21
Oct
wm_DSC05526

We spotted it in a teardown of the new material Play Music app this morning, but it looks like a new set of media controls in Android Wear are live - and here's exactly what they look like.

The new controls get a red-themed makeover and volume +/- buttons, plus a nifty kind of physical remote key animation. It's nice. For Play Music, these new controls require two things: the material version of Play Music (which contains an updated mini APK for Wear with these controls) and the 4.4W2 update to Wear, which is rolling out to some devices now, like the LG G Watch.

21
Oct
launcher_drive_icon

We've already seen about a half-dozen Google apps leaked in a Nexus 6 system dump, but we haven't taken a look at Google Drive yet. The app does have some material design in store though - as with the others - it's still in testing, so anything could change. That said, it's worth taking a look. Google Drive has implemented many of the new material design paradigms that make the app cleaner, leaner, and easier to use.

21
Oct
a

Nova Launcher continues to let you emulate the Google Now Launcher while enjoying a plethora of customizations options. The newest version brings Lollipop animations and icons, along with a few tweaks to the existing functionality.

2014-10-21 19.25.26 2014-10-21 19.22.30

21
Oct
Xbox

When it comes to pushing pixels and providing deeply immersive experiences, consoles have a leg up over Android devices. But this doesn't mean that phones or tablets don't have a role to play in couch-based gaming. Xbox One SmartGlass users can turn to the Android app as a way to manage their Xbox account and interact with others without having to back out of their game.

An update has rolled out to the SmartGlass app, which is still in beta, that gives users a place to highlight their best game clips, show off their achievements, or share their location.

21
Oct
ic_launcher_play_music

Update: Well, that didn't take long. We've already received the APK for the update (Google Play Music version 5.7.1717Q.1530520). The download is at the end of the post.

2014-10-21 16.48.44 2014-10-21 16.48.51 2014-10-21 16.52.56

Transparency! Contrast! Colors! Freakin' circles, man!

2014-10-21 16.48.21 2014-10-21 16.48.29 2014-10-21 16.48.36

One of the new curated Songza-style playlists is "Coding Your Face Off." Nice.

2014-10-21 16.49.26 2014-10-21 16.49.38 2014-10-21 16.51.19

--

Remember when Google purchased Songza, the company, service, and app that was hitherto a minor player in the streaming music marketplace?

21
Oct
JuiceSSH-Thumb

JuiceSSH has hit the big 2.0, and to celebrate this occasion, developer Sonelli packed in a few extra changes and perks to get this party pumpin' (okay, that's probably not exactly the way the developmental process progressed, but this version of events just sounds juicier). This release brings in a vibrant UI redesign, one that gives terminal users transparent system bars. Folks can switch the color of this new layout by changing the theme, which they no longer need to be a pro user to do.

20
Oct
ic_launcher_play_books

Have you gotten tired of these app walkthroughs yet? Well, we have one more for right now - Google Play Books. The update to Google Play Books that we're looking at here is - like everything else - pre-release, meaning things could change a little or a lot before the app is actually released. But what we're seeing so far is a minor nudge for the app, bringing it into line with the rest of Google's apps.

20
Oct
ic_launcher_calendar

Next up on our tour of (yet unreleased) Google app redesigns is Google Calendar. We actually got a glimpse of this redesign way back in April when Geek.com originally leaked the app as it was then. Since then, it seems that not a ton has changed, but we can get a more complete look at the app as it stands now.

Google wants its calendar app to be all about smartness.

20
Oct
image

Early this morning, we took a quick look at the onboarding video/process for Google's impending update to Gmail 5.0. The critical feature shown off in the video was the ability to handle all your email providers in one app, meaning users could access Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and others all from Google's singular Gmail app.

We've since learned that - besides handling the providers above - Gmail will support Exchange mail, and it appears Gmail will obviate the stock Email app entirely, prompting users to go directly to the Gmail app instead of dealing with a separate solution.

20
Oct
image

Continuing our journey through the new Google apps from Android 5.0 Lollipop, let's make a quick stop at Google Play Music. The update to this app has been anxiously awaited since it was demonstrated at Google I/O. And indeed, even Google's own product page for the Nexus 6 shows off some of the animations we've been salivating over for months.

The Google Play Music app found in a leaked dump of the Nexus 6 doesn't contain those animations, sadly, but it does continue the app's march toward compliance with Google's new design spec with bolder colors, new iconography, and a few touches that will set the stage for future awesomeness.

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