Android Police

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A/B testing


YouTube Music debuts new weekly playlist, tests interface tweaks

Streaming music apps have been looking at ways to add value to the in-app experience for both users and artists alike. Spotify, being the biggest fish in the pond, has pulled off the most of these experiments, but upstart (in a very loosely relative sense) YouTube Music has had its innovations with video and art integrations, too. But today, it's gone to the core of its music serving experience with a new top releases playlist and some design changes in testing that could grab more plays for publlishers.

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Google Contacts rolls out a new half-screen panel that slides into view when you add a new person

With the introduction of Android Q, Google started putting common system settings such as WiFi, Bluetooth, and others in convenient cards that slide up when needed. The company seems to take a liking of this approach, as it just started rolling out a similar feature for Google Contacts that pops up when you add a new contact via another app.

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YouTube app experiments with gesture navigation through new swipe-based video interface

Navigating between videos in the YouTube app could be getting a whole lot easier in the future. According to one of our eagle-eyed tipsters, a subtly different interface might be coming that supports swiping between videos. With the slide of a finger, you could navigate between videos in your queue—though you'll still never find something to watch.

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Play Store testing card-style search results with screenshot thumbnails

The Play Store seems to be testing a new layout for search results. We've received a tip that the normal app list has been replaced by a card-like interface for some, with app listings now including screenshot thumbnails. The change brings Play Store search results more in line with the visual style of the mobile web search results layout, which also shows results on cards.

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Spotify is testing a new three-tab interface, simpler list layouts, and other visual changes

Spotify's been doing incremental tweaks to its Android UI for a long time. Since I've been working here at AP, it seems like we get at least a tip or two a month related to one minor change or another. That means the company's server-side A/B changes are pretty well known to us as a result of our position in the grapevine. Recently we've been getting reports of a UI test that includes a new consolidated three-tab navigation, simpler list views, larger interface elements, and the return of an old UI test. 

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Firebase announces major redesign of console with Crashlytics integration, A/B testing framework, Predictions engine, and more

Google's Firebase team has been hard at work lately. Earlier this month, Firebase added a whole new storage product called Cloud Firestore, but that was just the beginning. Several major additions and improvements were just announced during the keynote at the second annual Firebase Dev Summit taking place in Amsterdam.

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Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer

The devs in Menlo Park have been busy recently rolling out significant changes to the look of the Facebook app for Android, more about which you can read here. We've now received tips about a further change that's currently being tested which replaces the linear, swipe-left hamburger menu with a pull-down grid of options. The new layout even has notification dots, just like Android Oreo.

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Another Play Store UI experiment appears, this time with separated store categories

At this point, I'm convinced everyone has a unique Play Store app layout. Several UI changes are in various stages of testing - including expanded cards on search, a new My Apps screen, a 'Top Features' list, and several others. There's yet another UI change in testing, this time expanding the Play Store categories.

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Facebook testing a bottom navigation bar in its app

Facebook is well known for being a rather liberal user of A/B testing, having seemingly hundreds of tests going on at any one time across its increasingly diversified product line. We've come across a new one, courtesy of Google+ user Fedor von Bock, which sees Facebook testing out a navigation bar at the bottom.

Even though the screenshot below has a bottom navigation bar, it is obviously apparent that the main tab bar at the top remains. For me, this creates a confusion over app hierarchy, ultimately baffling end users by having multiple things that go to different places. The tab bar also does not follow the material guidelines, which say two or less options should use tabs instead, and have icons, not word-based descriptions (obviously Facebook can not do the former, because the tab bar at the top is still there).

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Slideshow being tested in Facebook app after iOS debut back in June

Back in June, Facebook released a new feature to the iOS app, Slideshow, which takes photos uploaded to the service and turns them into videos, much like in Google Photos. We've received a tip that says this is now being tested in the Facebook app on Android, although it's hard to say how widely.

None of the Android Police team have Slideshow in the Facebook app, so we've not actually been able to use it. However, what we can say is this: it appears in the 'Post to Facebook' Activity, above the 'Tag Friends' option. Tapping it brings up gallery pictures, of which you can choose images for the slideshow.

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