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Lisa Jackson details iPhone 8, iPhone X environmentally friendly design, more in interview

Apple routinely touts environmentally-friendly aspects of new product releases, and that was no different with iPhone 8 and iPhone X. In a newly unearthed interview, Apple’s VP for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson details how the company designed its latest flagships to be the greenest ever offered.

58a18_24023-31026-171213-Jackson-l Lisa Jackson details iPhone 8, iPhone X environmentally friendly design, more in interview

Speaking at GreenBiz’s VERGE conference shortly after Apple’s September iPhone event, an event focused on technologies that accelerate sustainability solutions, Jackson provided insight into the manufacturing processes applied to this year’s iPhone.

A video of the interview was posted to YouTube in October, which GreenBiz resurfaced in a post to its blog on Wednesday.

For one, Apple was intent on lowering the carbon intensity of the aluminum used in both iPhone models. Though their form factors differ, iPhone 8 and iPhone X share a “glass sandwich” design that incorporates an aluminum chassis onto which components are attached. Smelting aluminum is a traditionally carbon-intensive process, but Apple has worked to reduce its impact through smart design and renewable energy technologies.

“That was a combination of really cutting down on any waste aluminum and reusing aluminum in the melt for the phone, as well as hydro-powered smelting, which is a big part of aluminum’s carbon footprint,” Jackson said. “So the aluminum in the iPhone 8 is 11 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per gram than the iPhone 7 and 83 percent less than the iPhone 6.”

In addition, Apple placed a “huge focus” on packaging, Jackson said. The carbon footprint for this year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X packaging, which mainly stems from the use of plastics, is down over 50 percent from iPhone 7. The reduction is the result of smaller box designs and the addition of two new packaging suppliers that committed to Apple’s clean energy initiative.

Finally, taken as a whole, both iPhone models have 6 percent less carbon emissions per phone than previous generations, a direct result of Apple’s Supplier Clean Energy Program.

Jackson went on to discuss Apple’s initiative to use 100 percent recycled materials across its various product lines, a lofty goal that will likely require the creation of a closed supply loop. The company has yet to determine how, exactly, that goal will be met, but Jackson in the past has said those involved are “working like gangbusters” to find a solution.

Jackson also touched on the Environmental Protection Agency, a governmental body she helmed from 2009 to 2013. Echoing past statements, she derided the Trump administration’s EPA for turning a blind eye toward the human health aspect of climate change.

Lisa Jackson details iPhone 8, iPhone X environmentally friendly design, more in interview

Apple routinely touts environmentally-friendly aspects of new product releases, and that was no different with iPhone 8 and iPhone X. In a newly unearthed interview, Apple’s VP for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson details how the company designed its latest flagships to be the greenest ever offered.

683c8_24023-31026-171213-Jackson-l Lisa Jackson details iPhone 8, iPhone X environmentally friendly design, more in interview

Speaking at GreenBiz’s VERGE conference shortly after Apple’s September iPhone event, an event focused on technologies that accelerate sustainability solutions, Jackson provided insight into the manufacturing processes applied to this year’s iPhone.

A video of the interview was posted to YouTube in October, which GreenBiz resurfaced in a post to its blog on Wednesday.

For one, Apple was intent on lowering the carbon intensity of the aluminum used in both iPhone models. Though their form factors differ, iPhone 8 and iPhone X share a “glass sandwich” design that incorporates an aluminum chassis onto which components are attached. Smelting aluminum is a traditionally carbon-intensive process, but Apple has worked to reduce its impact through smart design and renewable energy technologies.

“That was a combination of really cutting down on any waste aluminum and reusing aluminum in the melt for the phone, as well as hydro-powered smelting, which is a big part of aluminum’s carbon footprint,” Jackson said. “So the aluminum in the iPhone 8 is 11 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per gram than the iPhone 7 and 83 percent less than the iPhone 6.”

In addition, Apple placed a “huge focus” on packaging, Jackson said. The carbon footprint for this year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X packaging, which mainly stems from the use of plastics, is down over 50 percent from iPhone 7. The reduction is the result of smaller box designs and the addition of two new packaging suppliers that committed to Apple’s clean energy initiative.

