Android Police

Design

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Google has added text to the Pixel Launcher search box for some, and nobody wants it

Google is no stranger to testing both warranted and unwarranted design changes in its apps on normal users, so this comes as no surprise. This time Google is testing a small change to the Pixel Launcher, but it's one that nobody asked for, and seemingly nobody wants it either.

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SoundCloud's redesigned home screen features personalized playlists and curated recommendations

SoundCloud has announced today that it's given the home screen of its Android app a fresh lick of paint. Until now, the app would open with a stream of the latest releases from the artists and labels you follow. That content is still there, in a new tab highlighted by a lightning bolt, but the home screen has a few new goodies to keep you interested.

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Launch of Android Go brings Oreo optimizations and features to low-end phones for developing markets

Google has made public the first release of Android Go—the optimized version of Android for low-end phones targeted toward developing markets, which was announced in May at I/O 2017. Rather than let OEMs stick to outdated Android versions when shipping budget phones, Android Go brings a full, up-to-date experience for devices which ship with 512MB or 1GB RAM.

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VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC, the video player that can handle practically anything you throw at it with no config tweaking, has been updated to version 2.5, marking the first update to the stable channel of the popular media player in over a year. In addition to a lot of interface tweaks bringing it more in line with Material Design guidelines, visual changes have also come to Android TV and Auto.

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Google Flights on desktop has been updated to match the mobile redesign

Back in the summer, we reported on key changes to Google Flights on mobile. The interface was tweaked with more powerful tools to help you save money when looking to book a holiday within a range of dates. At the time Google promised the desktop version would see a similar update later in the year, and that has now become available in the form of a beta version.

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Google Maps is about to get a lot more colorful

The design of Google Maps doesn't get updated very often, so when it does, it's kind of a big deal. The latest tweaks are all about adding a bit more color to the interface and making things a little easier to pick out as a consequence. What you see will also be more relevant to the mode of transport you're using, too.

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TV Show Favs gets a material design makeover in v4.0 [APK Download]

Keeping track of what you're watching on TV is an absolute nightmare at the moment; there are just too many great series and not enough time. As with most problems we face these days, there's an app for that. TV Show Favs is a powerful tool that helps you track and manage the viewing of your favorite shows, with all sorts of useful features such as calendar integration and reminder notifications. The devs will probably be the first to admit it hasn't always been the prettiest app (Holo everywhere), but that changes with the latest update.

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Player FM 4.0 update includes new UI, premium subscriptions, and plenty more

One of the more accomplished of the many podcast apps out there is Player FM. It's been a while since we last covered it, but today's news is worthy of a mention. Version 4.0 has been announced, and with it comes a redesigned interface, premium membership options, and a host of other new features.

If you're a regular user, the first thing you'll notice is the new UI, headlined by a five-tab bottom navigation panel. The options available to you there are Discover, Downloads, Shows, Playlists, and Settings, which should cover the vast majority of what you need to do in the app, with it all now in easy reach of your thumb.

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Google's rounded mobile search redesign is now rolling out to everyone

Google isn't one to rest on its laurels when it comes to the UX of its apps and sites. The company is continually testing different looks as it tries to keep up with the ever-changing design landscape and make its products as easy to use as possible. Search is still the company's bread and butter, and accordingly, it gets A/B tested more than most other properties. These latest changes have been tested to varying extents in recent months, and from the numerous tips we've had it seems they're being rolled out more-widely now. Let's take a look at what's new.

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Google's predictive search suggestions could be getting a makeover, with new thumbnail images and descriptions

When you search with Google on your device, either with the home screen search box/pill, in the Google feed pane, or directly in the Google app, you'll often see predictive search suggestions as you type your query. These come not only from the web, but from your contacts, songs in your Play Music account, and so on. The web suggestions are usually indicated simply by a magnifying glass icon, but this could be about to change.

According to a tip we received on Google+, it appears that Google is trialing additional information for search predictions. As you can see from the screenshots below, thumbnail images and descriptions of each item are showing for our tipster.

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