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Articles Tagged:

design

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Opinion: Chrome OS is buggier and more poorly designed than ever

I've used Chromebooks off and on for years. I used the first Dell Chromebook 11 for much of high school, then I purchased an ASUS C302 last year. The C302 is still one of the best laptops I've ever used, and that's mostly thanks to how Chrome OS has evolved over the past few years. It's no longer a browser-only thin client — it can run Android apps, Linux programs, and powerful web applications.

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Google is testing a new UI for Assistant that puts Explore and your visual snapshot in the bottom bar

Google has toyed with Assistant's interface on Android countless times so far, adding a keyboard input method, Google Lens, then the Explore section, and finally the Now-like interface of upcoming cards (aka "visual snapshot"). But two things have puzzled me about it: one is that Explore and Visual Snapshot were almost invisible to people and I always had to explain where the icons were and what the did, and two is that getting to your Assistant's settings was an even more obscure process, and it was almost easier to just do it from the Google Home app than Assistant. Well, it seems that Google is working on solving at least the first of these problems.

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Google Maps tests directions screen with refreshed Material Design, rolls out For You tab to 130 countries

With every few updates, Google Maps seems to walk closer and closer to a full-fledged refresh of its Material interface, helping it go along with the new direction Google is taking this year with its app design language. We've seen a new look for the main interface, an updated side menu, overhauled hotel listings, new fonts in many places throughout the app, a persistent Overview/Reviews/Photos bar on some place listings, and even an update to the look of the app on Android Auto. But over the past couple of days, one more part of the app is getting its re-looking session: Directions.

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[Update: Once more] Google testing a colorless shapeless Play Store redesign with large Install button

You know those beautiful bold colors that were supposed to make out Material Design? Yup, we've been kissing them goodbye for a long time now and it looks like they might be stripped away from one more app on your phone: the Play Store.

A couple of users have started seeing a new Play Store interface that takes away the green title and notification bar, replaces them with a white one.

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Google Photos site updated to match the app's refreshed Material UI

Google Photos' Android app was updated back in September to Google's hot new, mostly white aesthetic. At the time, the site still lagged behind with older iconography and layout, but no longer. Today Google has pushed that same Material Theme/Material Design 2 look onto the Google Photos site.

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Keep Notes on the web is the latest to get a Material Design refresh

It took a little longer than some other products, but the recently renamed Keep Notes Android app was updated in line with Google's new Material Theme last week. The same new stylings are now starting to roll out to Keep on the web, and it looks much cleaner than before.

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Pocket gets a makeover in v7.0 and improves listening feature [APK Download]

Since it was acquired by Mozilla last year, Pocket has continued to be regularly updated with useful new features. Today's update to version 7.0.1.2 is the biggest for some time, and it comes with a visual refresh and a new listening experience — Pocket is trying to be more like a podcast app.

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Google Drive for Android is about to get a Material Design refresh

Google is continuing to slowly update all of its apps to a refreshed Material Design style (MD 2.0, to some) and the latest product to get this treatment is Google Drive on Android — the web version has already been updated. It's not actually live yet, but the code is there ready to go, so we can expect it to roll out to users soon.

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Microsoft changes pistol emoji in latest Windows update

Emojis, modern day hieroglyphs, are always in flux. The Unicode Consortium is responsible for developing new characters, but it is up to individual companies to decide how they will look on their devices. Few have changed as much as the “pistol” emoji, which is now essentially a water gun. Apple led the way several years ago by redesigning it into a green “water pistol” and since then, most operating systems have followed suit. Microsoft was the last remaining holdout despite announcing the revision back in April.

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