design Stories February 8, 2017

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Pinterest is introducing a new feature for its Android app called Lens. Rolling out now as a beta feature, Lens lets you point your camera at your surroundings to discover new design ideas based on what it captures.

Just point Lens at a pair of shoes, then tap to see related styles or even ideas for what else to wear them with. Or try it on a table to find similar designs, and even other furniture from the same era. You can also use Lens with food. Just point it at broccoli or a pomegranate to see what recipes come up. Patterns and colors can also lead you in fun, interesting or even just plain weird new directions.

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design Stories June 21, 2016

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Following Rick Osterloh’s exit and eventual hire by Google in April, Motorola’s long-time head of design Jim Wicks is leaving Lenovo for Northwestern University. Wicks was at the company for over 12 years and most recently responsible for the design of the Moto X and Moto 360.

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design Stories March 15, 2016

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Both Google+ and Google Photos have been updated with a bottom bar in the past few months. Google is now officially embracing bottom navigation with an update to the Material Design spec.

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design Stories February 23, 2016

Google releases Resizer web tool to test Material Design at various resolutions

The Material Design Guidelines are considered a living document by Google’s designers and receive constant updates and new additions. To help with their recent guidelines on responsive UI, Google has released a web-based tool to see what a website looks like on various devices and at different resolutions.

design Stories December 14, 2015

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[Ed. Note: This is a rewrite of the original post which was the result of a miscommunication between editor and writer on coverage of an excellent Reddit writeup of an event. Apologies for the mistake]

Last week, Google hosted a Nexus Studio event open to the public in New York City. For three days, many teams that helped build the latest generation of Nexus phones were on hand giving talks and answering questions about the Nexus 5X and 6P. These included representatives from the Nexus industrial design, hardware, and engineering teams, Nexus software product managers, and the Android UX design team, among many others.

One Reddit user wrote up a very detailed post about all the things he learned from the “super friendly and surprisingly open” Google employees on hand. Below is a summary of the interesting information gleamed from numerous talks…

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design Stories July 6, 2015

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Google Developers, the team at Google which creates tools and learning materials for developers to take advantage of, has released a front-end web framework for building sites to the Material Design specification.

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design Stories June 24, 2015

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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design Stories June 3, 2015

Nest founder Tony Fadell talks design and habituation in newly-uploaded Ted Talk

Tony Fadell, founder of Nest and current head of Google Glass, presented in March at TED2015 to share his thoughts and experience designing for Apple, Nest, and now Google. A few months after he first gave the talk, it has now been uploaded to YouTube and is open and viewable by everyone…

He doesn’t spend any time talking about Glass, unsurprisingly, but he does talk about now Google-owned Nest. He spends several minutes talking about how to notice things around you—things that have become daily pains—that have may be victim of habituation and worth finding a solution for.

It’s interesting and worth a watch:

design Stories April 29, 2015

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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design Stories March 26, 2015

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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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design Stories January 28, 2015

Google adds new interface for movie-related searches on Android

Google today has unveiled a newly designed search page for move-related queries in Chrome for Android and the official Google Search app. The update presents the results in a fashion similar to what you see when you search for content in the Play Store.

design Stories January 19, 2015

Samsung said to ditch removable battery in favor of new glass design w/ Galaxy S6

It has been reported several times that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 will ditch the company’s classic all plastic design in favor of something of higher quality, which has been thought to be a metal-build. Today, however, a new report out of Korea, which should be taken with a grain of salt, says that Samsung is looking to make the Galaxy S6 out of all glass. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s how Apple designed its iPhone 4 and 4s.

design Stories January 15, 2015

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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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design Stories December 18, 2014

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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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design Stories November 21, 2014

Quartz OS custom Linux distribution aims to bring Material Design to the desktop

Google ushered in a new design language called Material Design as one of the biggest new elements of Android Lollipop, and an upcoming Linux distribution called Quartz OS aims to bring the clean and simplistic user interface to the desktop. Quartz OS is essentially the marriage of Material Design and Linux, aiming to harness the flexibility and power of the JavaScript-based markup language QML.

design Stories November 19, 2014

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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. expand full story

design Stories November 12, 2014

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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 …   expand full story

design Stories November 7, 2014

Google Drive’s new design is now enabled by default, but users can still revert back for now

Google announced on Friday that the new user interface for Google Drive, introduced in June as an opt-in experience, is now the default design for the cloud storage platform. Google Drive users can revert back to the old design through the Settings dropdown for the foreseeable future, although Google will eventually remove this option.