Finally, taken as a whole, both iPhone models have 6 percent less carbon emissions per phone than previous generations, a direct result of Apple’s Supplier Clean Energy Program.

Jackson went on to discuss Apple’s initiative to use 100 percent recycled materials across its various product lines, a lofty goal that will likely require the creation of a closed supply loop. The company has yet to determine how, exactly, that goal will be met, but Jackson in the past has said those involved are “working like gangbusters” to find a solution.

Jackson also touched on the Environmental Protection Agency, a governmental body she helmed from 2009 to 2013. Echoing past statements, she derided the Trump administration’s EPA for turning a blind eye toward the human health aspect of climate change.

Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac …

Chrome 63 began rolling out to Android and desktop browsers last week with the usual security fixes and new developer features. On the latter platform, this update introduces Material Design to the Bookmark Manager.


3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ...

Nintendo Switch

Several versions ago, Google began updating various aspects of the browser with Material Design, including History, Downloads, and Settings.

Like the Flags page for enabling experiments and in-development features, which Google also revamped in version 63, the Bookmark Manager (Menu Bookmarks Bookmark Manager) adopts the standard Materials UI elements. This includes an app bar that houses a large search bar. It adopts the same dark blue theme and includes various Material animations and flourishes.

Meanwhile, the most significant change is the improved spacing for the bookmarks list and the navigation drawer of folders. Both use larger fonts and iconography for a significantly less cramped appearance that takes better advantage of larger screens. The increased spacing also applies to various menus for reordering bookmarks and creating new ones.

3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ... 3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ...

If there’s one complaint of the new design, some might not be a fan of the reduced information density. This new Material Bookmark Manager is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS with it widely rolling out as of Chrome 63.

Chrome 62

3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ... 3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ...

Chrome 63

3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ... 3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ... 3d2ae_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac ...


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

Chrome 63 began rolling out to Android and desktop browsers last week with the usual security fixes and new developer features. On the latter platform, this update introduces Material Design to the Bookmark Manager.


bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

Nintendo Switch

Several versions ago, Google began updating various aspects of the browser with Material Design, including History, Downloads, and Settings.

Like the Flags page for enabling experiments and in-development features, which Google also revamped in version 63, the Bookmark Manager (Menu Bookmarks Bookmark Manager) adopts the standard Materials UI elements. This includes an app bar that houses a large search bar. It adopts the same dark blue theme and includes various Material animations and flourishes.

Meanwhile, the most significant change is the improved spacing for the bookmarks list and the navigation drawer of folders. Both use larger fonts and iconography for a significantly less cramped appearance that takes better advantage of larger screens. The increased spacing also applies to various menus for reordering bookmarks and creating new ones.

bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

If there’s one complaint of the new design, some might not be a fan of the reduced information density. This new Material Bookmark Manager is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS with it widely rolling out as of Chrome 63.

Chrome 62

bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

Chrome 63

bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS bf426_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Chrome 63 revamps Bookmark Manager w/ Material Design on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

Windows 10 news recap: Facebook Messenger receives a new design, we ask if you’d fold a Surface Phone, and more

Welcome back to our Windows 10 news recap. We are continuing the trend of our weekly “Windows 10 news recap” series where we go over the top stories of the past week in the world of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.

Kik Messenger Windows Phone app disappears from the Windows Store

It looks as though another big name app has abandoned Windows Phone, as the Kik Messenger app has disappeared from the Windows Store, with no hint of its return.

24777_kik-1027x580 Windows 10 news recap: Facebook Messenger receives a new design, we ask if you'd fold a Surface Phone, and more

Facebook Messenger updates on Windows 10 with new design

Facebook Messenger has been updated on Windows 10 with a new design. In addition to an improved design, the app has received some performance improvements, new features and the usual bug fixes.

24777_kik-1027x580 Windows 10 news recap: Facebook Messenger receives a new design, we ask if you'd fold a Surface Phone, and more

Will you fold your Surface Phone? – more Microsoft patents revealed

More Microsoft patents have been revealed that point to the company actively researching foldable hardware. While there’s no physical foldable device from Microsoft so far, the company is definitely interested in the prospect.

