Before we go any further: Google's local delivery service Shopping Express is still limited to portions of the San Francisco bay area, Los Angeles, northern California, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, and New York City. If you live outside of those areas, go ahead and skip this story, because Google Shopping Express (and similar competing services) aren't expanding outside of the densest US urban zones anytime soon. But for those who do qualify for the service, version 3.0 includes a new user interface. Read More
Trendy and thrifty travelers have taken a real shine to sub-letting app Airbnb, and those of them with tablets have a good reason to celebrate today. Version 5.0 of the Android app introduces a new user interface specifically for tablets, and it's available in the Play Store now. The 5.0 update doesn't seem to be going out in batches, but if you're having trouble getting it, the APK is available for download on APK Mirror. Read More
Plex is one of the easiest ways to view local video on your mobile devices, and its developers have been gradually cranking out updates as of late that improve the Android experience. Version 4.2 doesn't overhaul the experience, but it does introduce a number of tweaks to the user interface.
One addition is the new Discover mode to help you browse the content in your library. A panel at the bottom allows you to easily switch between it and standard navigation. Read More
Google often makes small improvements to the Play Store without any announcements or fanfare, and this appears to be happening with the latest update to the mobile Play Store search engine. Some (but certainly not all) users are seeing quick links to category pages when they make relevant searches on Android, complete with easy-to-spot icons right in the drop-down field. The icons are showing up both for straight searches and for popular related apps. Read More
LastPass users, the day you've been looking forward to is finally here. The tool you rely on to keep your online life secure has finally gone Material. If you check the Play Store or have automatic updates enabled, you'll see LastPass is now available with a fresh coat of paint and significant improvements in every corner of the interface. All of the menus and settings screens have been reorganized to be cleaner and more readable, a navigation drawer provides access to all of the app's features, and a brand new floating action button makes additions more intuitive. Read More
Editing photos on a touchscreen is hard. Not because modern mobile devices lack the power to do complex image processing - my N6 is more powerful than the old "desktop publishing" PCs I used in high school - but because constrained dimensions and touchscreen interfaces force touch design decisions on developers. Aviary is one of the best options for competent photo editing on the go, but its latest edition has turned the editing on its own interface. Read More
It wouldn't be controversial to say that the interfaces for cable boxes suck. With the possible exception of TiVo, I don't think I've ever seen one that was made for the purpose of being easy and/or efficient to use, especially since the newer ones are more interested in selling Pay-Per-View and on demand content than actually letting you watch TV. That has largely carried over to the remote apps for the fancy new cable boxes, which might help explain why the XFINITY remote app has a 3.2-star rating in the Play Store. Read More
Considering the sheer number of users that RunKeeper has, there must be a considerable crossover between people who love the app and people who want it to conform to Android's visual design style. For however many of those people that there are, today is a good day: the company announced a comprehensive Material Design overhaul for version 5.5.3. It's in the Play Store right now - no need to wait on a rollout. Read More
The makers of SiriusXM's Android client, an Internet version of the notable satellite radio streams, seem to take positive delight in ignoring Android design guidelines. Before today, the app looked like a lazy port of the iOS version... and the iOS version wasn't exactly a looker to start with.
SiriusXM for Android, circa 2014. Or possibly RealPlayer for Windows Mobile, circa 2004. It's hard to tell.
The updated version of the app doesn't exactly look like Material Design, or even Holo (apparently said app developers aren't Android Police readers), but at least it looks like something designed this decade. Read More