Following the change, users are now prompted with a “welcome to the new Google Drive” pop-up message upon loading the web-based service. The dismissible message provides a walkthrough of a number of Google Drive’s new features, including the ability to view and manage versions for non-Google file formats and add caption files or transcript files to videos.

design Stories October 28, 2014

Our most Material update yet  Pushbullet Blog 2014-10-28 09-58-22

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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design Stories October 10, 2014

playstore

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 …  expand full story

design Stories August 20, 2014

Google granted yet another Glass patent, this time for a Star Trek-like visor

Yesterday we told you about a patent that was granted to Google last week, featuring what appears to be an alternate design for Google Glass. Described as a “wearable display device,” the patent shows a pair of normal glasses with the display technology fitted on the inside—which is unlike the current model’s externally-fitted projector and prism. 

design Stories July 22, 2014

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Last week, screenshots of an upcoming Play Store redesign leaked, showing off a much cleaner, Material Design inspired design, and today, the update finally started rolling out to users. The update bumps the Play Store to version 4.9.13 and packs a variety of enhancements and changes.

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design Stories July 14, 2014

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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” …  expand full story

design Stories June 28, 2014

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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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design Stories June 27, 2014

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After an interview this morning on how Google came up with idea for Material Design, Google vice president of design Matias Duarte sat down with The Verge for another interview. In the talk, Duarte discussed a variety of things that Google set out to achieve with Android “L” and the Material design aspect of it.

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design Stories June 26, 2014

Material-Design-Platforms

Google’s annual I/O conference is in full swing and in addition to handing out swag, the company is dishing out media kits to attendees explaining the principles of its new visual language called Material Design. In an effort to further unify Mountain View’s platforms, this animation-focused vibrant style will be used across Android, Chrome and the web. Loaded with colors and fluid animations, Material Design places a huge emphasis on content availability.

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design Stories June 11, 2014

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Leading up to Google I/O this year, we’ve seen a handful of leaks regarding the design of Android. We’ve seen redesigned apps leak, such as calendar, the dialer, and Gmail, as well as updated icons. According to a new report out of Android Police, all off these recent design leaks and updates have been apart of a new program within Google called Quantum Paper.

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design Stories May 23, 2014

We’ve seen its unofficially official specs. We’ve seen its updated UI. We’ve even known about its announcement date (May 27th) for some time now. And now, LG is teasing its upcoming G3 flagship device with three new videos posted this morning to YouTube. The “Design” video below also gives us the best look yet of the device’s metallic-looking back, as the camera slowly pans around it. expand full story

design Stories May 20, 2014

 

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There’s leaks, and then there’s this. @evleaks has posted a full, rotating render of the HTC M8 Prime. The Prime is rumored to have updated specs and a larger design in order to better compete with the LG G3, rumored Galaxy S5 Prime, and a larger iPhone later this year. The full render is included after the break. expand full story

design Stories May 15, 2014

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Google’s Glass division may be losing its lead engineer, but the company announced today that it had hired former Gap and Old Navy marketing chief Ivy Ross to head up the division. Ross will start her new position on May 19th.

Aside from Gap and Old Navy, Ross has also served as Chief Creative Officer for The Disney Store, headed up worldwide product design at Mattel, and, worked as Vice President of Design and Development for Outlook Eyewear at Bausch & Lomb. That last position is perhaps the most relevant to her selection as the new head of Glass.

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design Stories May 8, 2014

Samsung’s Swarovski Galaxy S5, Galaxy Gear collection launches today

Samsung’s “Crystal Collection” Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Gear line are available on the company’s online store starting today, though only in Korea. The devices are also available for pre-order for the Chinese market.

The sparkly device will eventually be make its way to Samsung’s UK retail stores in the UK in the coming weeks. If you’re in the United States and hoping to get your hands on this handset, start looking into importing it. Chances are, Samsung will never officially release the device in the North American, as no plans have been shared thus far.

