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A/B testing


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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Spotify is testing a redesigned now playing screen with full-screen album art

The Spotify app isn't bad, per se, but it could probably be better (similar to certain other music apps). It's good, then, that the company is testing a new material-esque now playing screen, which looks much improved compared to the old one.

It would appear this is being A/B tested at the moment, due to it being randomly turned on for certain users. It is not clear what version is running on this phone - no Android Police team members have this on their specific Spotify app install. The redesign is sparse, with the album art of the respective song filling the entire display.

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Google Play Developer Console app gains review notifications and filters, staged rollout controls, and more [APK Download]

The Google Play Developer Console app isn't a piece of software most of us will use. It's aimed at the folks who make the apps the rest of us download, not the other way around. But more than a few of you are developers, so you might want to check out the latest version of the app. The update brings new ways for you to find what the rest of us feel about the stuff you make.

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[Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3] Facebook Is Testing A New Call Tab On Messenger

Much like Google, Facebook runs a lot of tests on its products, trying to gauge whether new things are a good idea. It tested a material update to Messenger, the Reactions button and Messenger SMS (which is still ongoing), multiple Messenger accounts, and probably more besides. Now it's got a new one for Messenger as well: a call tab.

You probably already know that users can make both video and voice calls through Messenger; there's even an app for it, although it hasn't been updated since August 2015. Before the material update, the option to place a VoIP call was on the lower action bar, alongside the one to search or start a new message.

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YouTube's Card-Style Menu For Video Options Is Progressively Rolling Out To More People And Disappearing For Others

Hey YouTube users. I've got something for you to try. Start a video and tap the little overflow button at the top right, it'll appear for a short time if you tap the player. For the last few years, you would have seen three or four grayish buttons overlay onto the video with the labels: Captions, Quality, Report, and Cardboard. Here's the thing, you might not see that anymore. Instead, a little white card might slide up from the bottom of the screen with the same options. Take a peek at the screenshots to see what I'm talking about.

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Google Now Lets You Block Cards From Showing Specific News Sources, Not Just Previously Visited Sites

Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.

Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card.

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