Google is certainly no stranger to testing new features slowly. Most recently, it released an update to YouTube's UI that's been in testing for at least four months. And for Google, this is a good thing. Testing new features with limited samples of users helps get data not only on their usefulness, but also on how they augment user experience and engagement.
That brings us to the Play Store, an app where nothing is more important than engagement. Google appears to be testing a new feature called "Related Interests," which lists off various categories with round chips similar to the chips used for artists on Google Play Music's web interface. Read More
In line with their recent trend of developing for all platforms, Microsoft has quietly released a semi-private beta of a launcher app called Arrow. The early release sports an interface reminiscent of Aviate, but appears less devoted to contextual recommendations. While the current version is fairly basic, the big ideas may still be on the horizon.
The first thing I noticed is that Arrow replaced the stock icons for system apps like Phone and Messages, which isn't in and of itself a bad thing but an unexpected behavior.
The main screen is divided into three sections. There is a row on top for recent apps, a larger area in the middle for frequently used apps, and the bottom row for user-selected quick access apps. Read More
Google Text-to-Speech updates? Psh, boring, right? Maybe it is most of the time, but this update (v3.5.6) brings four new languages including two Chinese dialects. These are, of course, some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Read More
Yahoo Messenger used to be one of the top ways for people to communicate via text, but its popularity has definitely waned in the mobile era. Yahoo has been looking for its next big messaging idea in recent years, and Livetext is its latest shot. This unusual video messaging app has gone live in Hong Kong without so much as an announcement blog post, but you can grab the app from APK Mirror right now.
We detailed a new YouTube interface back in March that stripped the app of its hamburger menu and replaced it entirely with tabs. Now the look seems to have rolled out to a wider number of users. A ton of you have reached out to us with the news, and at least one of us at Android Police has received it as well.
Here you can see the new interface with the four primary tabs—Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and Your Profile—spread across the top. Read More
Android tablet users know what it's like to get stuck with a phone app stretched out to a large display. It's less of an issue today than it used to be, now that smartphones come with 1080p displays and apps sport visual elements that would look crisp on a television screen. But sometimes you're still left with an excess of white space or an interface that you can't spin horizontally, even though that's how you want to hold your tablet.
Well, Yahoo has updated its News Digest app to play along more nicely with Android tablets. The interface still looks similar to the highly stylized experience users have grown accustomed to on their phones, but now it's wider, and you get to swipe left and right. Read More
You've been driving for two hours, and you've got at least two more. You're tired of sitting behind the wheel and you want to stop and stretch your legs, but that just delays the inevitable. There aren't any alternatives, so you soldier on as that robotic voice of Google Maps occasionally pipes up to let you know there's a turn in 2 miles.
Hey, wait a minute, why does she get to tell you what to do? You gave her a phone, a data plan, and you're driving her around. You're taking care of her, so why does she act like the one in charge? Read More
Talon was one of the first Twitter apps to get on the material hype train, and now it's hitting v3.0 with a raft of new features and tweaks. Most of the changes are UI-related, but some new settings allow you to customize the interface a bit more too.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is a pretty awesome game that combines simplicity, strategy, and luck better than any other card game I've tried. Since being introduced to it a few months ago, I have played more matches than I care to admit and, for the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. That is, until recently. Over the past couple of weeks the game has gotten really stale. It seems that every day I play against the same 8-10 decks that everyone uses and that is getting kinda old.
The wonderful (and awful) thing about Hearthstone is that just as players are refining their decks to perfection to dominate the game, new cards are introduced that turn everything upside again. Read More
WhatsApp has had a very fruitful and active day, going through no less than 5 updates in the span of 24 hours. The app's developers introduced a series of new options and seem to be fixing bugs with successive iterative updates from v2.12.189 to the most recent v2.12.194.
The most significant change in this series of updates is the new custom notifications settings. When you open a contact's or group's details page, you'll see a new Notifications box below the Media one. In it is the option to mute the chat for 8 hours, 1 week, or 1 year, as well as extensive custom notifications. Read More