UI Stories April 4, 2016

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“24.0.6 Feedback applied. More feedback will be provided soon,” Samsung says to open up the changelog for a substantial update rolling out for its alternate Good Lock UI today. Besides a less-than-perfect translation, the changelog also features a huge list of much-requested bug fixes and additions. Among other changes, this update adds a swipe gesture to delete in the recent apps view, fixes an issue that caused the SD card to stop working, removal of the permanent location prompt, and more…

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UI Stories February 29, 2016

galaxy s7

TouchWiz was once a complete mess, believe it or not, but the Android skin got much better with the release of the Galaxy S6 and Samsung’s move to using Android Lollipop. Now, most agree that the skin has gotten even better with the Galaxy S7. Thanks to some screenshots (via XDAshared by one Daniel Marchena (who was lucky enough to already have his S7 delivered), we now have a detailed look at the modified version of the OS we saw running on the Galaxy S7 last week

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UI Stories November 17, 2015

Here’s how to manually opt-in to the new Google+ UI on the web

The new Google+ interface is rolling out on the web today, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t have much patience for slow rollouts. I still hadn’t been prompted to click the “Let’s go” button and get the new layout, but luckily I stumbled on a way (via Sean S) to opt myself in without any wait time. Here’s how…

UI Stories July 16, 2015

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Google is launching a new version of Google Patents today, its web app that lets anyone search for references in patents to better assess if their own invention or patent application is already covered by another. expand full story

UI 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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UI Stories April 2, 2015

Skype-android-5-3

Skype today released an update to its Android app, version 5.3, which introduces new features that bring the Android version more up-to-date with features recently released for iOS and desktop users.

Among the new features, Skype 5.3 for Android includes an updated UI with chat bubbles, which looks much like the Skype experience already on other platforms.

The update also includes large and animated emoticons, emoji support, and other performance and user experience enhancements. expand full story

UI Stories February 19, 2015

Google introduces new carousel interface in mobile search results

Google today, in a post on its Inside Search blog, has revealed a new interface for browsing news on its mobile website. Starting now, when you search for a topic, you’ll see a “carousel” of recent articles regarding your query that you can horizontally scroll through. The carousel contains articles from a single source of information.

UI Stories December 9, 2014

Wikipedia for Android Beta gets Material UI overhaul, support for Android Lollipop

Update 1/15/15: The non-Beta version of the app was updated today with the same features that came to the beta version last month.

Wikipedia is definitely one the more used Android apps, and today the app’s beta channel has been updated with a plethora of new features. Most notable of them is the fact that today’s release packs a Material design revamp (including a new drawer and overflow menu), and support for Android 5.0 Lollipop. Other features, like the return of the search bar and other layout improvements, are just a couple of the more than a dozen changes made in this version.

The new version also features improvements to search order, Wikidata descriptions under page’s titles in search, and  swipe to refresh on pages and on the “Nearby” tab. You’ll also notice, at the bottom of an article you’re reading, that this new version adds a new section called “Read more” where you’ll find various related articles. Finally, rounding out the more obvious changes, there’s now an option in the “More” section for disabling image loading (helpful if you are strapped for data).

As noted on the app’s Play Store listing, here’s the complete list of changes:

– Material design icons and 5.0 support
– Search bar is back
– Search order improvements
– Wikidata descriptions in search results, similar pages, under pages titles
– Swipe to refresh on pages and for Nearby
– Collapsed infoboxes
– Better tablets layouts
– Read more section
– Allow disabling images
– Basic syntax highlighting of templates while editing
– Hide IPA
– ToC drawer always on
– Similar pages, page issues, reference info display changes
– Display MathML images
– Remove pinch-zoom
You can get Wikipedia Beta for free on the Play Store.

UI 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.

UI Stories September 25, 2014

Google Drive mobile web app redesign rolling out now

Google announced today that it’s rolling out an updated version of its Google Drive interface on the web for mobile devices. That means if you visit Google Drive from a browser on your device (instead of using the native Google Drive apps), you’ll now arrive at a refreshed user interface specifically optimized for the web on smartphones and tablets. Google still recommends you go with its native Drive apps, but if you have to visit the mobile version, you’ll now have a much improved experience.

Starting today, you’ll find a much improved mobile web version of Drive that’s faster and easier to use. The apps are still the most optimized experience, but if you find that isn’t an option, the mobile web will do the job better than ever.

The new UI is rolling out starting today and should become available to all in the coming days at http://drive.google.com.

UI Stories August 14, 2014

YouTube unveils new TV layout for easier browsing on media boxes

YouTube today announced on their blog that they’re officially rolling out a new UI for YouTube on TVs, which will allow for easier navigating on the big screen. The update will roll out to all media devices connected to a television, such as Android TV, Roku, possibly Apple TV, and game consoles in the coming weeks, but YouTube is saying that Xbox One users will start to see the new UI today.

The channels you subscribe to and videos you care about will be a click away with a guide on the left side that’s just like the guide you see on YouTube on your computer, phone, and tablet. When you sign in, you can jump to all the latest videos from your subscriptions and recommendations in the What to Watch section, or pop on a playlist you’ve liked such as Blogilates’ Cardio AB Attack and turn your TV into a workout buddy.

UI Stories April 1, 2014

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According to a report from Engadget, Google is apparently in the process of testing an updated version of the Android camera app that includes a revamped UI and few new features. The report claims that the new camera app would include “a background-blurring effect for portrait shots,” as well as high-resolution Photo Sphere and panorama modes, and a lens blur mode that offers a shallower depth of field. There are also apparently fixes in the works for existing issues with the app: expand full story

UI Stories May 22, 2013

During its Google I/O keynote earlier this month, Google announced that it would be bringing conversational, Google-Now like voice search to the desktop. Using a UI similar to voice search and Google Now in its mobile apps, Google would soon allow Chrome users to search and drill down further into results using only their voice.

