Google asks artists to create designs for self-driving cars in new ‘Paint the Town’ campaign

sample-2Google’s self-driving car initiative could hit the market as early as 2020, but until then Google is continuing to test its cars around Mountain View. Today, Google announced a new program that will see its self-driving cars become a little more interesting to look at. The new program, called Paint the Town, is touted by Google as being a “moving art experiment” and transforms the company’s self-driving cars into moving pieces of public art.

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HTC partners with model Jourdan Dunn to release limited edition engraved One M9 variants

HTC-INK-Jourdan-Dunn-design_high-res-e1430323330622HTC, who this morning said that brand image is more important than volume, has announced a new partnership with supermodel Jourdan Dunn. As part of the partnership, HTC and Dunn will team up to offer limited edition variants of the HTC One M9 with custom-designed, body art-inspired engravings. An example of one of the engravings can be seen above.

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HTC’s lead designer announces his departure after less than a year

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In 2008, HTC acquired design firm One & Co to help bolster its smartphone team. Slowly but surely, however, the team has disintegrated to the point that as of tonight, only one of the design team members remains. HTC’s VP of Industrial Design, Jonah Becker, announced on Twitter tonight that he is leaving the company. Becker was named vice president less than a year ago.

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Samsung brings in new design chief from Apple designer Jony Ive’s former firm

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Samsung announced last year that, after negative reviews of the design of its Galaxy S5, its head of mobile design Change Dong-hoon was being replaced by then VP of mobile design Lee Min-hyouck. Today, however, it was revealed that the company is bringing in an outside designer to help refresh its product lineup. A report from the Korea Herald states that Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae to be its new head of design. Don-tae would lead design of all Samsung gadgets, including smartphones.

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Secret update basically copies Yik Yak, brings communities and cute new mascot

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Secret was one of the first to the anonymous social network category of apps, but Yik Yak recently took the spotlight and started really catching on with the college crowd. It appears that Secret felt a bit threatened by its university-based competitor. Today, the app has been updated with a completely new appearance, a new, cuter version of its fox mascot, and a re-imagined way of communicating with those around you anonymously.

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RelativeWave acquired by Google, makes its mobile app prototyping software free for Mac

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RelativeWave, the company behind the mobile app prototyping software Form, today announced it’s joining Google. The company made an announcement on its website noting that it will continue working on the Form app and as of today make it available for free through the Mac App Store. The app previously sold for $79. Read more

Chinese iPhone clone maker Xiaomi investing $1B in YouTube clone

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Xiaomi, the Chinese Android manufacturer which heavily bases its product designs and marketing on Apple products, is to invest $1B in the Chinese YouTube equivalent, Youku.

Xiaomi has long been aware of the importance of an integrated hardware-and-services offering, initially selling its smartphones at cost-price in order to build market share, relying on its app store to generate profits. A tie-in with a video service makes similar sense – smartphones and tablets providing an audience for video content, and video content driving demand for devices on which to view it – but the move is likely to be primarily driven by Xiaomi’s move into the smart TV market …   Read more

Pushbullet for Android gets updated with snazzy Material design

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Pushbullet, the service that easily lets you send files and links around to all of your devices, just today got a huge update for Android that brings—yes, you guessed it—Material design. And with such a redesign, the way the app works has been overhauled from the ground up, bringing faster and easier navigation and sorting of pushes.

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Google Play Store app updated with Material Design interface, clearer What’s New section

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Google has updated its Play Store app with a more comprehensive Material Design makeover, and a What’s New section that is both clearer and easier to use.

Version 5.0.31 sees a new, flat Play Store logo, together with flatter icons in the sidebar, and the categories now use the bright colors of the Material Design palette …  Read more

Leaked screenshots show off revamped Play Store designs – bigger, bolder, clearer

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Here’s what the Google Play Store is likely to look like when it gets its ‘Material Design’ revamp based on the new look and feel of Android L. Google has already started rolling out the new design language on the web in the form of new pages for Docs, Sheets and Slides.

The screenshots were obtained by Android Police, which says that the redesign of the Play Store is “well underway” …  Read more

Google says OEMs will not be able to alter the design of Android Wear, Auto, and TV

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At Google I/O this year, the company unveiled a trio of new operating systems, Android TV, Android Auto, and Android Wear. All of these operating systems, of course, run with an interface designed by Google itself. There was doubt, however, surrounding whether manufacturers would be allowed to overlay their own interface on top, like many do with Android. While speaking with Ars Technica, Google’s engineering director David Burke put an end to our doubts and confirmed that OEMs will not be allowed to overlay their interfaces on top of Android Auto, Android TV, or Android Wear.

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