of Google's nav drawers.

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[Meta] New At - Post Navigation With Keyboard Shortcuts [Updated: New Functionality]

Being a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts (I have most of Gmail's keys memorized and use them exclusively for maximum productivity every day), I jumped at the opportunity to add similar functionality to itself.

On various pages of the site that contain multiple posts, like the homepage, category, author, and tag pages, you can now:

  • press "j" to jump to the next article in the list
  • press "k" to jump to the previous article in the list
  • press "o" or "Enter" to go to the article that's closest to the top of the visible browser area
  • (new) press "O" to do the same as above, except in a new browser tab/window
  • (new) press "c" or "C" on a post page to zoom to the comments box

Furthermore, if you're at the end of a list, pressing "j" will advance to the next page.

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