Screenshot Reveals Google Now’s Material Design Future

Google Now Material Design

Over the past several months, we’ve seen quite a few Google applications receive a Material Design makeover. This new UI paradigm first began showing its head far before its official unveiling alongside Android L in June of this year, starting with the Google+ application. Since then, we’ve seen several other Google apps such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides receive Material Design makeovers. And in this past week, we even saw Material Design updates to Chrome Stable and Google+.

What’s one extremely prominent Google app that to date has been left out of the Material Design fun? Google Now. Now thanks to a presumably inadvertent slip, we may have our first glimpse at what Google Now will . . . READ ON »

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Chromecast 1.8 Custom Wallpapers, Chrome Updated to 38

Google Android Apps

Last Friday, we saw the release of Google+ version 4.6, which brought Google’s Facebook competitor a bit more inline with the latest Material Design UI guidelines. Now just a few days later, Google is gracing our Android devices with two new updates, Chromecast 1.8 and Chrome Stable v38.

First up, we have an update to the Chromecast companion app, bringing us to version 1.8.22. The Google Chromecast has always been lauded for its aesthetically appealing backgrounds. But now with today’s update, users are finally allowed to personalize their Chromecast devices with custom backgrounds. You can also enable weather updates, satellite images, and news headlines, just like what was mentioned ba. . . READ ON »

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Google Wanted to Buy Cyanogen, Inc.


Google has reportedly tried to acquire Cyanogen, Inc., maker of one of the most popular multi-device custom ROMs, CyanogenMod. According to a report prepared by The Information, Google’s SVP Sundar Pichai had a meeting with Cyanogen’s CEO Kirt McMaster, but the interest from the Android and Google Chrome head honcho was shrugged off with no further notice.

It’s unclear why Google wanted to buy Cyanogen. Perhaps they wanted to have an in-house Android distribution and a team of skilled engineer capable of bringing Android to another level. However, the most likely scenario was to buy the company and shut it down right after. It brings up quite a few question as to . . . READ ON »

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Google+ 4.6 Update Brings Additional Material Design Flair


Just yesterday, we talked about a rather significant update to the Google Play Newsstand app. Perhaps the most noticeable change in yesterday’s update wasn’t exactly a new feature, but rather a nearly complete Material Design UI overhaul. Today, Google is rolling out an update to the Google+ app to bring even more Material Design flair to the already Material-compliant app.

While quite a few first party Google applications have now received the Material Design goodness, many of you will undoubtedly recall that one of the first apps to receive a makeover was Google+. In fact, the Google+ app actually received its current overall UI style well before Android L and Material Design w. . . READ ON »

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Google Play Newsstand 3.3 Brings Material Design Makeover

Google Play Newsstand 3.3 Material Design

In a clear break from the previous practice of delivering nearly weekly Google Update Wednesdays, it’s been quite a while since we see a significant update to one of Google’s core Android apps. While today’s not Wednesday, Google has detailed a rather large overhaul to one of its most popular news content consumption apps, Google Play Newsstand.

Today’s update brings Google Play Newsstand up to version 3.3. And chief among the changes found in the latest version, is a complete UI overhaul that brings many elements of Material Design to the app. This is mainly seen as part of the new magazine reading experience, which brings bigger images, more contextual headers, and smoother . . . READ ON »

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Google Play Store to Show Price Ranges for In-App Purchases


Google recently announced a change to Google Play Store policy that requires developers to provide a physical address if they want to sell their applications in Play Store. This change was pretty significant for the app developer community, but it’s not the only interesting modification that Google has in store for us. Another big change is waiting right around the corner, as Google decided to put information about in-app purchase prices on the application installation screen. Users will now see how much they will eventually have to pay to get the full application functionality.

Freemium applications and games are very popular–and that’s not just here on the XDA forums. Most . . . READ ON »

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Paid Android App Developers Will Soon Have to Provide Physical Address


Google has now changed its policies regarding paid app developers. Every developer who opened the developer console today was greeted with a message stating that a physical address must be added in account settings. The change will influence primarily developers who distribute paid apps or allow in-app-purchases.

Developers were shown the following message stating the required changes:

Add a physical contact address Beginning September 30, 2014, you need to add a physical address to your Settings page. After you’ve added an address, it will be available on your app’s detail page to all users on Google Play. If your physical address changes, make sure to update your information on your Sett

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Latest Android Platform Stats: KitKat Nearly 25%, 2.x Down to 12%

Android September 2014 Pie Chart

As we’ve by now become accustomed, the beginning of the month marks when Google updates its Android Developer Dashboard website with updated Platform Distribution Stats. These numbers, which show the current state of Android ecosystem fragmentation both in terms of version/API adoption and graphics capabilities, become an incredibly valuable resource for Android application developers looking to better target their development efforts.

When we took a look at the Android Platform Stats back in August, we were pleased to see that KitKat was finally over 20% market share. Android 4.4.x KitKat was up to 20.9% from 17.9% the month before, resulting in a 16.8% relative growth. Just like what we&. . . READ ON »

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Hangouts 2.3 Brings Free Voice Calls and a Refreshed UI

Hangouts 2.3

When Google launched Hangouts last year, it was marketed as a messaging and a video calling service, which allowed you to quickly send a message anywhere in the world or start a group video call at no cost. The service caught on quickly, complemented by its ease of use and the growth of Google+. And since then, it has accumulated a large user base as it stands. Over time, it went on to integrate SMS functionality as well, a step closer to the unification of all of the company’s communication services.

Earlier today, Google announced Hangouts v2.3, which takes the service even closer to the goal of unification by integrating free voice calls. The calls work over the Internet using VoIP, and will be avail. . . READ ON »

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