‘Always Connected PC’ features slated for the next Windows 10 Update

The next Windows 10 update is expected to bring Always Connected PC features, such as instant on/off, remaining connected while off, new wake scenarios, and more.

24777_kik-1027x580 Windows 10 news recap: Facebook Messenger receives a new design, we ask if you'd fold a Surface Phone, and more

That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next week with more Windows 10 news!


Further reading: , , , ,

Samsung Galaxy S8 gets refreshed design as Android 8.0 Oreo update release nears

If we take a look at last year’s Galaxy S7, most users in the UK began receiving the update in March.

This was mainly due to Samsung releasing the update but the networks then taking their time to test it before pushing it out to consumers.

Speaking to Express.co.uk earlier in the year an EE spokesperson revealed: “Like the majority of UK networks, we’re working with Samsung and hope to have an approved nougat O/S file to roll out to our Galaxy S7 customers shortly.” 

The same is likely to happen with Oreo as Samsung will have to complete their checks before it then being made available to the networks.

So, if your an S8 or S8+ owner don’t expect to see an update before the Christmas.

In fact, with the Galaxy S9 expected to be revealed in February, this looks like the most realistic time for Samsung to push out an operating system upgrade to all of its users.

Apple’s Jony Ive is back in charge of product design – including next iPhone

Apple has reinstated Jony Ive as the lead executive on all things design, giving the artsy Brit control over how products look going forward.

For years, Jony Ive has been at the helm of product design at Apple. The 50-year-old joined the firm way back in 1992, and nabbed a job as Senior Vice President of Industrial Design in 1997. Since then, he’s had a massive role in every major Apple launch.

But back in 2015, Ive was named as Apple’s chief design officer and pulled off the general product design machine. This was purportedly done so he could head up the day-to-day management of the ongoing Apple Park development – that’s Apple’s new and only recently launched Californian headquarters.

Now that the Apple Park is operational (it even hosted the recent iPhone X launch), it means that Ive’s time has been freed up once again.

A statement on the matter from Apple spokesperson Amy Bessette sent to Bloomberg reads: “With the completion of Apple Park, Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design.”

Jony Ive is one of the most well-known senior Apple staffers, and is often wheeled out during major product launches to wax poetic on the new device’s finer aesthetic details. So integral is his role to Apple’s success that, in 2016, it was estimated that Apple paid him a $30 million bonus plus an additional $25 million in shares. His personal fortune was recently estimated at around $130 million, and in 2012, he even received a knighthood from the Queen.

Related: iPhone 9

Which Apple product do you think has the best design? Let us know via Facebook or tweet us @TrustedReviews.

Skype gets iPhone X support and revamped design on iOS

86a26_Skype-iPhone-X_0 Skype gets iPhone X support and revamped design on iOS

It’s Skype’s turn to embrace the notch with its latest update on iOS.

Microsoft has been slowly updating its stable of apps on iOS with dedicated support for Apple’s latest mobile device, the iPhone X. The latest to get that treatment is Skype, which has adopted explicit support for the iPhone X’s taller screen, along with a new design in its latest update.

The update now allows Skype to extend to fill the entire screen on iPhone X, giving it more vertical space. The bigger change for all iPhone users, however, is the rollout of the new design, which first entered testing back in October. Following backlash from its previous redesign over the summer, Microsoft has implemented a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen to access important functions. Numeric badges will now appear on the navigation bar for chats, calls, and highlights. Some general UI spacing and other aspects have been tweaked as well.

Here’s a look at the full release notes for Skype version 8.12:

  • A new and improved design.
  • Support for iPhone X.
  • General performance and reliability improvements.

86a26_Skype-iPhone-X_0 Skype gets iPhone X support and revamped design on iOS

If you’re using an iPhone as your mobile device of choice, you can pick up all of the changes by grabbing the latest version of Skype on the App Store now.

See at the App Store

Apple’s 2018 iPhone Could Have This Design Change

At least one of Apple’s iPhones in 2018 could come with a big design change, according to a new report.

