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Google+ app redesign spotted in leaked images

Posted by wicked April - 16 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google-plus-redesign

Between all the rumors, leaks and gossip, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the next major Android release will bring several UI changes including redesigned icons, apps and a redesign of the multi-tasking view (Project Hera). If you needed even more proof that change is heading our way, Yoel Kaseb has just provided you with some, via Google+. The screenshots seen above show off what Kaseb says is a test build of the upcoming Google+ app.

For Kaseb’s part, he says he no longer has access to the app, and that the version he did utilize was still unstable and unfinished. This also means it is unclear if the UI changes seen in the screenshot will make it into the final version. What is interesting is the at the new design language is still very similar to what we’ve already seen from existing versions of Android, with an added splash of color. The design is also spot-on with the Gmail screenshots that Reddit user Androidleaker previously shared.

For now we can’t say with any certainty whether the above images are legit, though they look pretty compelling. Even if they are the real deal, it’s possible that could has added further UI changes since then.

Curious as to what kind of design language the next Android release might take on? Check out our previous coverage highlighting some of the possible redesign styles that have been leaked so far.








Alleged OnePlus One images give us first look at the device’s design language

Posted by wicked April - 16 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

oneplus-one-leaked

After tons of teasing, the OnePlus One’s formal unveiling is now just a week away, and yet we still have no idea what the handset actually looks like. The good news is that the image posted on Weibo might finally have let the cat out of the bag — well, sort of.

The images above and below were first spotted by GizChina.it. In addition to the phone’s back, we also get a look at some of the OnePlus One’s marketing materials. There’s even a sketch reportedly showing off what the front of the handset might look like.

We can’t say with any certainty whether or not these leaked images are the real deal, though we wouldn’t be too shocked if they were. One thing you might notice is that the alleged OnePlus One seems to look relatively similar to Oppo’s Find 5, the antecessor to the Find 7, which makes sense considering a couple of the founding members for OnePlus where previously Oppo executives.

oneplus-one-leaked-3

Looking closer at the backside of the phone, we are having a hard time spotting any speaker holes. This could just be do the angle or quality of the image provided, though here’s to hoping that the front of the phone actually contains front-facing speakers.

oneplus-one-leaked-2

Let’s not beat around the bush, the red backing with the oversized “NEVER SETTLE” logo isn’t exactly “the most beautifully designed handset ever” like OnePlus has promised it would be. That said, this could just be a special promotional or testing model, and it’s also important to note that the actual handset will offer interchangeable backs that may or may not offer the same massive sized logos.

For now, we’d take the alleged pics with a grain of salt, though luckily we don’t have to wait much longer to find out if they are accurate.

 








Leaks point to flat Android app redesign coming soon

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

android icons redesign

Google may be preparing a redesign for Android to debut at Google I/O, and some leaked images indicate we’re in for a flatter look this time ‘round.

The leaked images come from Android Police and show some new icons for several Android apps. The new design seems to bring the icons closer to the icons of their web counterparts, though with some slight differences. If the images prove true, we’re in for redesigned looks for Play Music, Play Books, Play Movies, Play Games, Google+, Calendar, People, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, Camera, and the Play Store.

android redesign moonshine

Google is allegedly calling this redesign Moonshine, which is a name we haven’t heard before. Recent leaks hinting at a new look said Google was working on something called Project Hera that’s related to the new look, but not directly. It seems unlikely that Google would ship a redesign under the name Moonshine, but we don’t know if the name will change before release.

There are several possibilities for the new Android design according to recent leaks, all of which seem to fit well with the aesthetic of these leaked icons. Every leak seems to point to a flatter design for Android, which seems to be a trend in the wireless industry as a whole at the moment.

If Google is planning a redesign for Android, Google I/O seems like the logical place to announce it. Of course, there’s always the chance it will announce the redesign in a random blog post some day, like it did with Android Wear. Hopefully if/when Google does announce the redesign we won’t have to wait too long for it to rollout.

Are you ready for a new look for Android, or do you prefer the current design?








Would a plastic version of the HTC One M8 be a good idea?

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

htc one m8 outdoors aa (8 of 14)

Easily one of the biggest draws for the HTC One M8 is its premium build quality. Not only does the M8’s body have a refined premium look with excellent front-facing speakers, the design is completed by its beautiful aluminum body.

