With the Pixel 2, Google introduced automatic dark/light themes dependent on your wallpaper. It was a short-lived exclusive, making its way to Android 8.1 just days later. It hasn't even been a year since then, but Google is already changing the themes' behavior slightly — for the better, in my opinion. Read More
Animations have been a big focus in Android P, so it was a bit surprising when the new Recents menu landed without one for invoking it. In earlier versions of Android P it just sort of plopped up without any fanfare. But now in DP3/Beta 2, Google has introduced a new rubbery bounce complete with corresponding haptic feedback, as well as a new semi-transparent rounded background for the app tray. The mild translucency in the full app list also appears to be mostly gone (thankfully). Read More
Google has been tweaking the Google Feed (previously known as Google Now) page quite a bit recently. They started rolling out a dual-tabbed interface in December, but seemingly stopped shortly after. Last month, a new transparent Google Now pane appeared for one user, and now a modified version has showed up. Read More
The next version of Android is bringing a lot of visual options to the table, and they're not just for Google to play with. Buried deep within the KitKat 4.4 API (level 19) is the ability for apps to request translucent system UI overlays, specifically on the top notification bar and the bottom navigation bar (if your device has one). You can see this feature in action in all the promotional photos of the Nexus 5's homescreen, where the wallpaper is visible form the top of the screen to the bottom.
There have been a few OEMs that have tried this sort of thing with their own software skins, notably Samsung (various 4.2 devices), LG (on the new G2), and Motorola (on the DROID RAZR HD and its siblings). Read More
We can't say we didn't see it coming, considering we saw this preview of the tablet-optimized SwiftKey keyboard during CES, but what SwiftKey is announcing today looks quite a bit different, to say the least.
Allow me to introduce Swiftkey Tablet - a tablet-only Honeycomb keyboard set to launch around the same time as the Motorola XOOM tablet. Sticking with the 3-way-split design, the new holographic look reminds me quite a bit of Tron. If you watch the video below, you'll see that the UI is quite... magical, with suggestions floating up when clicked. The dual space bar design and the presence of arrow keys are very welcomed as well. Read More