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Design

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Android Messages v3.5 adds new Material UI with dark mode [APK Download]

Both Google Phone and Google Contacts had Material redesigns earlier this month. As such, people began speculating that Android Messages would also soon be revamped, and now it's happened. On top of the redesign, version 3.5 of Android Messages also brings a long-awaited dark mode.

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Google redesigns its support pages with a whole lot more white space

Google sure loves its negative space. Following bright refreshes of both Gmail and Google Drive earlier this year, Google Help has been overhauled with a new layout that includes way, way more white than the previous design.

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Check out this cool video teaser showcasing Google's modern use of Material Design

Material Design isn't some immutable standard. It's a flowing, breathing, evolving design. As our own former editor Liam (now a Googler) pointed out today, the current expressions we've seen of Google Material are just one potential way to implement the changing design philosophy. So if you're eager to check the possible futures for Google's Material designs, you should probably watch this video.

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Hangouts Chat desktop interface gets Material Design refresh

At Google I/O earlier this year, the company officially introduced refreshed Material Design guidelines along with new theming tools. This was consistent with new visual elements that had already been creeping into Google products like the new Gmail, with Chrome soon to be extensively reworked, too. Hangouts Chat is G Suite's answer to Slack, and it's now getting some new Material tweaks as well.

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Twitter's bottom navigation bar is official, rolling out to everyone

A couple of months ago, we reported that Twitter was testing a bottom navigation bar in its Android app. This came as no surprise since many apps from Google and others have been following this UI trend in response to the ever-increasing size of our smartphones. Twitter has now announced, on Twitter, that the test is over and the bottom navigation bar is here to stay.

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Chrome's omnibox search results are getting favicons for bookmarked pages

A couple of months ago, we heard that Google was working on an updated UI for Chrome's omnibox. Colorful images and brief descriptions were being tested when you searched something in the Chrome URL bar, and this was a welcome change from the sea of white and gray that would normally be seen. Further improvements are also on the way, with favicons being introduced next to bookmarked pages.

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First, they came for your phone's headphone jack—is the USB port next?

When Apple released the first iPhone without a headphone jack two years ago, many - critics, consumers, and competitors alike - were quick to cry foul. The decision was widely derided arrogant and unfriendly, and CMO Phil Schiller took a well-deserved beating in the court of public opinion for calling the removal of the 3.5mm jack “courageous.”

Imagine, then, what would happen if Apple was to remove the charging and data port from the iPhone entirely.

It's not as wild as it sounds. A report from trusted Apple leaker Mark Gurman recently revealed that the company had considered doing just that with the iPhone X.

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Chrome Duplex UI updated with bottom bar that mirrors top toolbar options

Google Chrome's Canary build offers "bleeding edge" features so they can be tested ahead of possible graduation to the more stable versions of the app. Recently, Google has been experimenting with the traditional top-positioned toolbar in response to ever taller Android handsets, first by moving the whole thing to the bottom (Chrome Home), and then by replacing that with a swiping up gesture to access the new tab page (Chrome Duplex).

The latest evolution of this test — controlled by the #enable-chrome-duplex flag in chrome://flags — introduces a brand new bottom toolbar that exactly mirrors the options at the top of the screen.

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[Update: Rolling out] YouTube is testing yet another UI modification, this time for collapsed video playback

Spring cleaning of the YouTube Android app is continuing apace. Already this month we've seen tests for seek bar video previews and an iOS style bottom nav bar. Now, some users are seeing a new interface for collapsing the currently selected video, offering more than just a picture-in-picture window. The new UI moves this into a floating bottom bar including a play/pause button, as well as the option to close without having to swipe away.

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Google launches Material Gallery tool for design collaboration [APK Download]

One of the hot topics at Google I/O 2018 has been the evolution of Material Design. The website has been overhauled and lots of new guidelines have been added, with some of the changes being discussed in sessions at the conference. Material Theming is also being introduced to help developers implement the design language in their apps while retaining their own style. Another tool, Material Gallery, has just been launched to help designers organize their projects.

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