Of course, HTC is no stranger to plastic devices, especially on mid and low-end devices, and often times these devices still exude a premium style — even if the build materials aren’t quite as high-quality. With that in mind, a new rumor suggests that the HTC One M8 might be getting a plastic-clad brother.

The HTC One M8 might be getting a plastic-clad brother. Would such a model make sense?

A new report out of Taiwan claims that HTC is preparing a plastic model, despite its many comments insulting Samsung’s addiction to plastic. While this might seem a bit out of character for HTC, it’s certainly possible that the plastic HTC One could essentially be the rumored successor to the (plastic-cased) HTC Butterfly series. At least to a certain degree, it makes sense that HTC would want to integrate its popular Butterfly line into its One flagship line.

If this is truly a follow-up to the Butterfly, that could mean that it will end up only being available in select markets across the globe. Of course, it’s also possible that HTC could expand the plastic model’s reach in a move simple to Apple’s 5C/5S approach.

As for the specs? The new report claims the only difference between this new model is the lack of metal, though this contrasts previous next-gen Butterfly rumors that claimed HTC would be ditching the Ultrapixel camera for a 13MP shooter.

The HTC One (plastic) will be allegedly priced at 3000 Yaun ($483 USD), versus the 5299 Yuan ($853 USD) of the standard model. Honestly that seems like a massive difference if the device’s body material is really the only difference. For now, we’d take this whole rumor with a hefty grain of salt.

What do you think, would a plastic HTC One M8 make sense — at least for select markets? Or is HTC better off sticking to just metal for the M8?








LG-LS990 (LG G3) specs detailed in Sprint UA profile, QHD display appears again

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

lg g2 drop test aa 09

Back in mid-March a user agent profile from LG’s own website suggested that the upcoming LG G3 would come with a QHD (1440×2560) pixel resolution display. In fact, we’ve been hearing similar rumors since the beginning of the year. These details have been spotted once again, this time in a user agent profile from US carrier Sprint. As well as hinting yet again at a QHD display, the profile contains virtually an entire hardware spec sheet for LG’s next flagship smartphone.

The device in question is listed as the LG-LS990, which is expected to be the Sprint version of the LG G3, whilst the carrier-less version retains the D850 tag that we have seen before. If the QHD displays turns out to be correct, it’s likely that LG will be using the 5.5 inch QHD display that it already unveiled, which has a pixel density of 530ppi.

As well as display information, the UA suggests that the LG G3 will be sticking with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, like the one found in the G2, rather than the slightly updated Snapdragon 801 chip found in other new flagship handsets. Sadly then, this spec suggests that the G3 won’t be one of the first smartphones to feature the upcoming Snapdragon 805 SoC. LG also seems to have brought the RAM count up to 3GB this time around.

Here’s the full spec according to Sprint’s LS990 UA Profile:

  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974
  • CPU: Quad Core Krait 400 (probably clocked at the standard 2.3GHz)
  • Display resolution: QHD (1440×2560)
  • RAM: 3GB of RAM
  • Internal storage: 32GB
  • External storage: MicroSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP (image resolution: 4160×3120)
  • Front-facing camera: 2.1M (video resolution: 1920×1080)
  • Operating system:  Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE / EVDO / IS2000
  • Other connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Sources below.

Of course, this could always be a preliminary spec given to Sprint to help prepare its marketing material, LG may change one or two things before the official announcement. What do you make of the LG G3 based on these specs?








Leather joins wood in leaked list of Moto X+1 custom back covers

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

moto-x-wood-1 The Next Web

Twitter user @evleaks apparently has morsels not just about a red HTC One (M8) but also about new Moto X+1 custom back covers.

The said user has leaked a list naming wood and leather as additional upcoming back panel options for the second-generation Moto X rumored to be called the Moto X+1.

The leaked list also named several other custom back panels classified as “Cool,” “Neutral,” and “Warm.” The list has a total of 5 categories offering 25 various back panel options, as shown below:

  • Cool –
    • Navy
    • Turquoise
    • Olive
    • Royal Blue
    • Dark Teal
  • Neutral –
    • Slate
    • Purple
    • Smoke
    • Black
    • Chalk
  • Warm –
    • Red
    • Orange
    • Lemon Lime
    • Violet
    • Crimson
    • Raspberry
    • Cabernet
  • Wood –
    • Teak
    • Bamboo
    • Rosewood
    • Ebony
  • Leather –
    • Black
    • Red
    • Grey
    • Blue

Motorola’s customization tool known as Moto Maker currently offers wooden back panels under the “Natural” category, but in the leaked list, wooden panels go into a category all their own — “Wood.”

