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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Preview 2 Revamps The Memory Settings Menu User Interface

The nice thing about having a huge public beta test is that, well, you get to test stuff. Apparently the reaction to the new dedicated Memory section of the Settings menu wasn't everything that Google had hoped for, because it's been given a notable redesign in the brand-new version 2. The most striking change is a new overview screen that appears when you first tap Memory. Now it shows you the total memory in use with a readout in MB or GB, instead of breaking it down by apps.

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'Google Notifications' Panel Gets Filtering Options

Before bits and pieces of Google+ departed from Google's web toolbar earlier this month, the bar's notification panel began labeling notifications according to their origin. G+ notifications for example got a Google+ icon, while notifications about a user's photo library got the Google Photos badge.

Tonight it looks like Google is rolling out another change to the panel, adding a settings button which allows users to filter out G+, Photos, or YouTube notifications individually.

Interestingly, not all sources appear for all users - it's unclear exactly how the panel knows which options to show, but it appears that the presence of Photos or YouTube options partially depends on whether you've opted to receive those notifications in the Google+ settings.

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PSA: Toggling WiFi, Bluetooth, And The Flashlight Works Flawlessly With Voice Commands In Google Search In Lollipop

Back in 2014, one of the changes spotted in Google Search was support for settings toggles through voice commands. At the time, the feature wasn't complete — it merely gave you a shortcut to open the corresponding settings panel. That wasn't helpful at all, since you had to use your fingers to make the change, which would have been done much faster through the drop-down quick settings. In Lollipop, starting with 5.0, some of these toggles work as they are supposed to, through voice commands alone and without the need for some third-party hack like Commandr.

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"Turn on/off Wifi, Bluetooth, or Flashlight," are all currently working in Google Now. You get an audio feedback letting you know that the action has been triggered, then the magic happens.

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Data Conservation, Improved Gender Identity Options Come To Google+ App, Post Pinning On The Way

From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.

A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other). This functionality is now available on the web and in the Google+ app for Android.

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Feedly v25 Finally Refreshes The Old Gingerbread-Style Settings Menu With A Material Theme, Uses Higher Resolution Images, And More

Feedly has really thrived in the wake of Google Reader's demise, but its developers haven't exactly made the app the best that it could be. For far too long now, the settings menu has held onto the Gingerbread era, even while the rest of the experience gradually modernized. With Feedly version 25, the team has finally put this issue to bed. Now when you start tinkering around with the various options, it will actually look like you're using something designed in 2014.

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Left: Old, KitKat. Center: New, KitKat. Right: New, Lollipop.

Rounding out the changelog, Feedly has retired URL shortening for Twitter.

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CyanogenMod Borrows Android L's Global Settings Search Feature, Adds It To Latest Nightlies

Android L is overflowing with new features and clever little tweaks, but none of that will be official until later this year. Not wanting to wait around, the CM folks have already borrowed (or "kanged" if you must) a feature from Android L. In the 0701 nightly builds, there is now a handy universal settings search button.

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Google Search v3.4 Adds Voice Control Of Settings, But It's Not Quite Done Yet [Update]

There are a few noteworthy changes in the latest Google Search update, but we've spotted one more that deserves some exploration. Ever since Google rolled out its new voice interactions as part of Google Now, settings control has been strangely absent. With v3.4 it's kind of there.

Update 6/30/14: Search v3.5 seems to have added Bluetooth support, but it still doesn't do what you really want it to.

2014-05-01 01.55.51 2014-05-01 01.56.27 2014-05-01 01.56.58

In the new Google Search, you can say things like "turn WiFi off," and the device will automatically open the correct settings menu. It does not, as you might hope, actually toggle the setting.

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YouTube 5.5 Update Introduces UI Tweaks, Replying To Comments, Hints At YouTube Surveys [APK Download]

The app updates just keep coming. Joining Maps, Translate, and Wallet on the list of updated Google apps today, YouTube got a bump to 5.5.26, an update which brought with it several UI tweaks, and a new icon. Actually, the icon appears to be a mistake. Google has shipped out the Dogfood version of YouTube, meant for internal testing. As such, the updated app has a previously unseen "dogfood" settings screen with a few options related to "ExoPlayer."

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Elsewhere, there are considerable UI tweaks that appear to represent a move toward higher information density, and an effort to put things where users will find them more naturally.

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Light Flow Updated To Version 3.12.6, Now Supports Android 4.4, Better Handles Hangouts/SMS Integration, Has Improved Layout, And More

Have a KitKat device? If so, you've made the leap to the latest version of Android faster than most other people. That's the fun part. You've also jumped to Android 4.4 before most apps. That's the not so fun part. While older apps are generally stable and compatible, sometimes an update is in order to iron out the kinks. Thus a new version of Light Flow is now available that makes the app more compatible with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5.

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What does this entail? Well, now the app that lets users customize their phones' LED lights is better able to handle the Hangouts/SMS integration that KitKat rolled in.

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