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Design

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Google Drive for Android is about to get a Material Design refresh

Google is continuing to slowly update all of its apps to a refreshed Material Design style (MD 2.0, to some) and the latest product to get this treatment is Google Drive on Android — the web version has already been updated. It's not actually live yet, but the code is there ready to go, so we can expect it to roll out to users soon.

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Google Translate web is getting a Material Design makeover

The refreshed Material look, also known as Material theme or Material Design 2 in our circles, continues its march toward Google service domination. We've already seen it hit several apps on our phones, and its web expansion has been surprisingly rapid too. After Gmail, Google News, the Google support pages and personal account page, Android MessagesHangouts Chat, and even the Chrome web store, now's the time for us to have a glimpse at what Translate would look like in this new design.

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Android 1.0 versus Android 9: A visual tour of how far we've come in a decade

Android has changed tremendously in the last ten years. Returning to modern hardware after our historical series, I was struck by the visual differences across versions. For a closer look, we rolled back to an even earlier build on our T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream. For anyone who might be curious, here's a quick visual exploration of Android 1.0 vs. Android 9 Pie. And don't worry, this isn't one of those godawful click-for-every-photo galleries, just a simple scroll as we stroll back in time.

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Facebook's promised Messenger redesign is starting to roll out to some users

During its F8 2018 conference in May, Facebook previewed a major redesign to Messenger that it had teased earlier in the year, saying it would simplify the experience, remove some of the unnecessary interface elements, and put emphasis on the features most users want to get to quickly. Oh, and it should have a dark mode too. While the company said the new look would come soon, it took a bit over four months for us to see the first sign of it.

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Google Search desktop UI showing refreshed Material Design with rounded corners and persistent search bar

I've been noticing it pretty much since I arrived in Germany for IFA 2018, and now we've had a few tips from readers to confirm it. Google's desktop search UI is being updated to more closely follow the latest evolution of the company's Material Design guidelines — this means rounded corners everywhere, more white than a snowstorm, and a persistent search bar.

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New Material UI and dark mode are back in latest Android Messages [APK Download]

If there's one thing we love when it comes to the subject of Android here, it's a good tease. Over the last couple of weeks, Google surreptitiously added and subsequently disabled an updated Material Design interface for Android Messages. In addition to the app's blinding new all-white aesthetic, it also included a new dark mode that should be a bit easier on the eyes at night. Though the updated design was seemingly disabled, it's now back in the latest version — and you can download it now.

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[Update: Back in v3.5.052] 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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