Rumor of the leather back panel option came out earlier this month via the same leak source. If true, the addition of real leather to the usual fare of back panels will elate those who want a touch of luxury on their Motorola phones.

Only few manufacturers exclusively produce luxury smartphones with real leather back panels. The Vertu Constellation series, for example, uses real handmade leather.

Several users have been wondering whether or not the leather back panel for the Moto X+1 will be made of real leather. Considering that Motorola has not yet officially announced anything about it, one’s guess is as good as anyone else’s, but it is worth noting that the custom wood back panels for the Moto X are real wood. So, the leather-series panels will most likely also be real leather.

Which back panel option do you fancy?








Verizon to get red HTC One (M8), says leak

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

htc-one-glamour-red-2 BestBoyz

News of a red variant of the HTC One (M8) heading to Verizon Wireless made the rounds on Twitter recently and caused some buzz in Twitterland.

The leaked information came from Twitter user @evleaks, an acknowledged source of insider information about HTC devices.

The all-metal HTC One (M8) currently has three official color variants: Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver, and Amber Gold. The rumored red variant will reportedly be known as Glamour Red.

Unlike several of previous leaks from @evleaks, this one was not accompanied by any photo or image. Many users would have appreciated such proof of the information’s veracity.  HTC has not yet given official word confirming this leak, nor does the leak source hint at a possible release date.

Many people treat the leaked info not as rumor or wishful thinking but as a real likelihood, since HTC already set a precedent: It released a Glamour Red version of its earlier HTC One (M7), which was well-received by many users, so the news of a red variant for its most recent flagship comes as no surprise.

The red M7, however, was destined for Sprint, so this news about a red HTC One (M8) for Verizon actually aroused some interest in some people.

HTC unveiled the 5-inch phone last month. It comes with a quad-core 2.3-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM, and 1080p Full HD display.

Know more about HTC’s latest flagship phone in our review of the HTC One (M8), or watch our video review of the device:








More evidence piles up suggesting a Google apps redesign is coming

Posted by wicked April - 9 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

 gmail new features

Ever since Geek.com first leaked screenshots of what it claimed to be a redesign of Google’s gmail app, we’ve heard all sorts of rumors and seen various leaks that indicate a major UI redesign is heading Android’s way. The big question now is what exactly the new design language will look like.

The reason for the confusion is that we’ve already seen a few different leaked screenshots and renders, and each of these leaks have at least slightly differing styles. So what rumor/style is correct? We might not know just yet, but let’s take a look at just a few of the ‘interpretations’ we’ve seen when it comes to Google’s alleged app redesign initiative.

timely-calendar

The Geek redesign style

First, there is what we’ll refer to as the “Geek.com redesign style”, which today has been expanded to include a screenshot of what is reportedly an internal build of Google Calendar. The latest screenshots come from a version of the Calendar app that Geek’s Russel Holly was able to test out personally.

The new Google Calendar app’s design seems to mostly fit in with the language from the original Geek leak (seen at the very top of the article), as it features a slightly more colorful design than the current Google Calendar app and switches to the same flatter circular look.

One thing you’ll notice is that one of the Calendar images shows the name as “Timely”, which is reportedly the internal name for Google Calendar, and also happens to be the name of the popular clock app acquired by Google not too long ago.

ap-renders

The AP renders

Although Geek.com has given us two screenshots of what are reportedly very early builds of the redesigned Calendar and Gmail app, sources speaking to Android Police recently brought word that Google isn’t just redesigning many of its apps, it is also planning to introduce a new initiative called Project Hera (though the two efforts aren’t directly related).

Using the details provided by its sources, AP created several renders that give somewhat similar design language to the Geek.com redesign style, though we some obvious differences when it comes to the color bar, Android’s status bar, icons and an overall more colorful vibe.

gmail-redesign-b

The wild card from androidleaker

A third design style has also been introduced in a leak from the aptly named “androidleaker” over at Reddit. The leaker says that the AP renders are not quite accurate, and says that the above screenshot better represents Google’s plans.

Reportedly this version of the Gmail app is a developmental build and may be “a little outdated” compared to the final design. Although it retains the same red bar seen in the AP renders, it’s icons are very different and the layout of the top bar is more akin to the most recently available public version of Gmail.

Now it’s important to note that Androidleaker’s screen might be legit, but the look could have since changed to something more akin to Geek’s leaks or even AP’s renders.

