This Beautifully Simple Site Makes It Easy to Create the Right Digital Color Palette

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For the most talented designers, creating a palette of complementary colors comes easy. For the rest of us, not so much.

Enter Material Palette, a site launched this week by European coder Matt Aussaguel to help Android app designers find the right color options within Google's new Material Design language. What's especially nice is that the clean, user-friendly resource is actually helpful for anyone who ever finds themselves in need of a quick array of colors for a digital design (or a kitchen remodel, in my case).

There are lots of color palette creators out there, but most involve sliders and rainbow wheels and all manner of intricacy I'd rather not deal with. With Material Palette, you click two colors you want to use, and boom—you get eight colors that work and play well together. (See example below.) The colors use traditional hex codes, too, so you can use them just about anywhere, from Photoshop to your site's CSS.

Try it for yourself here.

Hat tip to Google Design's Twitter feed for spotting and sharing this one.

December 19th 2014 Android, Design, Google, Technology

Android dress code: wear what you want

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Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing—it’s one of the ways you show people what you’re about. Wearable technology is no different, so Android Wear offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It’s about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.

Today there’s even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official Watch Face API), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try ‘em on for size, and let us know what you think.

Watch faces for whatever you’re into
Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We’ve got dozens of examples to get you started—from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.

We’ve also updated the Android Wear app on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.

(Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don’t worry if you don’t see them yet.)

Examples of Android Wear watch faces

A family of watches to choose from
In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include six unique watches—the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that’s exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it’s really easy to make your watch your own.

So by all means: wear what you want.

December 11th 2014 Android

Warning, This App Could Trash Your Phone

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Gyro Skate If the idea of throwing an expensive piece of consumer electronics up in the air and watching it spin around makes your palms clammy with sweat then this app is definitely not for you. You have been warned. Read More

December 10th 2014 Android, Mobile

Blackphone Confirms Privacy-Focused App Store And Device Sandboxes Incoming

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BlackPhone BlackPhone, the post-Snowden, pro-privacy Android smartphone joint venture between secure comms company Silent Circle and phone maker Geeksphone, has confirmed it will be adding an app store to its PrivatOS in an update early next year, and also a sandboxing feature called Spaces. Read More

December 10th 2014 Android, Mobile, security

Gillmor Gang: Not Fade Away

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Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Doc Searls, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, December 5, 2014.
As notifications and deep linking are built out, the Gillmor Gang is implementing a series of interconnected apps and services including a forthcoming Gillmor Gang app. Read More

December 7th 2014 Android, apple, video

Torque, Microsoft’s Alternative To “OK Google,” Now Works On Android Smartphones

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torque Microsoft this morning has released an app for Android smartphone users called Torque that allows you to shake your phone in order to perform a voice search, similar to Google’s “OK Google.” The difference is that instead of waking up the app with a standard keyword command, it’s the shaking motion that instead does the trick. Also like Google, Torque will provide a… Read More

December 6th 2014 Android, bing, microsoft, Mobile, Search

Device Assist for Android

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Google released an Android app that provides tips for using your device and helps you solve some of your device’s issues. The app is called Device Assist and it’s currently available to “US-based Nexus, Google Play edition and Android One devices running Android 5.0, Lollipop”.

Device Assist detects some of the problems concerning your device and offers tips like “consider using a wall charger” or “screen brightness setting is battery intensive”. For some of the tips, there’s a “do it for me” option that automatically changes settings.

Google also provides tips that help you explore new features and improve the performance of your device. The list of tips is searchable and there a few useful tips when searching for things like “battery” or “screen”.

Device Assist makes it easy to share information about your device with Google and to get access to live Google support. This option is only available for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices.

{ via Android Police }

December 4th 2014 Android

Find Your Zen With Desert Golfing

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Desert Golfing If you’re looking for something to do while sitting around with family as you all process the remainder of the Thanksgiving meal still working its way through your digestive tract, I’ve got something for you that will take very little effort but still provides hours of entertainment. Read More

November 29th 2014 Android

Android’s Email App Links to Gmail

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Now that the Gmail app for Android lets you add non-Gmail accounts and works like a generic email client, the Email app is no longer necessary. When you open it, the app shows this message: “Email has moved. The Gmail app now lets you view all of your email accounts.” You can tap “Take me to the Gmail app” and check “Always do this”.

There are a few advantages for Google: it only has to bundle a single mail app from now on, the Gmail app is constantly updated in the Play Store, there’s a consistent interface for both Gmail and the mail client.

Gmail could already import messages from other accounts using Mail Fetcher, but that’s a tool for power users who fiddle with Gmail’s settings. “Gmail’s Mail Fetcher feature first imports all your old messages to Gmail and then continues to bring in new messages sent to your other account. You can add up to 5 accounts, including Gmail and other email providers.”

Email is another AOSP app that bites the dust and is replaced by a closed source Google app, just like Music, Calendar, Browser, Camera and more.

November 28th 2014 Android

Google’s Nexus 6 Might Be Too Big For Right Now, But Right-Sized For The Future

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Nexus 6-3 As Greg Kumparak noted in the TechCrunch review of the Nexus 6, the phone is very large. Too large, in fact, for most humans. Back when it was just a rumor that Google would be picking Motorola to provide the Nexus 6 hardware, and that it would indeed be a monster with a 6-inch display, I lamented the phabletization of the Nexus line before it was even a real thing. Now, I’ve had some… Read More

November 23rd 2014 Android, Google, Mobile