The “Swarovski for Samsung” collaboration comes on the heels of a successful accessory partnership between the two brands during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York this past season. The collection marks the first time in more than 100 years that Swarovski has participated in a collaboration of this scale, where it fully integrates its branding into the collection.

With technology and fashion so deeply intertwined, Samsung is more dedicated than ever to supporting self-expression through technological innovation and meaningful partnerships,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, IT & Mobile Division at Samsung. “Collaborating with Swarovski on this stunning collection of device accessories reflects our commitment to providing people with user-experiences that express their distinct personalities and taste.

design Stories May 7, 2014

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Chang Dong-hoon, Samsung’s head of mobile design, has stepped down from his position due to criticism of the Galaxy S5, according to Reuters. Chang will be replaced by the company’s current vice president of mobile design, Lee Min-hyouk. Lee joined Samsung’s executive team in 2010 after helping design the company’s Galaxy lineup.

Samsung is the largest manufacturer of Android devices in the world, and recently wrapped up a software patent lawsuit brought by Apple in which the Korean company was ordered to pay out just under $120 million for in which several Galaxy devices were found to infringe on Apple’s intellectual property.

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design Stories April 15, 2014

Matias Duarte — the man behind the design of every version of Android since Ice Cream Sandwich — recently took the stage with Joshua Topolsky of The Verge at the Accel Design Conference in San Francisco to participate in a fireside chat on topics ranging from Android, the future of mobile, design methodology, and wearables.

The video is available on Vimeo (via AndroidPolice), and includes 37 minutes of talk between the two. The beginning covers Duarte’s thoughts on design methodology, and he stresses that good design is always a middle ground between appearance, emotional appeal, and usability — perhaps a shot at iOS 7’s stark interface. expand full story

design Stories April 14, 2014

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A new rumor originating from AndroidPolice that seems to have some pretty solid evidence backing it up shows that Google might be working a slick new redesign for Android’s stock icons. The site posted the image above showing what appears to be redesigned icons for most of the core preloaded Android apps including Play Music, Books, Movies, and Games, alongside Google+, Calendar, People, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, Camera, and the Play Store. As noted in the report, the icons to seem to more closely resemble the icons Google uses on the web for these services, which would make sense if Google aims to have a familiar look and feel across devices. expand full story

design Stories December 27, 2013

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For the second time this year, Google’s Android Developers Blog is highlighting some of the best designed apps for the Android platform. We all know that app design guidelines can be used to ensure a great user experience so it’s no surprise Google chose 11 apps this time around that “go above and beyond the [design] guidelines.”

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design Stories December 12, 2013

IDF 2011 (slide, All Future Versions of Android Will Be Optimized for Intel chips)

Google could potentially design its its server processor chips in-house some day, according to a new report by Bloomberg. The move would be an interesting one, as Google has typically relied on Intel chips to power its servers. Any major changes are likely several years down the road, but just the idea that the company could switch is a pretty big deal.

Google is considering creating these processors based on designs by ARM, Bloomberg notes. ARM designs are used by many companies for designing in-house processors, including Qualcomm and Apple. Those companies primarily build mobile phone processors, but using ARM technology in a server isn’t a huge technological stretch.

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design Stories November 5, 2013

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Building Design Online reports that the opening of Google’s new London headquarters will be delayed by a year after the company asked the architects to come up with new designs – after the development had already been granted planning approval.

It has asked the architect to draw up a new design within the original floor plan that will push the boundaries of office design and better fit the needs of the local community […]

A decision to overhaul the project is thought to have been made within the last week. As a result of the change in plans, the building’s completion date is thought to have been moved back from 2016 to 2017 …  expand full story

design Stories September 13, 2013

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Google is currently split-testing a new Google homepage layout. The redesign is not drastically different to tradition, but Google seems to be testing a different look for its persistent top-bar. As shown, the black strip as well as most of the shortcuts to other Google properties have been removed. In this version, the only shortcuts in the top navigation are links to Google+, Gmail and Google Images.

