DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!! DEVELOPERS!!! Yeah, ok, I know, the chant has been done to death. But, we at Android Police really do <3 developers. Building great apps is a challenging job and it requires an obscene amount of time. As a developer myself, I know how hard it is to invest an extra hour when I'm already busy writing software, supporting customers, and of course, having a life. Unless you are eager to dive into every last session from Google I/O, all 25 hours of Android-specific content, then you might be wondering which sessions are really worth it for you.
Let it be not be said that Google neglected the Google TV platform today at I/O. Though it wasn't mentioned during this morning's 3 hour-plus keynote, the company rolled out a new version of the YouTube app for TV during the presentation.
Specifically, the updated application brings a simplified UI, enhanced video playback controls, and support for paid channels. The video discovery and subscription tabs now show playlists with blown-up video thumbnails and bolded titles for easier browsing.
The difference is huge - it's like it went from Cupcake days to Jelly Bean in the blink of an eye. It would be nice if you could update Android the same way, wouldn't it?
Here are some images of the old (visible at archive.org) and new sites side-by-side (can you guess which one is which?):
WeatherBug has been a big name in online weather forecasting for a number of years, and it was one of the first full-featured weather apps on Android. The problem, however, is that the app looked like it was designed by inebriated orangutans. Well, no more. The WeatherBug app has been updated with new features and a streamlined (not ugly) UI.
The new app has Holo-style tabs up top along with a drop-down for your locations.
We've been seeing leaks about a new Google Play Store UI, that we all thought was going to be released at I/O this year. Nope! The rollout starts today, chaps! According to a post over on the official Android blog, the fancy card-based UI is coming to Android phones and tablets running Froyo (v2.2) and up. Worldwide, the new version will be available "over the next few weeks.
Oh, and you should be happy to know that the ugly pattern across the Action Bar is, in fact, not part of the final release.
Yesterday, we finally decided to get to the bottom of Google Keep's new font, Roboto Slab. Shortly before that, however, we had an internal discussion about Keep's strange UI/UX. The app is beautiful – there's no denying that – but weird when considered alongside Google's other in-house apps. What's more, I'm of the opinion that the app isn't just a one-off in terms of design – I think that Keep, along with a few other hints, could give us some insight into what we'll see in the next version of Android (which we might see in May at Google I/O).
AccuWeather is one of the leading apps for getting more information than you could ever possibly need about the position of the sun, clouds, and the statistical likelihood that precipitation will fall from the sky. It has not, however, been the leader in Holo interfaces among weather apps (the Weather Channel beat it to the punch last week). Today, it catches up, though, with a brand spanking new UI.
It's not just menu bars and Roboto that are being added for this interface overhaul.
If you've given up on the official app of The Weather Channel in lieu of other, better-looking solutions, it may be time to give it another shot. The app has received a major update today that finally modernizes its previously-dated UI, bringing it up spec with the Android design guidelines. You know what that means – it's Holo, baby!
Not only is the app 4.0+ optimized, but it also brings a new tablet-friendly interface, as well as a killer new feature that will tell you the exact time rain (or other less-than-ideal weather conditions) are going to hit your area.
Remember that little diagonal arrow that used to appear next to suggestions in the Google Search box as you typed? The arrows could be used to insert suggestions into the search bar, while you kept typing away. For a while now, though, the arrows have been missing from Google Search. Those that want that feature back are in luck, however – astute Redditor Foxsbiscuits notes that a simple long-press will fling search suggestions into the search bar, providing essentially the same functionality with a slightly more discreet UI.