Google Support Site Gets a Bright & White Makeover

Google Support Site - July 2018

Over the course of the past few months, Google has been rolling out a new bright & white look to many of their apps and services.  Gmail and Google Drive are two such examples and it all seems to be tied to the Mountain View company’s efforts to refresh everything and bring more Material Design into their sites and apps.  The latest site to get this new bright & white update is the Google Support site.

Ditching its compact now seemingly dated look, the Google Support site reflects the change in site layout and philosophy from Google.  With a bright white background, the new site has large icons for you to select to get to support information for various Google apps and services.  These naturally look more touch friendly for touchscreen devices like the Google Pixelbook.

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The New Google Sign-In Screen is Really Going to Happen This Week

New Google Sign-In Screen

Last month, Google announced that a new, Material Design laden sign in screen was coming to everyone.  The original plan was that it would roll out June 14th but due to “unforeseen delays”, it is now rolling out over a month later.

Functionally, you aren’t going to find anything different in this new sign in screen other than the brighter, more contemporary Material Design look to it.  It does exactly what you would expect it to do which is to allow you to sign into your Google account.  But the update brings the site in line with many other Google apps and services as the Mountain View company has been working diligently on updating their wares to Material Design.

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The Google Payments Center Site Gets a Material Design Makeover

Google Payments Center Material Design

The Google Payments Center is likely one of the few Google sites that you rarely visit.  It is a central location where you can see all of your payment information such as your recent purchases, your credit cards and shipping addresses, and your subscriptions that you have through Google.  It is a site that, to be fair, you rarely need to use as most of the information in it can be found in the Play Store app or in Google Pay.

That doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t think it is important and over the weekend gave it a heavy Material Design makeover.  The update was a cloud-side push as these things tend to go so there is nothing you need to do on your end.  Just go to https://pay.google.com and you will be dropped into the new & improved Google Payment Center site.

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Google Maps Material Design Makeover Now Rolling Out Broadly

Google Maps Material Design Makeover - June 2018

After slow rolling out to a few accounts over the past week, the Material Design makeover of Google Maps is now broadly rolling out.  The updated look and feel of the app brings a fresh new look to one of the most widely used apps from Google and also brings it in line with the Material Design makeovers the company has been doing on their apps in general.

The update is a combination of an app update and a cloud side update.  First, make sure you have the latest Google Maps version on your phone.  That is version 9.80.2 and it was released a few days ago.  Chances are you likely have it but double-check.  Assuming you have that version, then it is just a matter of when Google does the cloud-side push to your account to enable the new look.

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New Google Sign-In Screen Coming June 14th

New Google Sign-In Screen

Google has announced that the Google Sign-in screen that you use to sign into your account will be changing on June 14th.  The updated screen will be more in line with Material Design principles with an updated Google logo, outline of text boxes and everything being centered in the sign-in screen itself.

The Mountain View company has indicated that this change will be available for everyone across all G Suite domains and consumer accounts.

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Material Design Remake of Google News Site Rolls Out

Google News Material Design - May 2018

Following up on the release of the Google News app for both Android and iOS, Google has rolled out the Material Design remake of the site for the service today.  With a far cleaner look with improved content visuals, the site matches nicely the new News app for mobile and should be a somewhat seamless experience for users.

Of all the things discussed at Google I/O last week, the revamp of Google News surprisingly took up a lot of digital ink over the course of the week.  In case you did miss it, Google News is more-or-less the replacement for Google Play Newsstand and Google News & Weather.

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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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