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Google strips the color from its redesigned apps, but a little goes a long way

A splash of color. That’s how Google’s first official design language kicked off back in 2014. Material Design was unveiled at Google I/O 2014, introducing a colorful set of guidelines that strove to create consistency in the world of Android apps.

“Material Design is inspired by the physical world and its textures, including how they reflect light and cast shadows,” according to Google’s Material Design website. “Material surfaces reimagine the mediums of paper and ink.”

Third-party app developers took their time in following these guidelines for their apps, with some ignoring them altogether, but others in the Android community took it as gospel. It was quick to shun apps that didn’t adopt Google’s standards, and those that did were put on a pedestal. By 2015, many of Google’s core services utilized the Material Design language. Eventually, this design expanded to Google’s services on the web and on Apple’s iOS.

“Material surfaces reimagine the mediums of paper and ink.”

The design of these apps were “fresh and very opinionated,” Matias Duarte, vice president for Design at Google, said in a meeting with several journalists during Google I/O 2018.  Take a look below. Google heavily embraced the use of color, giving each of its apps a specific tone to identify with. Google Fit had a red and orange icon, and the app featured orange accents; Google Play Newsstand was filled with purple highlights.

  • 1.
    Google Play Newsstand, left, Google Play Store, right.
  • 2.
    Google Fit, left, Google Now, right.

But gone are the colorful days of Material Design. You may have noticed Google has been updating the look of its apps throughout the year. There’s a new font it’s using called Google Sans, but more noticeable is the lack of color in all these redesigns. At the panel, Google’s designers said the use of white space will allow the product to shine, but color is still present, and it’s being used to highlight meaningful actions.

“Color remains an important design tool and brand signifier within the Google Material Theme,” Duarte told Digital Trends in an email. “You will continue to see color being used meaningfully in the Google Material redesign of Google products — some specific examples include the red and blue selected states and icons within Gmail and Google Drive’s recent redesigns.”

Much of the color seen in these app redesigns are Google’s brand colors — red, green, blue, and yellow — which Duarte said are “intended to be used with purpose and intent, not for decoration.” When you see these colors in an app, it usually means there’s an action to go with it that’s being powered by Google. For example, the redesigned Google News app replaced Google Play Newsstand, and there’s no hint of purple anymore. The only color in the interface is the “Full Coverage” icon, which when tapped, curates a list of stories around the subject so you get all sides and not just your preferred sources. This is being powered by Google’s artificial intelligence, and it’s why it’s the only colorful icon in the app.

Google said in testing, users felt more positive about its brand when it used Material theme, judging it to be more useful and intuitive. Take a look below at a handful of redesigned Google apps within the past year. They all predominantly feature white, with color kept to a minimum.

  • 1.
    Google Play Store
  • 2.
    Google News
  • 3.
    Google Home
  • 4.
    Android Messages
  • 5.
    Google Fit
  • 6.
    Google Photos
  • 7.
    Google Tasks
  • 8.
    Google Calendar

The use of white space does highlight the content in the product, and you can see where color is being used to highlight actions, such as the floating action button in the Google Fit app on the bottom right.

It’s not all pure white, though. Google has also added a “Dark Theme” to a handful of these apps, a consistent vocal request from the Android community. Duarte told Digital Trends that the team created a dark theme color palette for “Android Auto, Android Wear (now Wear OS), Android TV, and Google Cloud.” In the past year, we’ve seen this dark theme expand to the Google News app, YouTube, and even the Android Messages app.

There are still a handful of Google apps yet to adopt the new style, like Gmail (on mobile), Google Trips, elements of Google Maps, and Google Drive. Duarte said he hopes the redesigns will take place quickly — and they have for the most part — and it’s likely we can expect them to continue to roll out in 2019.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Keep Notes is the latest app to get Google’s Material Design makeover
  • Google Fit hands-on: Bare-bones, but effective
  • How to turn on YouTube’s Dark Theme for Android and iOS
  • Opinion: Apple needs to modernize its antiquated annual app update routine
  • Google Assistant gets a touchy-feely makeover, adds voice purchasing


How much data does video streaming use?

