Google Calendar Material Design Look Launches

Google Calendar Material Design

After months of testing by Google Top Contributors and Googlers, the new Material Design look of Google Calendar has gone live.  All accounts should be seeing the option to go to the new calendar look over the course of the next 48 hours.

The update brings a much needed refresh of the Google Calendar interface which, let’s be honest, was a bit “engineering looking” for the longest time.  The new look fits well into the overall Material Design look and feel that Google is after in their own apps for Android and other web-based apps.

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Material Design Guide Updated to Reflect Android Oreo

Android Oreo on Nexus 6P

The Android team has issued an update to the Material Design guidelines for developers.  The update is primarily aimed at the new features that have come to the platform in Android Oreo.  The guide adds a new Offline States section which covers how to customize apps to work for users when they do not have an Internet connection.  This is a big emphasis for Google, particularly in developing markets.

For those who don’t know, the Material Design guidelines is aimed at developers to assure that their app has the look and feel of what Google expects in Android.  Even if you are not a developer, the guide is great insight into the functions and looks of apps.

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Chrome Notification Panel Gets a Material Design Makeover

Chrome Notifications in Material Design

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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Update – How To Enable Material Design Extension Page in Chrome OS

Material Design Extension Page in Chrome OS

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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TED Talks App Gets a Material Design Makeover

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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eBay for Android Gets A Material Design Revamp & Some New Features

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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Bottom Navigation Adopted In Material Design

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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Welcome To The New Material Design

If you have visited 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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