Apple may release one model next year would come with a 6.1-inch liquid-crystal display and a metal back panel, Nikkei reports, citing people who have knowledge of the company’s plans. Apple may also sell iPhones featuring 5.8- and 6.3-inch screens that use organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, which is available in the iPhone X and offers better resolution and more vibrant colors than LCD.

The metal version of the iPhone would come with the cheapest of the three, according to the report.

Apple has been rumored to be planning three new iPhones next year including one with minor updates to this year’s iPhone X and with a similar design. A second phone with the 6.3-inch screen would be Apple’s biggest smartphone ever and would also likely resemble the iPhone X, with a screen that nearly covers its face and a glass back panel. The third version would ostensibly replace this year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus smartphones, which also come with metal backs and a design that includes larger bezels around the screen and a physical home button—two features Apple’s iPhone X doesn’t have.

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According to the Nikkei source, keeping an LCD model will help Apple keep the price down for one of its models by couple hundred dollars next year compared with the higher-priced OLED and glass models to appeal to a broader customer base. Apple’s iPhone X, for instance, costs $1,000 to start, while a metal-bodied iPhone 8 starts at $699.

For its part, Apple hasn’t commented on its plans and likely won’t until it actually announces new iPhones, as it does every year. And that likely won’t happen until September, if the company’s past release schedule is any indication.

Android Oreo Lands On Huawei Mate 9, Mate 9 Pro & Mate 9 Porsche Design

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Facebook Messenger updates on Windows 10 with new design

Facebook Messenger got a new update recently, revamping the Windows 10 app with some UI changes, as well as performance updates and bug fixes. The Facebook Messenger UI change was discovered by Aggiornamenti Lumia, who noted that Facebook Messenger added a number of new features and app functionality.

9695e_Messenger-Beta-1.jpg.pagespeed.ce.mL_IsPhzMC Facebook Messenger updates on Windows 10 with new design

Facebook Messenger via Aggiornamenti Lumia

The update brings Facebook Messenger to version 139.1213.34847.0. Here are the list of changes and fixes:

  • Improved search bar (now the text is aligned in the Center)
  • The home is now divided in “messages” and “Active”. In this new section you will find your friends on Messenger
  • The emoticons are now displayed at the bottom (removed the old pop-up menu in the chat)
  • Renewed “location” feature: you can now view the map in full screen
  • Photos, videos and emoji is now called “photos and media”: Removed this section all options emoji
  • Miscellaneous improvements and fixes

This update comes after over about a month of testing the Facebook Messenger beta app.

Download Facebook Messenger for Windows 10


Further reading: , , ,

Global Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software Procurement Market Report 2017 – Top Suppliers Are Dassault …

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global
Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software – Procurement Market Intelligence
Report”
report has been added to Research and Markets’
offering.

Global CAD Software Market provides up-to-date information about market
shifts and potential risks, as well as in-depth knowledge of products
and services, which can help in planning and executing category
management activities. It focuses on the cost-saving aspects of
procurement and on providing insights that can lead to optimization of
category spend.

The high adoption of CAD dependent concepts such as concurrent
engineering and technologies such as CAM and 3D printing are the major
growth drivers for the global computer-aided design (CAD) software
market. Concurrent engineering or simultaneous engineering is a
methodology that is based on parallelization of the task of designing
and development of products.

The report provides actionable insights to improve source-to-contract
cycle performance in the Global CAD Software Market. It helps sourcing
professionals formulate better category strategies, enhance savings,
understand supplier and market challenges, and implement sourcing best
practices.

