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Google's Design Site Gets An Overhaul With Tons Of New Content

Last year when material design was introduced to the world, Google emphasized that its specs were a living document. Indeed we've seen several updates to the spec itself since it launched, but Google's also paying attention to its overall design presence, as evidenced by today's major update to google.com/design.

The site has been made over with a new grid filled to the brim with awesome content.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 4.06.36 PM

Google has added design guidance for TV and Auto, and even added an entire article about branding in material design, something I've written about before here at AP. There are also guides for designing between platforms and a downloadable icon font.

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[Update: It's Live] I/O 2015 - New Google Photo App Launches Today, Includes Unlimited Free Storage Of High Quality Photos And Video

We have already posted a pretty thorough preview of the features coming with the new Google Photos app, but that doesn't mean Google didn't save a couple of surprises for IO. The big bombshell is that, starting later today, users will be able to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos for free. If you weren't using Google as your primary source for photo archiving, this news may give you reason to reconsider.

Screenshot 2015-05-28 at 11.03.55 AM

Your pictures and videos won't be compressed into oblivion either, they will be stored at up to 16MP for images and 1080p for video.

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Google May Have Left The Best Android "M" Feature Out Of The Keynote: Automatic App Data Backup And Restore

Yes, it's happening. Dot. Gif. Android apps are finally getting state backup in the new "M" version of the OS. The full details are here. The short of it is that Android apps will now automatically back up to Google Drive, up to 25MB per app, with no new code required from developers. This is huge.

What's backed up? Settings and app data, which is to say, basically everything so long as you're not talking about something over 25MB in total size. While this may still mean signing into your apps on a new device depending on the app's security, once you do log in, the concept here is that all your settings and saved app data should just reappear on your new device.

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Google Releasing A FABulous New Design Support Library [Updated]

One year on, Google's material design philosophy is still picking up steam. As popular as it's become in the community though, there are still some holes left to fill in terms of implementation.

Until now, developers have had to rely on third-party libraries (in conjunction with Google's own support library) to create elements like floating action buttons, but Google is looking to fix that, releasing a new design support library today that fills in some of the holes.

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[Download] Android "M" Developer Preview Images Are Live Now For Nexus 5, 6, 9, And Player

Android "M" preview images for Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Player are now live. Here are the direct download links.

If you run into problems during flashing like the dreaded "missing system.img" error, check out our article with instructions for doing a "dirty" flash (piece by piece) here.

Google has also announced that the "M" preview will be updated more regularly than L's, and specifically that updates will be issued over the air - no need to flash updates yourself. That will be very nice indeed.

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NVIDIA SHIELD And SHIELD Pro Review: Easily The Best Android TV On The Market, But Don't Toss Out Your Game Consoles Just Yet

When you hear the name "NVIDIA," the first thing that comes to mind is most likely graphics cards, or at the very least the company's Tegra chips that have been powering Android devices for several years now. Either way, it's probably not "the company that makes the killer Android TV box that's hanging out in my living room."

But after today, it honestly might be.

We've spent the last week or so playing with both the base model SHIELD and storage-laden SHIELD Pro, which at this point are unquestionably the best Android TV boxes that money can buy.

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[I/O 2015] Google Introduces Family Star, A New Set Of Kid-Friendly Filters And Parental Tools For The Play Store

The Play Store has a crap-ton of content, much of which you might not want your kids to access. Google is aware of this, and at I/O 2015 the company has announced a new set of tools specifically designed to help parents find age-appropriate content, plus a few extras to help kids engage with the content itself. It's all being introduced to the Play Store under the "Family Star" label and logo.

star rating

Family Star extends across apps, games, video, and book content, but it's primarily intended for games. Searches specifically for kid-friendly content filter out everything else, and content under the Family Star logo is separated by age range.

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[I/O 2015] Developers Can Now Build Custom Landing Pages On Google Play

If you check the other apps from a developer in the Play Store right now, you get a boring generic list of apps. Going forward, you'll start seeing richer, branded pages where developers can properly display their wares.

2015-05-28 13_18_22-Google I_O 2015 - Keynote - YouTube

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[I/O 2015] Google Is Working On Smarter Play Store Search

Besides new family-friendly and kid-friendly efforts on search and discovery in the Play Store, Google announced during its keynote today that Play Store search will be getting smarter overall.

Specifically, Google wants to more effectively surface apps when users search for vague or topical queries. The example given in the screenshot above shows the user searching for "shopping" apps. The Play Store then returns, of course, shopping apps. But those apps are then categorized intelligently into different sub-genres like Fashion and Coupons.

This may seem like a small tweak to most users, but - if Google is right - it will help introduce users to the right app when the user is not sure exactly what they're looking for, which is a good step in helping along discoverability in the Play Store as a whole.

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[I/O 2015] Android M Will Support App Deep Linking Without That Annoying Selector Prompt

We've all seen, probably many times, the common situation where you click a link on your Android device and you are then asked with which app you would like to open it. On one hand, this is a great feature; merely guessing could be very annoying and it is a sensible way to allow users to assign default apps. Sometimes, though, certain types of links should always open in a particular app without prompting the user.

app-selector

A new addition to Android M, as discussed at I/O today, will allow that to happen. Developers can add an "autoVerify" attribute to their app manifest to tell the operating system that there is no need to prompt the user for certain types of links.

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