Google often experiments with small interface changes without mentioning them in blog posts or update notes, and that seems to be the case with the latest aesthetic change in the Play Store. Multiple Google+ users and Android Police readers have noticed a new and more compact display of the five-star rating system for app and game listings on the home page and in searches, replacing the full five-star graphic with a single icon and a numerical value. Observe the difference below, standard on the left, updated on the right:
A few weeks ago we told you about an upcoming update to the official app for discount retailer and occasional auction service eBay. It looks like the company is ready to roll out version 4.0, for both Android and iOS. Well, almost - though the company has officially announced the update, it seems they're dragging their heels in actually getting it to the Play Store. Our reliable readers have yet to upload an updated version to APK Mirror, so we're assuming that it simply isn't available at the moment.
Hey, remember those many moons ago when ES File Explorer, one of the more popular file managers on Android, released a Material Design user interface update? You should, because it was exactly one moon ago, back at the beginning of August. After a relatively quick closed beta session (which Android Police apparently spoiled by writing a story about a pre-release version uploaded to APK Mirror - sorry), the update is now live in the Play Store as app version 4.0.2. Go download it.
Floatify has been around for a little over a year now. It's an app that presents an alternate way to display notifications, specifically the Heads Up (AKA Peeking) notifications that were hidden in Android 4.4 and fleshed out in 5.0. The app has been continuously updated even as Lollipop has become public, and now it's a full-fledged alternative to most of Android's built-in notification systems. The latest update is something really special - we kind of wish Google would steal some of developer Jawomo's ideas.
Google continues to tweak Android 6.0's visual interface with the latest Developer Preview, in ways both big and small. The default Google launcher has been seeing subtle changes since the M Preview was introduced, and the latest one is... interesting. The Preview 3 version of the app drawer includes a little "pop" effect when scrolling, highlighting the first app that begins with each successive letter in the alphabet. It's a little hard to describe verbally - check out the video below from YouTube user Zaid Salem.
If you'll recall, Developer Preview 1 separated apps by beginning a new drawer row for each new letter of the alphabet.
I have files. You have files. Everyone has files. It kind of goes along with the whole computing thing. Occasionally you'll need to manage those files, and to do so you could do a lot worse than ES File Explorer. This reliable little app has been a popular option (over 100 million downloads!) thanks to a very long feature list and commendable stability. Today it looks a little better thanks to an upgrade to version 4.0.
The nice thing about having a huge public beta test is that, well, you get to test stuff. Apparently the reaction to the new dedicated Memory section of the Settings menu wasn't everything that Google had hoped for, because it's been given a notable redesign in the brand-new version 2. The most striking change is a new overview screen that appears when you first tap Memory. Now it shows you the total memory in use with a readout in MB or GB, instead of breaking it down by apps. You can view the readout by hour increments: three, six, twelve, or an entire day.
The classic game emulation scene for Android is really blowing up. Not only do we have more single-use emulators than ever, more powerful hardware is opening up the sixth generation of home consoles like the Dreamcast and Gamecube. Today one of the more notable all-in-one emulators is getting a huge update on the Play Store: RetroArch. The multi-platform, multi-console emulator has updated its entire user interface system and added a few under-the-hood changes as well.
This video is from the Linux version of RetroArch, but it shows the new menu system in action.
The most striking addition is the user interface, with a cross-style main menu reminiscent of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.
About three weeks ago the beta version of Opera for Android added a handful of new features. Today most of them graduate to the standard version, marked as v30.0.1856 on my phone. The biggest change (at least according to Opera's official blog) is that the sites saved to the "speed dial" homepage will sync across Android and desktop versions of Opera. That's provided, of course, that you're logged into your Opera account on all devices. If you prefer different Speed Dial options for mobile and desktop, that's an option too.
Perhaps more notable from a technical standpoint is an upgrade to the Chromium 43 rendering engine.