Category driver:

  • High adoption of CAD dependent concepts such as concurrent engineering
    and technologies such as CAM and 3D printing

Category constraints

  • Interoperability issues in integration with CAE analysis

Procurement best practices

  • Assess suppliers for scalability and flexibility

Key Topics Covered:

Part 1: Category at a Glance

  • TAKEAWAY 01: Market Overview
  • TAKEAWAY 02: Demand and Supply Snapshot
  • TAKEAWAY 03: Key Market Dynamics
  • TAKEAWAY 04: Supply Market Highlights
  • TAKEAWAY 05: Pricing Insights
  • TAKEAWAY 06: Procurement Insights

Part 2: Scope of the Report

  • Category Definition
  • Research Methodology

Part 3: Market Insights

  • Category Spend Analysis
  • Category Maturity by Regions
  • Demand-Supply Shifts
  • Regional Demand-Supply Snapshot
  • Global Molasses Production Hubs
  • Market Developments
  • Regional Impact of Trends
  • Key Category Growth Drivers and Corresponding Regional Impacts
  • Major Category Growth Constraints and Corresponding Regional Impacts
  • Key Current Technological Innovations
  • Major Regulatory Frameworks
  • Strategic Sustainability Practices
  • Porter’s Five Forces
  • PESTLE Analysis

Part 4: Supply Market Insights

  • Supplier Operational Capability Matrix
  • Other Prominent Suppliers by Region: Operational Capability Matrix
  • Supplier Functional Capability Matrix
  • Other Prominent Suppliers by Region: Functional Capability Matrix
  • Key Clients/Partners
  • Supplier Cost Breakup
  • Supplier Positioning Matrix

Part 5: Pricing Insights

  • Pricing Models Snapshot
  • Pricing Models – Pros and Cons
  • Indicative Pricing

Part 6: Procurement Insights

  • Major Category Requirements
  • Major Procurement Pain Points
  • Category Sourcing Evolution Matrix
  • Procurement Best Practices
  • Cost-saving Opportunities
  • Supplier Selection Criteria
  • Category Negotiation Strategies
  • SLA Terms
  • Supplier Evaluation Criteria
  • Category Risk Analysis

Part 7: Top Five Suppliers

  • Dassault Systèmes
  • Autodesk
  • Siemens
  • PTC
  • Trimble

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/s3f6z9/global_computer

VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC, the video player that can handle practically anything you throw at it with no config tweaking, has been updated to version 2.5, marking the first update to the stable channel of the popular media player in over a year. In addition to a lot of interface tweaks bringing it more in line with Material Design guidelines, visual changes have also come to Android TV and Auto.

In the VLC interface, album art is now used as a blurred background when playing and navigating. Video information is now an overlay on the thumbnail, allowing for more thumbnails to be displayed on screen at any one time. It is also possible to select multiple items at once, in order to start a playlist. Picture-in-picture mode is also enabled in Oreo, and for Android TV devices on Nougat or Oreo. According to VLC Android developer Geoffrey Métais, the “application has also become a bit more dynamic.” You can judge for yourself in the screenshots below.

7e56a_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV 7e56a_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV 7e56a_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

Android TV receives much the same treatment, with brighter colors in the layout, and the addition of scrolling video information, which is quite handy for long file names.

7e56a_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

Though this was originally introduced in the VLC 2.1 beta, support for Android Auto is included. In the stable 2.5 release, you can start playing music using Google Assistant.

7e56a_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC 2.5 also brings a lot of important changes under the hood, most notably a complete replacement for the rather slow media indexing system the app previously used. Now, VLC uses medialibrary to index audiovisual content and manage it in an sqlite database. As this is native code, it is substantially faster than the Java code previously used for this purpose. This also brings the benefit of more useful search results, with the ability to scan NAS content planned for a future update. Core performance and format support were also improved, with support for VP8/VP9/VP10 in MP4 containers and HDMI passthrough added, as well as improvements to Adaptive (HLS/Dash) TS playback. Finally, OpenGLES 2.0 is now used for video rendering for software decoders.

The full changelog from the previous stable version is:

360° videos support
Android Auto implementation
More dynamic and Material-compliant UI
Enable Picture-In-Picture mode on Android O
Refactored MediaLibrary
DayNight mode integration
New Search activity and integration with Google Now
Resume position for audio media tagged as audiobook or podcast
Double tap on screen edges in video player to seek by 10s
Audio boost in video player
Custom equalizer presets
Improve RTL support
Improve app video player startup speed

VLC 2.5 supports Gingerbread (2.3) and higher (sorry, Froyo users). You can get it from Google Play or APK Mirror.

VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC, the video player that can handle practically anything you throw at it with no config tweaking, has been updated to version 2.5, marking the first update to the stable channel of the popular media player in over a year. In addition to a lot of interface tweaks bringing it more in line with Material Design guidelines, visual changes have also come to Android TV and Auto.

In the VLC interface, album art is now used as a blurred background when playing and navigating. Video information is now an overlay on the thumbnail, allowing for more thumbnails to be displayed on screen at any one time. It is also possible to select multiple items at once, in order to start a playlist. Picture-in-picture mode is also enabled in Oreo, and for Android TV devices on Nougat or Oreo. According to VLC Android developer Geoffrey Métais, the “application has also become a bit more dynamic.” You can judge for yourself in the screenshots below.

71410_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV 71410_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV 71410_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

Android TV receives much the same treatment, with brighter colors in the layout, and the addition of scrolling video information, which is quite handy for long file names.

71410_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

Though this was originally introduced in the VLC 2.1 beta, support for Android Auto is included. In the stable 2.5 release, you can start playing music using Google Assistant.

71410_nexus2cee_player_cover-161x286 VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC 2.5 also brings a lot of important changes under the hood, most notably a complete replacement for the rather slow media indexing system the app previously used. Now, VLC uses medialibrary to index audiovisual content and manage it in an sqlite database. As this is native code, it is substantially faster than the Java code previously used for this purpose. This also brings the benefit of more useful search results, with the ability to scan NAS content planned for a future update. Core performance and format support were also improved, with support for VP8/VP9/VP10 in MP4 containers and HDMI passthrough added, as well as improvements to Adaptive (HLS/Dash) TS playback. Finally, OpenGLES 2.0 is now used for video rendering for software decoders.

The full changelog from the previous stable version is:

360° videos support
Android Auto implementation
More dynamic and Material-compliant UI
Enable Picture-In-Picture mode on Android O
Refactored MediaLibrary
DayNight mode integration
New Search activity and integration with Google Now
Resume position for audio media tagged as audiobook or podcast
Double tap on screen edges in video player to seek by 10s
Audio boost in video player
Custom equalizer presets
Improve RTL support
Improve app video player startup speed

VLC 2.5 supports Gingerbread (2.3) and higher (sorry, Froyo users). You can get it from Google Play or APK Mirror.

3 ways Apple could improve on the iPhone X design – Business Insider

281d8_iphone%2520x-39 3 ways Apple could improve on the iPhone X design - Business InsiderHollis Johnson

The iPhone X is my favorite iPhone yet. It’s got the best screen I’ve ever seen on a smartphone, it feels comfortable to hold, and its redesigned interface feels intuitive and fun to use.

That said, there are a few features in the iPhone X I wish were different, or better.

Skype Gets the Fluent Design Treatment in Windows 10 – Thurrott.com

3e5c2_skype-uwp-fluent Skype Gets the Fluent Design Treatment in Windows 10 - Thurrott.com

While Microsoft has been promising to bring the modern Skype design to Windows 10 for a while, the company has been quite slow at delivering on its promise. The modern Skype for desktops isn’t installable in Windows 10, with Microsoft basically forcing users to use the Windows 10 UWP app instead. The company is, however, bringing a touch of Fluent Design to the Skype app in Windows 10 this week.

Microsoft is testing a new update for the Skype app with Windows Insiders which brings Fluent Design’s Acrylic effect (blur) to the app’s sidebar. For dark theme users, you will also see the Reveal Highlight effect on the Skype app. While these new additions were much-needed, they actually don’t look very good on the app.

Fluent Design on the majority of Microsoft apps look pretty great, but the Acrylic on the Skype app just doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing. More importantly, though, the Skype app in Windows 10 still looks way different from the modern Skype design on other platforms. Microsoft has been committed to providing a consistent Skype experience across devices with the modern Skype, and the company has succeeded for the most part. But in Windows 10, the Skype experience is extremely inconsistent and feels almost like the work of an entirely different design team.

In fact, it has come to a point where Skype for older versions of Windows is actually more powerful and prettier than Skype for Windows 10. Still, there’s a possibility Microsoft will end up bringing the modern Skype experience to Windows 10 in the future — but right now, we are only getting Fluent Design.