Notably, this design uses the flatter logo previously seen in the new Chrome for Android beta. At the time, The Verge said a source refuted claims that this is a new logo, saying that the flatter look was only meant for places where the traditional logo would not display well, such as when printed onto banners. However, this homepage redesign shows that Google is at least considering to use this new logo as their main branding in the future.

design Stories September 4, 2013

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HTC’s former VP of Product Design Thomas Chien (photo: HTC blog)

Taiwanese company HTC has not been having a happy time of late. Senior departures, including its COO; a halving of market share since 2011; former UK execs setting up a rival company; disappointing Q2 financials; and the possibility of the first ever loss in the company’s history in Q3.

But the latest saga in the company’s troubles read more like the plot of a soap opera than real-life. First, several of HTC’s former lead designers were arrested last week on suspicion of fraudulent expenses claims and leaking of trade secrets. Now Engadget reports that one of those arrested, ex-VP of Product Design Thomas Chien, may have been involved in a conspiracy with a Chinese municipal government to use both the trade secrets are purloined cash to create a rival smartphone company in China …  expand full story

design Stories June 24, 2013

googlegroups

In a post on the official Gmail blog, Google has announced that the new Google Groups interface is now available to everyone and it is retiring the old look effective today. The new design is totally different than before and with the new look comes a host of new features. For example, you can now create an inbox that lets you share and track responsibilities with other team members.

One of the recently improved features is the ability to create an inbox that allows you to collaboratively share, distribute and track responsibilities with others. Imagine you and a few friends are organizing an event for your school and want a single email address to coordinate with vendors, parents, and volunteers. Members of the group can work together to manage email, assign items to each other, and mark items resolved. This can be a great feature for teams seeking a really simple way to get things done without sharing passwords or losing track.

The experience for moderating a Google Group has also gotten much better and faster. Moderators can now browse and manage their group on the go via the new mobile site design. They can also now use canned responses to make the moderating process even quicker.  expand full story

design Stories April 22, 2013

Google has rebranded its font collection Google Fonts, which debuted in February 2011, dropping the ‘web’ from Google Web Fonts while still boasting its catalog of over 600 free, open-source fonts optimized for the web.

Google has also simplified the web interface with a more modern design, which allows users to view font examples in various formats, including word, sentence, and paragraph.

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design Stories April 15, 2013

Metal Galaxy S IV never came to fruition because of production worries; Note III to include 6 inch display

Sources from within are saying that Samsung prototyped an all metal Galaxy S IV, but because of worries with possible production delays, it was never used. The metal Galaxy S IV was met with open arms at the company says SamMobile, and was the first choice, but Samsung didn’t want to risk delays, according a report by SamMobile

Of course, the HTC One being all-metal phone is ‘worrisome’ to Samsung, according to the report, and is unsure if the Galaxy S IV measures up in terms of build quality to the One. While the report isn’t confirmed by Samsung, SamMobile is known to be very reliable. There is a possibility a holiday edition of the Galaxy S IV in metal could launch, but theres no guarantee.

In the same report, SamMobile is also saying that they’ve got the specs for the Galaxy Note II’s successor. The report claims that the Note III will sport a 6″ inch 1080P AMOLED display, 0.2″ inches bigger than the previous report of 5.8″ inches. Other specs include an Exynos 5 Octa-core processor, also found on the Galaxy S IV. The kicker here is that the report says the Note III will support LTE and the Octa-core processor, whereas the Galaxy S IV only supports LTE on the quad-core model.

Finally, SamMobile expects to see a 13MP camera with the “latest version of Android”. Samsung could have one of the first Android 5.0 devices out on the market, assuming Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is announced at Google I/O and the Note III launches sometime after that.

It’s unlikely the Note III will launch encased in a metal body, but if the report is to be believed, it may not be so far-fetched after all.

design Stories April 11, 2013

Google still testing simpler homepage layout with dedicated app launcher button

A 9to5Google reader, today, sent in a screenshot of a new Google homepage layout that the company is testing. It is unclear how spread the testing is of this homepage, but it’s no secret that Google tests new page layouts with small numbers of users. These test layouts sometimes never even get rolled out to the complete user base.

Notably, the new layout sports a button to quickly access Google’s various web applications.That new apps button appears to replace the top bar with the most commonly used Google services (like Mail, YouTube, and Drive).

Google began testing this new layout in February, but the appearance of testing in April could point to this new design still being under consideration or could point to extended testing.

