There's not much that's new in News & Weather 2.1. This update is all about making the interface and animations consistent with other recently-Materialized apps. We've seen exactly three new things: one, the statusbar changes color to match the action bar on Lollipop, like an increasing number of Google apps. Two, the pull-to-refresh action uses the newfangled circular refresh animation instead of a horizontal bar. And three, the hamburger menu now animates into an arrow when the slide-out menu is activated.
Google's Finance app is in desperate need of attention. If you haven't checked in on it lately, it's still stuck with Gingerbread design. No seriously, go look. Tiny header bars, legacy menus, odd layouts, and assets that look tiny or pixelated (or both) on today's high resolution devices.
Just for fun, I decided to take a look at the app and see if I could give it a fresh coat of paint, inspired by material design.
Google Cloud Print has recently received a material redesign of its own. You would be forgiven for thinking that the printing service wasn't its own app, given how it's tucked away with your device's other settings. But when you do go to "add a printer," you are, in fact, kicked out to a different app.
It just doesn't look like it.
Cloud Print has gone Material. Everything's bright white, the sidebar slides out on top of the action bar, and the new color palette matches the settings menu in Android 5.0.
Humble Bundle offers great deals on apps and games, but it can be a little more work to make use of the content you buy. The Humble Bundle Android app has made it easier to access your stuff, but the app itself is going to be making itself scarce soon. Humble Bundle has announced it's pulling the app from the Play Store so it can add new features that are not welcome in Google's sandbox.
We saw a leak recently that showed off a new version of Google's Android Wear companion app, and now here it is. The design is certainly more in-line with Android 5.0 aesthetics, but it's not quite material. Also, you'll only get the new UI on Lollipop.
Left: Old, Right: New
Cross one more item off your list of Google apps in need of material facelifts! Next on this bountiful Update Wednesday, Google Keep is receiving a bump to version 3.0 with some new material-inspired touches, the most obvious one being its launcher icon. Instead of a realistic stack of sticky notes, we now have a single dog-eared sheet of paper with a lightbulb cutout sitting on top.
Once you're inside the app, there's plenty to look at.
The Google Search app is about to get the Material Design treatment. In a blog post today, Google has officially announced version 4.0 of Search, which we detailed (APK download included) nearly a month ago.
To refresh, the visual changes aren't all that drastic. Google Now already relied on cards, and swiping them away already felt pretty tangible. But now we have the extra layer of Lollipop-style flourish.
Guys, it's happening (....gif). The rumored YouTube music service that we've been hearing about for months is finally a reality. It's called YouTube Music Key, and it looks pretty great.
So here's the gist: it'll cost $7.99 a month (initially, at least - the price will eventually jump to $9.99), and includes full albums, background playback, offline viewing, and no ads. No ads. It's worth eight bucks a month just to get rid of the ads.
A new Google app that allows you to text your friends? Wait, is this replacing Hangouts? Wait, why? Yes, no, and because, to answer those queries, respectively. Google Messenger is now out on the Play Store, having been officially confirmed to exist by Google last month.
This new app is the stock SMS/MMS handler in Android 5.0, but also can be downloaded to other devices with SMS/MMS capabilities, provided they run Android 4.1 or higher.