Today, Google appears to have finally started rolling out the feature for Chrome users on the stable and beta channels of Chrome.

Chrome-voice-search-02After updating to the latest version 27.0.1453.93 of Chrome, users can navigate to Google.com, click the microphone icon, and choose to allow the new Google Voice search feature to begin listening. Google will only ask for permission to listen once and from then on users can simply speak in order to search. For certain search results such as questions Google will also provide audible results.

Not all of the functionality seems to be available as of yet. For example, when Google first showed off the feature users weren’t required to click at all. Google execs were activating the feature by simply saying “Ok, Google” and were able to continue searching with their voice, hands-free, from on the search results page. The feature as it’s currently implemented now requires users to click the mic icon in order to start a voice search. expand full story

UI Stories February 21, 2012

Fluent is a web-based workflow stream that works with existing Gmail accounts to bring a Sparrow-like user interface to email.

Users can stream email threads and replies, preview aggregated attachments in a tab, quickly reply or compose inline, archive messages, and even add a to-do list with the new design concept that claims to run on any web browser.

Sparrow is a great success as a Mac-only application, and now Fluent hopes to balance the playing field and snag users whom are in dire need of a new Gmail look and functionality. Fluent’s website specifically praises its workflow ability, multiple accounts options, and “blazing” fast search-as-you-type filter.

The streaming email UI is the work of three former Googlers who quit the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company. BusinessInsider said Cameron Adams, Dhanji Prasanna, and Jochen Bekmann left because designers were “less valuable” than engineers at Google, and they felt disconnected from Google’s culture while operating from across the world in Sydney, Australia…

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UI Stories December 5, 2011

Developer JackpotClavin has released CyanogenMod 7 for Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and it is now available over on the XDA forums. Before you install we must warn that this version isn’t very stable. There is also no way to revert the Kindle Fire back to your original settings, so there’s literally no going back. That being said, read on for the directions!

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UI Stories November 10, 2011

Yesterday Amazon detailed a selection of apps to be available at launch and mentioned “several thousand more apps” will hit the Amazon App Store in preparation of next week’s Kindle Fire launch. Today they are putting in the groundwork by pushing out an update to the Amazon Appstore for Android app brining it up to version 2.0 and adding a few new features and an overhauled UI.

You’ll notice several UI improvements that bring it in line with the version of the store we’ve got a peek at on the Kindle Fire. Expect shades of grey to replace any hint of white from the previous version, and larger fonts throughout.

New features include in-app purchases and subscriptions, parental controls, and the ability to view any given app’s permissions before installing. Amazon is also promising faster installs and and load times, as well as the usual bug fixes. If you haven’t already, click here to install the Amazon App Store.

DigiTimes is reporting (via All Things D) that Amazon has once again just increased Kindle Fire orders, this time by a million units, to an expected five million units by the end of 2011. This follows the company upping initial orders of 3.5 million to four million units during Q3, as they prep for anticipated demand during the upcoming holidays. expand full story

UI Stories November 1, 2011

As we first reported following a leaked promo video, Google is today rolling out a pretty big update to Gmail that will provide some major enhancements to the interface.

There isn’t much more included in the update than previously revealed, but the changes, including streamlined conversations, elastic density, new HD themes, improved search, and “smarter navigation”, were definitely worth the wait.

The “better search” comes from a new drop down panel that allows you to select filters and advanced search options, while smart navigation is part of the overall UI redesign allowing you to always see your labels and chat, as well as customize the items in the left pane. You can now use arrow keys to navigate the interface, too.

Elastic density is a nice addition, allowing you to select one of the three predefined settings that will control the spacing between items in your inbox. The settings include “Comfortable”, “Cozy”, and “Compact”. Streamlined conversations are perhaps the biggest and best change, providing a new dynamic conversation view seen below: expand full story

UI Stories August 22, 2011

We already showed you how to give Google’s new search UI a try, but yesterday The Next Web discovered that you can also give Google’s new sign-in page a try. The new sign-in page goes along with the rest of Google’s general new design we’ve been seeing spring up across products, ever since the launch of Google Plus. Enabling the new design is much easier than what we showed you yesterday. You could just go and click the option to preview the new sign-in page, but here’s the link to make things easy.

While there isn’t much of a change, we do like the new colors and general spacing.

UI Stories August 8, 2011

Google has just released a new version of the Google Search app for Android that includes several welcomed UI enhancements and new features. Among the more notable, an “updated and simplified” UI (image above),  country-specific suggestions and search results,  and suggestions can now be grouped by type (web suggestions on top).

From the Google Mobile Blog:

  • Suggestions grouped by type, with web suggestions at the top.
  • Country-specific suggestions and search results for all countries with Google domains.
  • Long press to remove history items.
  • Faster, smoother performance, with an updated and simplified user interface.

The update is available for devices running Android 2.2 and up… you can swing by the market and grab it now. Google also posted some tips for some of the enhancements that have been incorporated in the update: expand full story

UI Stories August 4, 2011

If you have ever used Gmail on a tablet, you’ve probably appreciated the improvements made to the mobile UI and missed them when forced to use Gmail from your desktop browser. Luckily, Google just introduced a new preview pane feature for Gmail that allows you to quickly view snippets of messages, much like the mobile interface currently accessible on tablets (which, yes, dates from Outlook 2003 – thanks commenters).

You can enable the feature by turning it on from the Labs tab in your Gmail settings and switching between views via a new toggle button in the upper right corner of your inbox.

You can also move the preview pane below your message list if you have limited screen real estate. expand full story

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