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translucent

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Google is testing a translucent Google Feed page on the Pixel Launcher

Google has been tweaking the Google Feed (previously known as Google Now) page quite a bit recently. They started rolling out a dual-tabbed interface in December, but seemingly stopped shortly after. Last month, a new transparent Google Now pane appeared for one user, and now a modified version has showed up.

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Google App v4.6 Enables Translucent Status And Navigation Bars For Google Now Screen On Custom Launchers [APK Download]

Expectations are high for each update to Google's core apps on Android. After all, we know there are going to be a lot of new features announced at I/O in less than 2 weeks. Quite a few apps have recently gone through a Material refresh, and plenty of others have seen smaller changes as they slowly coalesce around the current design guidelines. That appears to be the story with the latest Google App update. The latest version finally enables full screen mode for Google Now on devices using custom launchers.

2015-05-18 20.10.172015-05-18 20.18.03

left: old version, right: new version

Prior to this release, users with the Google Now Launcher set as their default homescreen would see their Now stream with translucent status and navigation bars.

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Pushbullet 13.3 Brings Support For KitKat's Transparent Navigation Bar, New Language Translations, And More

Popular file and notification-sharing app Pushbullet has already supported transparent status bars on KitKat devices, but with the latest update, it now has a transparent navigation bar as well. It doesn't make using the service any different, but it sure is pretty.

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KitKat Feature Spotlight: Translucent Navigation And Notification Bars Can Be Requested By Apps In 4.4

The next version of Android is bringing a lot of visual options to the table, and they're not just for Google to play with. Buried deep within the KitKat 4.4 API (level 19) is the ability for apps to request translucent system UI overlays, specifically on the top notification bar and the bottom navigation bar (if your device has one). You can see this feature in action in all the promotional photos of the Nexus 5's homescreen, where the wallpaper is visible form the top of the screen to the bottom.

translucent

There have been a few OEMs that have tried this sort of thing with their own software skins, notably Samsung (various 4.2 devices), LG (on the new G2), and Motorola (on the DROID RAZR HD and its siblings).

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SwiftKey Announces A Tablet-Optimized, Tron-Inspired Honeycomb Keyboard

We can't say we didn't see it coming, considering we saw this preview of the tablet-optimized SwiftKey keyboard during CES, but what SwiftKey is announcing today looks quite a bit different, to say the least.

Allow me to introduce Swiftkey Tablet - a tablet-only Honeycomb keyboard set to launch around the same time as the Motorola XOOM tablet. Sticking with the 3-way-split design, the new holographic look reminds me quite a bit of Tron. If you watch the video below, you'll see that the UI is quite... magical, with suggestions floating up when clicked. The dual space bar design and the presence of arrow keys are very welcomed as well.

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