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Articles Tagged:

server-side test


WhatsApp starts showing a 'Mark as read' button on notifications for some users

Not to be outdone by Telegram's new "Mark as read" button on notifications, WhatsApp is rolling the same feature out to some users now. Not everyone is able to see this shortcut, even those of us on the latest beta, so it appears the function is enabled via a server-side switch.

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[Update: New layer chooser] Google Maps with extensive Material redesign is rolling out to some

Over the past weeks, Google has been transitioning some of its apps to the new Material design. Maps users have seen signs of it too with a few interface elements changing, but nothing as extensive as the full Maps redesign that we were promised at I/O. Now, tipster Daniel has received a server-side update that flips on the entire interface to Material Theme and we can have our first detailed look at the new UI.

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The terrible Google Feed UI we all hoped would die is now rolling out to more people

Back in the spring, Google started testing a bubbly new interface for the ubiquitous content-promoting Feed. It was a confusing mixture of empty space and (still un-swipeable) cramped cards. The general reaction at the change could be accurately characterized as "revulsion" or "horror," but regardless of what our readers or we thought last time, Google has apparently decided to roll it out to a larger audience anyway.

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Google Assistant's personal overview page is going live for some users

In its everlasting quest to get information that matters to you, Google announced at I/O 2018 a new Assistant experience that would consolidate the stuff you care about most in a central Feed-like overview page. With a vague launch time of "this summer," we didn't have any exact timeline for the feature's launch, but just as the calendar flipped over to "summer" officially, we received one tip of the new interface going live for a reader.

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YouTube is testing new names for some tabs in its Android app

Google loves to experiment with different features and UIs on its apps and services, and one of its favorite subjects is YouTube. Whether it's on the web or in its mobile apps, there always seems to be some new server-side change that's being experimented with. Today is no different; there are two name changes being tested in the Android app.

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YouTube starts suggesting you subscribe to channels you often watch on your homepage

YouTube wants you to keep coming back for more. It's understandable for any service, but more so for one that capitalizes on you watching videos daily and finding more compelling and interesting content all the time. YouTube's homepage often guesses what you're interested in watching (and at least for me, it gets it right), combining new videos from channels you already subscribe to with videos similar to ones you've already seen and timely content you're likely interested in. Many of the latter two usually come from channels you don't subscribe to, but you may want to do that. And now YouTube is starting to nudge you in that direction.

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[Objectively terrible] Google Feed is testing a new design with large topic bubbles and lots of wasted space

Raise your hand if you're tired of hearing the same story. We've barely adjusted to Google's new Feed look and its un-swipeable cards, upcoming contextual data hidden behind a button, and 5-tab bottom layout inside the Google app, that the company decides, "no, scratch that, we're changing again." For the umpteenthgazillionthest time. And if you thought the current new layout is annoying, wait until you see the new new layout. It's a doozy.

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The Play Store's latest look (with oodles of white space) is spreading to more users, ready or not

Interface design is a never-ending task, and no matter how much you might love the way an app looks and feels right now, there's always that angel (or is it devil?) over the developer's shoulder, whispering, “Couldn't that be a little more optimal? What if you moved this button over here?” And so, things change: sometimes for the better, hopefully not so much for the worse. A little over a month ago, we shared with you a new visual style that Google was flirting with for the Play Store, seemingly sucking the color out of the app and, well, not really replacing it with anything, leaving us stuck with vast expanses of empty white.

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[Update: Rolling out wide] Google Play Store may start showing an app's top chart ranks in its listing

Among the craziness of last week, we received one tip about a minor but welcome change in the Play Store that was showing up for some users: when browsing an app's listing, you might see a new line below the Install/Uninstall button that displays its current top chart rank, as shown for Spotify in the screenshot above.

That is useful when you reach an app's listing from the Play Store's search and you're not sure how popular it is.

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Google Search is testing a button that loads 'More results' on the same page

Google Search results go through design iterations faster than you go through underwear... or maybe pajamas. Every few days, there's a new layout, some new colors, different shaped buttons or cards, or other changes happening to search results, but this latest one is more about the function than the form. Instead of loading results in a paginated manner, some users are seeing a button to see more search hits on the same page.

Up until now, the bottom of Google's search results displayed related terms (when available) then a Next button that jumps to the next results on a new page.

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