As many Android enthusiasts may know, Google is constantly experimenting with new features and UI changes for its apps. Just a few days ago, in a recently published Google video featuring the Pixel, we noticed a never-before-seen Play Store UI on the device. This user interface possessed a new color scheme, a larger "Install" button, and more. Now, we're starting to see elements from that video pop up on enthusiasts' devices.
The YouTube comments section - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Part of the reason comments can be so unbearable at times is the dreadful moderation tools, but YouTube is seeking to fix that. Today on their Creator Blog, they announced a number of changes to how comments can be moderated.
YouTube creators can now blacklist certain words or phrases, with comments violating the list requiring manual approval. In addition, creators can now opt-in to YouTube's almighty algorithm determining which comments are "potentially inappropriate," and holding them for approval.
There are some public-facing changes to YouTube comments as well. Read More
Material is the name of the game at the moment, with apps left, right, and centre adopting the new(ish) design standards and animations. While the Wallet Android app has been material for a while now, the web app has just been updated to adopt the desktop version of material design.
Generally speaking, the new web interface looks much like the Android app. There is a part to send or request money, a navigation drawer with options in it, including choosing what card to pay with and settings. There are a few things on one platform that are not on the other - Activity on the Android app and 'Cash Out' on the web app - but mostly they look the same on either, which is the aim of material design. Read More
Sometimes, it's the little things that count. In Chrome 55, when you visit a direct link to an image, it was always displayed in the top left corner. This can make zooming and panning on the image difficult, as it is constantly locked to the corner of the screen. This was a minor annoyance at most, but Chrome 56 finally rectifies this issue. Read More
The first major update to Allo, version 2.0, added a number of much-needed improvements. However, WhatsApp users may note that chat themes are still missing in Allo. 9to5Google has managed to enable some hidden themes included with the update, which can be activated on a per-user basis. Read More
One of the many issues with Google's latest messaging app, Allo, is the total lack of a desktop application. Picking up my phone to respond to a message, when I'm already at my computer with a physical keyboard, seems silly. Allo 2.0, released yesterday, added the ability to quick reply from the notifications. Today's Pushbullet update taps into the quick reply functionality to add Allo support. Read More
Widgets. What would we do without them, eh? They show us useful information at a glance, most are resizeable, and some even change the way they look on the fly. In light of this, Google has created a partner for its previously lone calendar agenda widget, with a month widget in Calendar version 5.6.2.
This month widget is 4x5, meaning it is taller than it is wide. Read More
Allo received a mixed response when it was released a little over a month ago. Trying to switch your friends and family to yet another messaging client, especially one lacking in features (even compared to Google's other services), is difficult. Not long after its introduction, Allo's ranking tanked on the Play Store and App Store.
Can the first major update, version 2.0, be enough to convince people to switch? I doubt it, but I have to give Google some credit for trying. Read More
Current Android standards have changed massively in the last few years, going from the days of no real design language in Gingerbread, to Holo in Ice Cream Sandwich, to material in Lollipop. It's startling, then, to see an app that has been languishing in the dark ages get a big update. PayByPhone, a leading pay-with-phone parking app, has just been updated with a major redesign and Android Pay support, giving it a much needed boost into this era of app design. Read More