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material design

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[Update: New UI in Chrome OS Canary] Google may give Chrome a Material Design 2 facelift for its 10th birthday in September

A reference to "Material Design 2" was noticed in a Chromium Gerrit commit back in February, which was made private soon after it was pointed out. That commit has since been reopened to the public and has changed references to a Material Design update to mentions of a touch-optimized UI for Chrome. There is, however, a hint that Google plans to roll out a Material Design 2 refresh for Chrome on the browser's 10th birthday in September.

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SMS Backup+ sees first update in two years, new beta leaves Holo design behind

SMS Backup+ was a popular app back in the day, and for many, it's still indispensable. For the unfamiliar, it's an open source app that allows you to back up your SMS and MMS messages into a simple and intuitive conversation view in Gmail, so not only are they automatically stored elsewhere, you can quickly and easily sort through them.

Up until recently, the app looked a bit dated, with a decidedly Holo-esque aesthetic and no updates since 2015, but a new beta version (1.5.11-beta8) was just released with some UI modernization and other improvements. 

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[Update: rolling out to G Suite customers] Google Calendar on the web finally moves to Material Design

Google unveiled Material Design all the way back in 2014 (has it really been that long?). At the time, the company promised that it would use that design language across all its products, on mobile and desktop. It has taken a while for Google to deliver on that claim, at least for its desktop apps and websites.

One of the major holdouts was the Google Calendar web app, which has changed very little over the past few years. Back in May, Google announced during a G Suite presentation that Calendar would receive a redesign in Q4 2017. Then in August, the interface began a limited rollout, but it was never fully released.

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Netflix is testing a redesigned Android app with a bottom bar UI

The Netflix app on Android has looked the same for a long time, but the company is apparently trying something new. One Reddit user has shared the updated UI that popped up on his phone, which includes a bottom navigation bar. There are some other changes as well, but all the same functionality should be included. If you're looking for an APK download, sorry. This looks like a server-side switch.

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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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VLC stable sees first major update in a year (v2.5) including an improved UI, search changes, support for Android Auto and PiP

Popular media player VLC just updated the stable branch of its Android app to 2.5, and it's one of the biggest updates in recent memory. This latest update has a dynamic new UI that better fits with Material Design guidelines, PiP mode, Android Auto support, 360-degree video support, and search improvements (including Google search integration), among a ton of other smaller features. As the first major release in over a year, we've been looking forward to it for quite a while. 

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Gmail is working on snooze, smart grouping, and a Material Design interface for the web

Do you remember the NEXT Live EMEA 2017 G Suite product roadmap talk where we discovered a small line of text telling us Calendar would get a new web interface in Q4 2017? As it turns out, there's more to that presentation, but we're so perpetually busy here that we couldn't check out the video in its entirety. If we did, we would have spotted something else, just as interesting.

At about 31" into the video, we get introduced to several new features that the G Suite team is working on implementing in Gmail: smart reply, smart groupings, and snooze.

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[It's really happening] Google Calendar's material redesign for the web is now in testing

If you use Google Calendar and have an eye for design you may have noticed that while the Android and iOS versions got material makeovers as early as 2014, the web interface has not been updated to match. A few months ago we got the fantastic news that many of us had long been waiting for. Thanks to a leaked roadmap for G Suite updates, we learned that a redesign for Calendar was penned for the fourth quarter of 2017. We've now been treated to screenshots of the new design in testing, and it doesn't look like it'll disappoint.

Creating an event in the new Google Calendar.

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Sam Ruston's new app Hurry is a beautiful countdown timer for events

Fans of Android developer Sam Ruston's applications, such as myself, will be excited to hear that he has just released one more. The app, called Hurry, is a countdown timer that uses notifications and widgets to help you keep track of upcoming events. It is a simple concept but executed with the developer's usual insane attention to detail, especially in relation to material design and animations. 

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