The writing is on the wall

We might not know with an certainty which of the three above mentioned “styles” is correct, if any of them. What we do know, however, is that all these rumors swirling around seem to lend further credence to the idea that change is in the wind for Android, even if it’s unclear exactly what form this change will take.

Which of the three redesigns to you prefer? Conversely do you feel that Google’s app design language is perfect as it is and should be left alone? Vote in the poll and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.






Chromecast homescreen may eventually add weather info and customizable wallpaper

Posted by wicked April - 9 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

chromecast-homescreen

Right now if you were to turn on your TV and go to the right video source for your Chromecast, you would be greeted by a relatively modest-looking homescreen that contains the time, a Google-chosen rotating selection of wallpaper and very little else. Most of the time, we aren’t on the the homescreen long enough to notice how limited it is, but for those wishing the homescreen offered more? You might soon get your wish.

According to Reddit user asjmcguire, poking around the Chromecast homescreen source code has turned up several javascript references relating to the gathering of temperature and other basic weather data. Additionally, weather-oriented icons have also been discovered. Based on the limited info we have, we speculate Google could be preparing a simple weather system for the homescreen that tells us the temperature and then gives us a symbol relating to just how cold it is, whether its raining, etc.

icons

Although the weather info is the only major change spotted in the source code, asjmcguire has also found photo descriptions and locations of photos that indicate we may eventually have more choices when it comes to the homescreen’s wallpaper as well. Whether that simply means more options or the ability to user-define the background, remains unseen.

Now it’s important to note that just because these changes have been spotted, doesn’t mean Google is planning to bring them to the Chromecast right away. Of course, neither of these new ‘features’ are exactly world-changing, but it looks like another step in the right direction for the little-dongle-that-could.

Here’s to hoping this is just the beginning of an even ‘smarter’ Chromecast, as I’m sure there are many users out there that would love reminders, notifications and Google Now-like cards right on their Homescreen. In the meantime, for those looking to ‘upgrade’ their Chromecast experience, you might want to check out the Tasker-based AutoCast.








Google planning more than UI changes: Project Hera bridges Android, Chrome and Search

Posted by wicked April - 7 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

gmail new features

Last week we not only learned about a possible redesign coming to Gmail, but another rumor suggested that the new design would be applied to all of Google’s core apps. Over the weekend Android Police further expanded on the rumor of a major overhaul coming to the next version of Android.

AP’s sources not only confirm that an app redesign is on its way, but Google is also getting ready to dramatically change up the way their mobile OS works with what is being internally referred to as Project Hera. While not all the details are clear just yet, Hera is allegedly Google’s attempt to further bridge Android, Chrome and Google Search.

Test

Renders showing off the alleged app redesign that will come with Project Hera

The idea is that Hera will introduce a special Chromium build that allows Android and third-party apps to run certain tasks through the web. What does this mean exactly? Basically Hera will be replacing the current multi-tasking view, bringing us mini-HTML5 applets that let us quickly perform specific functions without opening the full (native) version of the app.

Not only would you be able to reply to messages without opening full apps, you’d also be able to get a quick view of your navigation app and respond to the information presented, tweak your calendar and much more.

Test

The new HTML5 card “multi-tasking view” (render)

Improving the way we use our mobile devices and the web

As you can imagine, Hera would certainly make it much easier and quicker to perform key tasks from both Google and 3rd party apps, but it sounds like the HTML5/Chrome integration will go a step further than this. Google has already done a good job of using Google Now cards and other efforts to more seamlessly bring together our desktop and mobile experience, but Hera may expand on this.

Imagine starting a task within the mobile or desktop version of Chrome, only for this information to show up in the multi-tasking view on your Android device. Essentially that means any task you perform in Chrome (Search, Gmail, Google Drive, etc) could potentially be presented within the HTML5 card view.

Bottom-line, Google wants to bring Google Search and Chrome technology to the forefront of our mobile and desktop experience in an even bigger way than we’ve already seen, while also providing a seamless experience regardless of what device we are using. Now some of the examples we’ve heard and seen might not prove completely accurate, but if the core idea of the rumor proves correct we could be in for the most radical change to Android that we’ve seen since Android 4.0.

What do you think, like the idea of deeper integration between Google Search, Chrome and Android? Interested in the potential of a seamless experience that follows you no matter what device you are using? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Here’s to hoping we learn more official information at Google I/O this summer.








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