According to a tipster (and a report over at DroidLife), Google is testing a new feature for Google+ that could be big news for the platform. For now, it's called "Collections," and it's being tested for an unspecified release target.
The basic idea behind Collections is curated content sets - like Pinterest boards or Dribbble buckets, users could curate pieces of content into their collection, with others viewing, sharing, and following those collections as they please. Read More
Republic Wireless, the Sprint MVNO that burdens as much cellular load as it can onto Wi-Fi networks and seamlessly switches between the two, is changing the way it handles plans. Starting later this year, the company will charge you based on how much you use rather than the speed of your data connection. It will also offer refunds if you don't use up all the data you pay for each month. The carrier is calling this project Maestro. Read More
YouTube isn't the only Google web property getting some A/B testing right now. Apparently Maps is under the microscope as well, with Google testing a new nav drawer menu and refreshed biking and traffic elements.
The nav drawer icon, as you might expect, is embedded in the search bar, a pattern introduced with the new nav drawer icon and material design.
There's also a "road sign" navigation icon embedded in the same bar. Read More
Twitter looks to be in the process of rolling out a handy feature in its official app, but you probably don't have it yet. A number of users in the Twitter beta program report they now have a built-in browser for viewing links. This appears to be a server-side change, so you can't just install an APK to enable it. Read More
Search, as the foundational product Google is known for, is obviously something the company is very thoughtful of when it comes to design. Even small changes can cause a big impact on user experience and engagements, so Google is careful about how design tweaks are implemented.
One common method of testing and easing into (or out of) design tweaks is A/B testing (something we recently saw Google experimenting with in the Google+ app). Read More
From time to time, Google engages in A/B testing with its live products. Flipping switches from somewhere deep in its Mountain View HQ, Google will turn on new design tweaks or feature changes for small groups of users, and measure their impact on engagement. This is generally a helpful process for validating design decisions, and occasionally we catch them in the act and get a peek at what might be around the corner. Read More
Twitter can be an intimidating place for newcomers. The site's timeline is only as good as the content that appears inside it, and until you start following profiles, it's pretty spartan. But the social network knows it has a problem, and it's trying to do something about it.
Twitter already makes recommendations during the setup process that points us towards friends along with popular sources of news and entertainment. Read More
A number of our readers have witnessed a change after opening up the Facebook app. The social network is apparently testing out an updated version of the user interface that sports a flatter look and more colorful, circular icons. We wouldn't call it a big Material redesign, but it does show signs of trying to better fit in. Read More
Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service that helps developers test their apps and get feedback from users. The company plans to use the platform, akin to Apple's TestFlight (purchased early this year), to attract app creators to its development tools. The folks at Redmond intend to integrate HockeyApp with the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to improve support for Android and iOS. Read More