Thanks, Tony!

design Stories April 9, 2013

Play Books Home - Tablet

An updated Google Play with an image-centric design will be rolling out to all Android devices running Froyo (2.2) and up over the next few weeks, the Official Android blog confirmed. The redesign focuses on connecting ‘similarly themed’ content so apps, songs, and movies of the same genre are grouped rather than scattered everywhere.

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Perhaps it’s too soon to  state this with any certainty — surely this update has been in the works for some time now — but we may already be seeing the influence of Facebook Home on app design, at least as it pertains to the use of larger imagery and simplified interface. Something to keep an eye on at the very least.

design Stories April 3, 2013

Twitter releases redesigned Android app with new features

On top of rolling out support for new Twitter cards for developers that will allow users to launch and install apps directly from within tweets, Twitter today released an overhauled Android app that finally follows the Android 4.0+ Holo design theme:

We just released a new version of Twitter for Android. Its new design reflects a native Android experience: wider and taller timelines that fill the screen, a flat navigation bar, tap and hold for quick actions, and more. You can now quickly navigate between tabs by swiping across your screen. And as you type your Tweet or search, you’ll see username and hashtag suggestions, making it easier to connect with friends and join conversations.

Other improvements in the updated app include @username and #hashtag auto suggestions when typing in search for composing a new tweet, as well as the ability to install and launch apps from developers that support a new mobile app deep-linking feature Twitter outlined on its developers blog.

The updated Twitter for Android app is available on Google Play now.

design Stories March 8, 2013

Last month we told you that YouTube had rolled out its new YouTube One Channel design to a limited number of parter channels, but today the new channel layout is officially available to everyone. You can check out an example of the new layout here. YouTube announced on its Creators blog that all users can now opt in to the new channel design by visiting the One Channel website below:

Check out www.youtube.com/onechannel and click the button at the bottom to get started. We’ll migrate your channel to the new design, and walk you through it. For a limited time, you’ll be able to switch back to the previous design if you like.

YouTube provided some tips to get you started with the new channel design: expand full story

design Stories February 5, 2013

New YouTube One Channel design coming soon

YouTube has announced on its official Partners and Creators blog that the new YouTube One Channel, currently only available in limited beta to select content creators, will soon roll out to all. YouTube content creator iJustine made the announcement. A number of other channels are also using the new design, including: DeStorm, EpicMealTime, SORTED, MysteryGuitarMan, LOUD, and Geek & Sundry.

YouTube provided some tips for content creators who want to prepare for the new channel layout:

1) Create a channel trailer to get people to subscribe

On your new channel, you can show a trailer that will only appear to viewers who aren’t already subscribed to your channel. This is your chance to let visitors know what your channel is all about and tell them why they should subscribe!  Keep it short and to the point, and include a clear call to action inviting your audience to subscribe.

2) Create some channel art

Channel art is how you can express the personality of your channel wherever it is seen, whether on a mobile phone, a tablet, a TV, or in a hovercard anywhere on the site!  Here is a template and guidelines on how to start creating channel art that will look great.

design Stories July 26, 2012

Samsung says Apple stole iPhone design from Sony

With Apple and Samsung’s jury trial slated to kick off in a federal district court in San Jose, Calif., this Monday, AllThingsD points us to trial briefs where Samsung’s lawyers argued Apple’s inspiration for the original iPhone CAD drawings and designs were inspired by a Sony product:

Right after this article was circulated internally, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to prepare a “Sony-like” design for an Apple phone and then had CAD drawings and a three-dimensional model prepared. Confirming the origin of the design, these internal Apple CAD drawings prepared at Mr. Nishibori‘s direction even had the “Sony” name prominently emblazoned on the phone design, as the below images from Apple‘s internal documents show..

Soon afterward, on March 8, 2006, Apple designer Richard Howarth reported that, in contrast to another internal design that was then under consideration, Mr. Nishibori‘s “Sony-style” design enabled “a much smaller-looking product with a much nicer shape to have next to your ear and in your pocket” and had greater “size and shape/comfort benefits.” As Mr. Nishibori has confirmed in deposition testimony, this “Sony-style” design he prepared changed the course of the project that yielded the final iPhone design.

The article referenced above is from a 2006 interview with Sony designers that appeared in Businessweek.

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