Back in April 2016, YouTube began testing a new look on the desktop site. This time, the web interface is heavily influenced by Material Design - something that has been in the works for other Google web apps recently. Now the redesign appears to be rolling out more widely. Read More
The latest release of Google Photos hit today and it brings a few visual adjustments to a couple of the screens we visit most often. The pages for Albums and Device folders have been rearranged a bit to pack more things on the screen at once. The teardown also reveals upcoming support for easier photo sharing through Nearby and a new creation tool for mashing up your pictures and video. Read More
Google started testing a Preview redesign of Google Contacts' web interface back in March of 2015. At the time, you could access it by going to contacts.google.com/preview and it looked nicer than the old Gmail-like Contacts page. As time passed, Material Design evolved even further and that redesign itself was getting stale. A slightly updated version was rolled out to G Suite users in March of 2016, but the biggest redesign is happening now and it's affecting everyone.
If you head over to contacts.google.com, no /preview at the end, you will see a brand new Contacts interface that takes the Material redesign to a new level. Read More
Snapchat is readying an update for its Android and iOS versions that brings a new interface with plenty of usability improvements and a few added features. The update is now rolling out to beta testers on Android so you can give it a go before it goes live for everyone — and thus feel cooler than the cool kids, I guess. Just don't use the word "thus" when you tell them that.
The new interface is more colorful with a blue title bar for chats and a purple one for stories. The Stories section also loses the Discover strip from the top. It now goes on the bottom instead, letting you focus first on the recent story updates from your friends. Read More
Google is doing a big upgrade to Play Music this week, enabling a smarter and more contextually aware recommendation engine, an easier to use interface, and a more streamlined caching system for offline playback. You'll notice some big changes to the look of the Play Music home screen on both the web and mobile devices, and hopefully some better music suggestions. Read More
Play Newsstand has been quietly going without an update for much longer than normal, and now we can see why. Version 4.0 began rolling out yesterday and it's packed with a whole new look and a few new features. If recent events haven't scared you away from reading news, there's a link at the bottom of this post where you can grab the latest update from APK Mirror and skip ahead of the regular rollout schedule. Read More
Consider this one just a shadow of a whisper of a rumor, folks, but a recent video posted by Google indicates that at least someone in Mountain View is considering some major changes for the Play Store app. Take a gander at this Pixel Tips support video. Most of it is fairly obvious stuff meant for first-time users (perhaps including some of those iPhone owners that Google is so keen to convert), but at around the 1:40 mark the demonstrator opens the Play Store, and it's immediately clear that it's not the same one we have right now. Read More
Setting up and using 2-factor authentication on a Google account used to be a fairly miserable affair. The sign-in process lurched from a native interface into a browser where users were expected to quickly enter codes, various apps weren't compatible and required special 1-time use passwords, and the app for generating codes felt completely unfinished. These days, all of those problems have been solved, and now Google's Authenticator app is even taking steps to further improve its look and usefulness. The latest update brings a great looking refresh to the UI, adds a dark mode, and finally adds its own built-in scanner functionality. Read More
The YouTube Gaming app received an update yesterday, taking it to v1.7. Google has already posted the changelog and this release appears to be mostly about fixing up the chat experience. There are improvements to both the chat interface and the underlying code that drives it. There are supposed to be changes to better support Android 7.0 Nougat, although it's unclear what they are, and the typical assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements. Of course, with each new version comes a new easter egg. Read More