Slow and steadily, Material Design is making its way into the Chrome browser. Right now there is a behind-the-scenes update that brings the more polished look to the Chrome notification panel. If you aren’t familiar with this feature, it is under the bell icon in the taskbar in Chrome. It gives you notifications from other Google services like Google+, Google Photos and the like. Previously, this panel was pretty slow to load and frankly, looked a bit dated when you compare it to the beautiful Material Design look of other parts of the browser or even Google’s own websites. If you have the latest version of Chrome browser, you will get this update and will know you have it when you see a couple of visual clues.
First, the color changing orb that shows up when notifications are loading is gone. Now you a simple, clean progress bar at the top of the panel. Second, you will see your notification in sub-divided areas. So update for Google+ are under one section, Google Photos for another, and so on.
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Material Design elements are making their way into Chrome OS at a snail’s pace. But, when you find something that can be setup in this new, sleek look, it’s kinda fun. The latest, at least as far as I can tell, is in Chrome 56 which allows you to enable the look on your Extension page. I’ll preface this with two points: First, I do not recall seeing this setting in Chrome OS 55 or earlier in the Stable channel. It has been in the beta and canary channel. Second, I’m assuming, but not sure, that this is in the Chrome browser as well. I use a Chromebook so I can’t verify.
If you can verify this flag works in the Chrome browser, let me know and I will update this post with proper credit of course. Thanks to John Borgen for confirming that this feature is indeed in the latest build of Chrome browser!
The new Material Design extensions page is not enabled by default but it can easily be set with a flag inside of Chrome. That new flag is chrome://flags/#enable-md-extensions or you can just go chrome://flags and search Material Design and find it there (and a lot of other things that can get an MD make over.
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The TED Talks app, simply known as TED in the Google Play Store, has been updated with a completely re-imagined user experience. The updated build, version 3.0 for those keeping score at home, has been beautifully updated in Material Design, bringing a polished look & feel to the app. If you are not familiar with TED Talks, they describe their mission and purpose best.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.
There is a wealth of information you can find by watching hundreds if not thousands of videos on a wide range of subjects and interests.
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If you use the shopping & auction app eBay on your phone, the latest update to the app is one you will want to get when it hits your updates. The new version 5.0 build sports a whole host of changes including a complete makeover with Material Design. This version of the app, visually, is much cleaner than the previous versions and is more fitting to the contemporary design of Android apps. Along with this new design, navigation has also been improved and is more consistent with other apps.
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Whether you like the bottom navigation bar or not, it looks like it is here to stay in Android. Today Google updated the Material Design guidelines for app developers, outlining how a bottom navigation bar should be implemented, along with a list of do’s and don’ts on for it. To this point, Android has adhered more to a tab or top menu design but now developers are being told that a bottom navigation is the way to go as it is a better user experience.
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If you have visited ClintonFitch.com over the course of the past few hours, you will notice a change is afoot. That change is an all new, lightweight and clean Material Design look to the site. This change has actually been in the works for several weeks now as I have been working on a theme that is based on the excellent WordPress theme built by Brad Williams. As with any site, any time you make a major change to the look and feel there are a lot of considerations that have to be taken into account: User experience, adverts, content flow and of course mobile look & feel. In this update, I think I’ve found the right balance but ultimately it is you, the readers, that have to make that decision. Feedback, as you would guess, is most welcome.
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