Google Play’s Material Design Makeover, That was Shown at Google I/O, is Underway

During Google I/O 2014, we saw the beginning of a new set of design guidelines take shape in the form of Material Design. Google wants all of its products across all platforms to look a certain way, with layers, depth, motion, and even a sense of texture or the feel of touch as you swipe around something like Gmail. But even though Material Design was unveiled, the only instances of it in the wild at this point are some of the stock apps built-in to the Android L preview. We have yet to see Google give us fully redesigned Maps or Hangouts or Calendar apps. Sure, Google+ saw a massive redesign a couple of months back that took on parts of Material Design, but it even has some work in front of it to look like what was shown at I/O.

Thankfully, they gave us all sorts of glimpses of the current work being done to Gmail and even Google Play. The Gmail mini-preview was shown during the keynote, but if you looked at the specific developer sessions for Google Play and Material Design, you got an entire preview of what the new Play store is going to look like. From the massive content being displayed in backgrounds or at the top of listings, to the simpler layout that feels less cluttered, to sharing and purchasing buttons being easily identified, this is going to be a major change.  (more…)

Rewatch the Entire 3-hour Google I/O 2014 Keynote

The entire 3-hour Google I/O 2014 keynote is up and ready for your consumption. In case you missed our ridiculous live blog that featured talk of Android L and all of its redesigned goodness through Material Design, Android Auto, Google Fit, Android TV, and of course, Android Wear, then I would suggest at least taking a look at the first two hours. Oh, Tim and I also make a couple of appearances, so you have that to look forward to.  (more…)

I/O Poll: Buying the G Watch or Gear Live?

The first Android Wear watches are now available, so what do you think – are you buying one? As of today, you can pre-order the LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live and have them at your front door within a couple of weeks. Or are you holding out for the Moto 360, which Google would only continue to confirm is “coming this summer”? Or are you not interested at all?

It’s time for some I/O-related polls. First up – are you buying either the G Watch or Gear Live?

Buying the LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live?

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Here are Android “L” App Design Screenshots for Maps, Settings, Music, Keyboard, and More

Everyone is waiting patiently for Google to release the Android L preview build tomorrow, but hopefully these screenshots can help ease the impatience.

Android L, from what we can see so far, is a major redesign for the OS. App color schemes and various layouts are changing considerably inside of system applications, which might have Android L as one of the most distinguishable updates the OS has ever received. For example, colors for system volumes are now going to be a bright yellow instead of Holo Blue, and many other apps and lists seem to be much more vibrant.  (more…)

What’s New in Google Play Services 5.0?

Not only did announce the new version of Android that is currently dubbed “Android L” (list of features) but they also gave us a massive Google Play Services update to 5.0.

The Play Services update allows apps to “more easily communicate” with wearables, which makes sense since Android Wear was a big part of today’s festivities. It lets developers build in game saving, Quests, and new game profiles to Play Games. There are new Wallet, Drive, Google Cast, Analytics, and Mobile Ads features as well.

The full list can be seen below.  (more…)

Google Runs Through Initial List of Android L Features Before Tomorrow’s Launch

Google may have announced the Android L Developer Preview today, but they aren’t letting any of us get our hands on it until tomorrow morning. Until then, they have put together a list of most of the features announced during this morning’s keynote, along with a couple that didn’t have a chance to shine on stage.

Things like the new advanced camera API that were confirmed to be in the works back in November are a part of Android L. There is also a mention of multi-networking, mixed into recaps on Material Design, Project Volta, BLE Peripheral Mode, and enhanced notifications.

To make sure you are ready for tomorrow morning, be sure to read up. We have included their whole list below.  (more…)

Chromecast Getting Android Device Mirroring And More

Chromecast may be the weird stepchild of the new Android TV, but seeing as it’s sold incredibly well globally, Google would be remiss if it didn’t pay it some much-needed attention during this morning’s keynote.

One of the most exciting features demoed onstage was Android mirroring. A long time coming, the service – which is in beta and will be incorporated into Google Play Services in a few weeks – lets you to cast your device’s display and audio to Chromecast. That, of course, allows you to play games or navigate around Google Earth on your TV. Mirroring seemed quite responsive - Google built a new protocol explicitly targeting low latency – and everything seemed to work without a hitch, including switching between landscape and portrait and using the phone’s camera.  (more…)