Google just published the Material Design Awards for 2016, here are the winning Android apps

Ever since the introduction of Material Design way back at 2014’s I/O, Google has put a lot more emphasis on design than ever before. “Google Design” itself became a thing, and among the initiatives promoted by the company to bolster its overhauled aesthetic sense, there are proper MD “Awards”, whose 2016 winners have just been announced

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Google Play Protect begins rollout with redesigned ‘Verify Apps’ in Play Services

Announced at I/O 2017, Google Play Protect is essentially a rebrand of the company’s existing suite of security services for Android devices. In a statement, Google notes that it is beginning to rollout today in the Play Services app and coming soon to the Play Store.

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In-browser Chrome Apps will be phased out from Mac, Windows, and Linux by 2018

Google has put considerable effort into making the web more app-like by pushing various standards that allow for notifications and offline access. The company now believes that the web is powerful and feature-rich enough to phase out packaged and hosted Chrome apps on Mac, Windows, and Linux over the next two years.

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Google app 7.14 reveals redesigned ‘Explore’ for Assistant apps, ‘Hey Google’ hotword, more [APK Teardown]

Two weeks ago, we revealed that the Google app was working on a bottom bar redesign. The latest version 7.14 shows Google refining that interface, while revamping the “Explore” page for Assistant apps, adding “Hey Google” on phones, and other tweaks.

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Google announces brightly colored refresh of Play Store icons and apps

Google Play has seen its share of design refreshes since its launch four years ago, but starting today all Play apps will be getting a new, more consistent look. The bright colors share the same design as this year’s Google I/O teaser page and might possibly hint at what design language the company is moving to.

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We’re spending 44% more time in shopping apps, with digital-first retailers the winners

We learned earlier this year that the average smartphone user spends 2h 15m a day using apps, and new data suggests that more of this time than ever is spent using shopping apps.

App Annie data shows that time spent in digital-first retailer apps like Amazon increased by 44% year-on-year in the first half of 2017 …

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Google working on a Chromebook emulator for devs to test Android apps on large screens

Android apps for Chrome OS are still slowly rolling out, but Google very much wants developers to optimize their applications for Chromebooks and larger screened devices. At I/O 2017, they revealed an emulator that will allow local development without the need for an actual Chrome OS device.

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Do you use your smartwatch more for checking notifications or using apps? [Poll]

When Android Wear 2.0 was released, it had improvements across the board, but it also came with its own version of the Play Store so that users could easily download and use apps on their wrist. The thing is, applications built for Android Wear just aren’t that great, at least, not yet. So, if you have a smartwatch, do you own it mainly so you can check notifications or so that you can run applications?

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