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Google Evidently Testing 'Ultra Violet,' A New Hangouts Experience For Chrome

According to Florian Kiersch (who has uncovered many in-progress Google projects including Google Stars), Google is testing a new Hangouts experience for now codenamed Ultra Violet.

Kiersch says (and shows) that Ultra Violet will present significant interface changes for Hangouts, including a new Chrome extension that would introduce a floating, Chat Heads-style icon on the desktop, which users could move around freely.

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Once the circle is clicked, Kiersch says, the Hangouts welcome screen would appear to introduce users to the new experience.

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Principal Designer For Google Search Jon Wiley Hosts AMA That Sheds Light On Design Process, Future Of Search

In case you missed it, Jon Wiley hosted an AMA session on Reddit yesterday. Wiley, as the principal designer for Google Search, had plenty of insight to share on topics from specific product features to what roles a tech company should play in its local community.

Sifting through the whole thread can take a while, so we thought it'd be helpful to pick out just a few of the most interesting responses for those who just want a quick taste.

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Twitch 3.0 Update Gives The App A Much Needed UI Overhaul, New Icon, And A Few New Features

There comes a point in time when an app steps out of the awkward, prepubescent 2.0 years and hits the big 3.0. For Twitch, that time is now. The game broadcast viewing app has transitioned to a whole new version number, and in the process it has matured into something more becoming. The flat, simplistic UI looks like something that should blend right in on modern KitKat devices.

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For the sake of comparison, here's how Twitch used to look.

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[For Developers] Google I/O 2014 Wrap-Up: The Must-See Sessions For Every Developer

Google I/O was pretty amazing this year, right? We got the deets on Material design, a preview version of Android L, the formal release of Android Wear, the first manifestations of Android TV and Android Auto, and plenty of other bits and pieces. However, all of that content and all of those developer sessions can take forever to absorb, and professional developers just don't have time for that. Now that all of the videos have been posted, I've combed through every last one to narrow the list down to just the sessions that absolutely can't be missed.

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Exclusive: Google Prepping Play Store Update That's One Step Closer To Material With Beautiful New Listing UI

When we first wrote about Quantum Paper (the internal name for the material in Material Design), we noted that Google was anticipating a series of updates to its own apps between the introduction and completion of the new design direction - updates which would bring the apps a bit closer to the new design style in a progressive fashion, so that the apps wouldn't undergo fundamental transformations overnight.

Looking back, it is now obvious that Google+ was our first taste of material design, followed by Google's editing apps like docs and sheets.

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CyanogenMod Adds Left/Right Cursor Keys To The Nav Bar

Custom ROMs move fast... as long as you're willing to flash nightly builds. Just days after adding the settings search feature from Android L, CyanogenMod is getting some handy cursor control keys, but they're not where you'd expect – they pop up in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

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Google Is Making Android A Beautiful, Dynamic Scrapbook - A Closer Look At Material Design

Google didn't spend enough time on Material Design during the keynote. We saw a beautiful video and learned a little bit about the intent and thought behind Google's new cross-platform look (which we actually saw a bit earlier than anticipated), but there's so much more to be said. Having attended as many design sessions as possible during I/O, I think it's worth taking a somewhat closer look at Material Design. In this post we'll attempt to scratch a little bit deeper into what Material means, why it's awesome, and why it's a forward-looking move for Google.

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Rumor: Google Exploring Richer Quick Settings, Stacking Card Notifications For Android's L Release

A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.

Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.

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Motorola Fixes The Carrier ID Status Bar Annoyance With 4.4.3 Update By Making It Completely Optional

Yesterday we brought attention to an issue with Motorola's international devices wherein the carrier ID would be displayed in the status bar all the time, making the notification area almost useless in many circumstances. Well, Motorola VP Punit Soni happened to notice the post and chimed in with an update – it turns out Motorola is rolling out a fix in 4.4.3.

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Motorola Refusing To Fix Ridiculous, Broken Status Bar UI On International Devices Like The Moto G, Moto E, And Moto X [Update: Fixed In 4.4.3]

The Moto G has been a big seller for Motorola, and the device has seen pretty much universal praise from owners. However, the international version of the device (as well as the Moto X and Moto E) has an odd interface quirk that's driving some users up a wall. The carrier name sits on the left side of the status bar all the time, essentially making the notification area useless for anyone whose carrier has a name longer than a few characters.

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