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server-side test


[Update: Rolling out widely] Latest Play Store visual tweaks adjust search results and border elements

Google likes to adjust the Play Store more or less continuously, changing things in big or small ways for a small subset of users before rolling things out (or not) to Android at large. The latest updates to the app seem to be appearing for only a few people, presumably via server-side changes. It's nothing particularly huge - you might not even notice them if you're not looking for them - but it's the sort of tweak we live for.

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Server-side tests have broken Google Now and the Play Store for some users

Google regularly conducts server-side tests - showing new features and UI changes to only a handful of users at a time. Unfortunately, sometimes these have adverse affects on users. In this case, Google has broken the Play Store and Google Now for some users, as a result of two independent server-side tests.

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Facebook is testing a floating button for suggested videos

It seems like every week there's something new popping up in Facebook's Android app. I've lost track and count, but I'm fairly sure we've never seen them mess with floating action buttons (FAB) in this way before. Two tipsters have reported seeing a new FAB in Facebook for suggested videos... and really, that's about it.

Tapping the FAB opens a new page that shows a list of videos suggested for you to watch. Because Facebook needs you to watch more videos, obviously, and a FAB is one of the best ways to attract a user's attention and/or elicit accidental taps.

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Google is testing screenshot cropping and drawing tools in its search app

Google has been tinkering with screenshots for a few months. First, some hidden code was found in Nougat that would trigger partial screenshot functionality, then we started hearing of a screenshot cropping and drawing option showing up inside the Google app. That last bit is starting to show for some users including our reader Nicholas who shared the news on Reddit and further explained how it works.

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Play Store has new layout and transitions for search results, may be rolling out via server-side update

Google iterates a lot on the Play Store - the new shade of green, darker and richer than the previous one - is currently rolling out globally, along with the big uninstall button and tweaked list view for apps. We've now had wind of another test, using big cards for apps that can be horizontally swiped through in search results.


When searching for an app, tapping a result will take you to this new view, where you see the current content but instead of fullscreen, it is contained in a card. Scrolling down makes the card bigger - so the view is as it is now - and scrolling up puts it back in a card.

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Google Play Music's Search Bar Might Soon Look Very Different

Google is on a crusade against search bars. Or so it seems to us at least. Late last year, the Play Store received an interface revamp that dumped the green search bar in favor of an overlaid grey bar with a hamburger menu, a voice search icon, and the words Google Play in grey that disappeared as soon as you started typing. Then a few days ago, it changed Play Books' search bar to a look that sits somewhere in the middle, with the blue bar switching into the grey one when you tapped to search.

Now it's Play Music's turn.

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