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Material design spec adds guidance on 'up' vs 'back' navigation, strong words for notification spam, and more in August update

After adding an entirely new section on motion - and new guidance on onboarding and growth - back in May, Google Design is back with another update to the material design spec.

The August 2016 release includes new documentation for Nougat's new notifications, confirming and acknowledging user actions, and widgets, with updates coming to the navigation and full-screen mode sections.

Nougat's notifications, as we've seen through a handful of preview releases now, have a somewhat more complex or info-rich design compared to previous generations. In its new section on notifications, the spec breaks down all the bits and pieces from headers to action areas.

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Quidgets hides homescreen widgets in the Quick Settings tiles on Android Nougat

Android's homescreen widgets were one of its signature features when it debuted as an iOS alternative (which is kind of funny in itself), but developers seem to positively thrill in ways to stick them in other places as well. Case in point: Quidgets from Joseph Paul Antonetti. This little app allows users to hide a full-sized homescreen widget up in the Quick Settings menu, making it accessible from any app with a quick swipe. There's only one downside: it's exclusive to Android 7.0 for the time being.

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Candl Apps follows up popular 'Month' calendar widget with an agenda version

Life is busy, what with all those social and family obligations. You could just give up and run away to live on an island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, or more likely just try to keep better track of all the stuff you have going on with a widget. Month was a very popular suite of calendar widgets, and now the developer has released Agenda. You can probably guess what it is from the name.

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Snap - Widget Drawer Adds A Pull-Down Widget Screen That's Accessible From Anywhere

Widgets and pull-down notifications have been a part of Android for a very long time, but what if you combined them? Snap - Widget Drawer is essentially a second notification shade, but instead of notifications, it's populated with widgets. Plus, it's accessible from anywhere, no matter what else you're doing on the phone.

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Nokia's Z Launcher Updated With Widget Support In Version 1.2

Android users in general like widgets. Android "advocates" (which I suppose includes all of us here at Android Police) remember when it was one of the biggest differentiators between Google's mobile operating system and iOS, back when people were trying to convince us that we didn't really need copy and paste support. So when Nokia's Z Launcher homescreen replacement app launched without widgets, a considerable number of users couldn't switch over because of this lack.

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Now the developers have alleviated this problem, so it's a good time to give Z Launcher another chance. Version 1.2 adds basic widget support: swipe to the blank screen on the left side of the main launcher and long-press to add them.

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Notifidgets Brings Widgets Back To The Lollipop Lockscreen By Hiding Them In The Notification Bar

Most of the user interface additions to Android 5.0 and higher are welcome, but one of the more notable losses is the ability to embed widgets on the lockscreen. The new placement of notifications in that space has left no room for widgets. That's not a huge problem, but it does require some adjustment if you're used to getting at that information in a very specific way. Developer Udell Enterprises hopes to fix that with an app called, appropriately, Notifidgets.

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Notifidgets creates a semi-permanent notification that contains the widget or widgets of your choice. This allows you to access said widget without unlocking your device.

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[App Roundup] Our Top Seven Picks For The Best New Apps Of October 2014

During October we've been positively innundated with new versions of apps, mostly from Google as the company plasters Material Design over nearly its entire catalog. But there have been some notable launches as well, dominated by Google's own Inbox (and the scramble that comes from an invitation system). For some other highlighted picks from October and a few honorable mentions, read on.


Inbox by Gmail

Android Police coverage: Google's 'Inbox By Gmail' Email Replacement System Is Live, But Invite-Only For The Moment

Inbox is kind of a big deal as far as Google is concerned - it appears to be the new status quo for the company's email system going forward.

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Wearable Widgets v2.0 Adds Support For Android Wear, Can Send Any Widget To Your Watch

Google designed Android Wear around Google Now and notifications, but developers are hard at work extending additional functionality. One such effort is Wearable Widgets, which just added support for Wear in v2.0. It was previously only for Glass and the Sony Smartwatch. Basically, it sends a widget from your phone to your watch.

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HD Widgets 4.0 Introduces Updated UI, New Widgets, And More; New KitKat-Friendly Theme On The Way

HD Widgets is already one of the more pragmatic and attractive sources for Android widgets out there, but now it's about to get even prettier. For the big 4.0 release, the developers are prepared to introduce a new theme that's been designed for Android 4.4. And since you don't need KitKat to run it, that makes this update a nice breath of fresh air for anyone looking for a modern set of widgets displaying everything from the weather and time to battery life and toggles.

The core experience remains the same, but the team has added a side navigation menu to the app, which displays active widgets, theme packs, tools, settings, weather locations, and the like.

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Google's 20 Reorganized Play Store Game Categories Now Live, Including Game-Related Widgets And LWPs

At the end of last year, Google promised a big Play Store reorganization during which the 8 existing game categories would be cleaned up and expanded to 18. Two of the categories (Widgets and Live Wallpapers) weren't even games at all - they somehow ended up there and bothered everyone who noticed ever since.

This morning, after a month of delays, the company announced that the expansion would start soon. Apparently, soon means later this afternoon, as the new categories are now live:


Having counted 20 instead of the promised 18 and having noticed that Widgets and LWPs were still in the list, I even prepared this glorious image for the article:


Thankfully, I didn't have to use it (but I did anyway because I spent 30 seconds making, damnit!).

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