When it comes to internet usage, video watching is one of the main interests of users. Most users are mainly inclined towards streaming videos so it matters a lot to know how much data is required for it. Of course, we do require a smooth internet connection to be able to stream our favorite content online.If video streaming is your preference then you must consider high-speed internet like Spectrum internet for instance, that do not offer data caps. This means you do not have to worry about any extra fee surprises in your bill that are bound to happen if you run out of your data limit. Most of the providers in the United States do impose data caps so it is very important to find out an internet plan that assures a no data cap policy. For that, let us first have a look at the data that is needed for various video streaming platforms.YouTubeJust like using any other app on your smartphone, YouTube being one of the popular platforms needs data too. It nearly takes 562.5 MB of data per hour. This holds valid when you stream at around 480p resolution. In case you want better resolution, then you might require 1.86 GB per hour for 720p. For 1080p you might require 3.04 GB. For watching videos in 4K, you will require a massive 15.98 GB of data per hour.NetflixWe all agree with the fact that how much we love Netflix as it has successfully evolved as one of the most popular video streaming services. For subscribers exceeding 130 million, the internet speed is not much of a problem. An hour of video streaming in standard definition would need around 1 GB of data. If you want to enjoy high-quality video streaming, you might need up to 3GB. For ultra-high-definition, you can require up to 7 GB of data per hour.The selection of accounts can help you decide a suitable resolution for your connection. If you want to save your data, you can check the settings option and click the save button when you want.Amazon Prime VideoAmazon Prime Video was launched by Amazon as a streaming service in 2011 and has ever gained popularity among the users. Nowadays it is seen as one of the biggest competitors for Netflix. This service provides up to three resolutions for the users. Among them include good, better, and best. The Good enables streaming videos at around 480p in standard definition and utilizes a data of 800 MB per hour. The Better option allows an HD stream with a data requirement of around 2 GB per hour. The Best option consumes nearly 6 GB of data per hour. You should also know that accessing Amazon Prime Video on your mobile app results in low data consumption as compared to the desktop app.HuluHulu is another important video streaming option that uses somewhat less data as compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video This makes Hulu as one of the most economical options available. You require around 680 MB per hour of data for the standard definition. If you switch to a 720p high definition setting, the data requirement may jump to 1.3 GB per hour. 1080p resolution can need data up to 2.7 GB per hour. You can also stream live TV if you are using Hulu’s $39.99 monthly plan.SpotifySpotify is one of the best-known music streaming platforms but not everyone knows that it also provides a video service in certain areas. The company does not disclose much about the data requirements of the video streaming service. However it only notifies that video streaming requires more data as compared to music streaming and is much like the ones needed for other video channels. Mostly the videos are in high definition and can consume up to 3 GB of data for an hour streaming.VimeoVimeo does not have any details regarding data usage. The standard definition content can need up to 353 MB of data per hour. As far as the HD videos are concerned, they need up to 2.75 GB per hour.StanMany of us might not have heard of Stan as it is accessible in Australia only. The app usually provides four-tier quality. The lowest standard definition setting can require up to 1.13 GB per hour while HD and 4K can require around 3 GB per hour and 7 GB per hour respectively.DirecTVThe DirecTV website also does not display clear information about the required bandwidth. In case if your provider puts a data limit, you can always reduce your video quality. The data consumption parallels to the aforementioned video streaming platforms.Sling TVSling TV is another one of the highest quality video streaming service that uses around 2 GB per hour of data for its highest quality option. The data required for medium quality is 540 MB per hour that further lowers to 360 MB per hour for low-quality streaming options.Summing UpYou need to be aware of the data consumption involved in the video streaming service you are using. This can save you from exceeding your data limit and paying any additional cost.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

This portable UV-C wand sterilizes your items and work space

In an age when cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer aren’t easily found, it’s a little tough to keep your personal items and space clean. Not wiped down and washed, but free from germs and bacteria.Rather than fighting your way through a store to find only to find out there are no wipes left, take a smarter approach. The SANITECH UV-C Wand, on sale for just $72.99, is the sort of thing you buy once and get to use over and over. Try that with those Clorox Wipes.About the size of an electric toothbrush, the SANITECH UV-C Wand emits a UV-C light that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria within ten seconds. It cleans all sorts of surfaces, including clothes, bedding, phones, keyboards, laptops, and more. If your hands touch it, you can probably clean it with the SANITECH UV-C Wand.FeaturesUV-C light kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, & viruses within 10 secondsChemical-free for your safety & can be used on baby products, cosmetics, pet supplies, on home and public spacesLasts up to 90 minutes w/ full chargeBuilt for travel & convenienceBuy it NowPurchase the SANITECH UV-C Wand for just $72.99, a savings of 18% off the normal $90 price. Choose from Winter White, Flamingo Pink, and Seabreeze Green.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

How to set up a Messenger Room in Facebook Messenger

With the launch of Messenger Rooms, you can now participate in video calls from the comfort of your smartphone and without any extra apps.If you’re using WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger, you can now make a virtual room and invite your friends in a matter of seconds. This saves you the trouble of installing extra apps like Zoom.Today we’re going to look at how to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger.How to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger – The easy wayThe only real pre-requisite here is having the latest version of Facebook Messenger installed on your phone from the Google Play Store. Download it here.Step 1Tap on the People tab at the bottom on the Messenger app and choose to Create a RoomAt the bottom center of the screen, you will have the option of Share Link. Tap on it.With the Who Can Join, you can also control who joins the Messenger Room if you wish to keep the room exclusive to friends, family, etc.Step 2Copy the link in the box and paste it to the group or people you wish to share it with. They will also need to have the Messenger app installed and on the latest version of the app for it to work best.You can share the link via any app or medium you wish, but whoever has access to the link can join your room, unless you modify the Who Can Join settings in Step 1.From here, you just wait for your friends to join and carry out your business. When you feel the room has met its purpose, you can close the room by tapping on the X button at the top right of the room.Leave will mean that the room will still be there to return to for anyone who has the link. End Room will close the room and make the link invalid. This means you’ll have to make a new room if you do End Room here.We also wrote a guide on how to start a Messenger Room from WhatsApp. The feature will soon go live on Instagram globally, so be sure to look out for that as well!If you’ve used Messenger rooms, let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!

How to make a fence in Minecraft

Gates and walls take time to build from scratch, so get your pickaxe and axe ready for a chopping good time.