Tagged with , ,

Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery]

Android Auto has a great design which screams Material Design, but it hasn’t really changed much since its debut. That’s a bit unfortunate since there are some things that could be improved. Recently, though, Google seems to have quietly introduced some subtle changes to Android Auto’s interface, so let’s take a look at what’s new.


df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery]

The best gifts for Android users

In my Subaru Impreza, I recently noticed several updates to Android Auto’s interface that really improve it for the better. Presumably, these updates came way of an app update which was pushed on Google Play on November 28th.

First, there are some slight changes to the main screen. Navigation and cards and still the same, but the background has changed to a gradient color which looks good and isn’t as busy as what was available before. The home button is also slightly bigger with a more prominent ring now.

Some of the biggest changes in this update, seem to appear within the music interface. Here, information regarding the tracks, albums, artists, etc is all moved to the center of the display. There’s also a slightly different font. Personally, I think this looks much nicer.

df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery] df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery]

Further, tapping on the expanded “options” menu no longer removes the play/pause and track controls. Rather, the menu simply expands upward to give you options such as shuffle and whatever else is enabled by that specific media application.

df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery] df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery]

Another very subtle change is a solid color that appears alongside the hamburger menus, replacing what was previously transparent and showing the interface behind. This extends pretty much throughout the entirety of Android Auto’s UI.

Lastly, there’s the dialer app which has seen the most drastic changes. Now, there’s a new “bar” interface for calling controls as well as full-screen profile pictures. There’s also a new look for the dialer itself and a toggle for switching between the car’s speaker, phone’s speaker, and the phone’s earpiece for calls.

df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery] df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery] df322_giftguide_schoon_13 Android Auto gets a refreshed design with improved controls & new backgrounds [Gallery]

Jony Ive is apparently not a fan of last year’s iPhone design

Though Jony Ive may be more widely known for designing some of Apple’s more iconic consumer oriented products — from the original iMac to the recently released iPhone X — Apple’s design chief also played an instrumental role in designing the company’s new spaceship campus. In recent interview with Smithsonian Magazine, we learn that Ive worked closely with the architecture firm that helped transform Steve Jobs’ vision for a new Apple campus into a reality. Hardly a surprise, nearly every aspect of Apple’s new campus was designed with input from Ives.

One of the more interesting aspects from the Ive interview involve his remarks on the iPhone X and his thoughts on previous iPhone models. For Ive, the iPhone X — with its edge to edge display — represents the idealized version of what a smartphone should look and feel like. Even before the iPhone X was on our radar, Ive famously said he wanted an iPhone to “appear like a single sheet of glass.”

The iPhone X “is something we’ve aspired to for years,” Ive says. Indeed, since the iPhone X hit store shelves earlier this month, we’v since learned that the device’s A11 Bionic processor was in development for three years prior to launch. What’s more, the decision to drop Touch ID in favor of Face ID was made well over a year ago.

With Ive’s vision for the iPhone now mostly fulfilled — we have to imagine Ive would ideally like to get rid of the notch — he also had some interesting words about other iPhone designs.

Upon picking up an iPhone 7 Plus, Ive remarked: “It now seems to me a rather disconnected component housed in an enclosure.” A brutally harsh assessment for a device that was just released last year, but ultimately a testament to the game changing design of the iPhone X.

Beyond the iPhone X, Ive earlier this month coyly said that Apple’s latest flagship is “in some sense a completion of a chapter,” which is to say that Ive and his cohort of designers are just getting started

Windows 10 Skype app gets first Fluent design touches in latest Insider update

Microsoft has just updated its Skype UWP app for Fast Ring Insiders, delivering subtle touches of Fluent design to the messaging app. Though a bit small of a feature, the update brings it visually up to speed with some of the other stock apps in Windows 10.

Seen in the featured image above, the 12.10.534.0 update introduces Fluent Design’s reveal effects to the sidebar of the Skype app, where conversations are listed. Again, still a minor change, but it’s an indication that Microsoft has not forgotten about the UWP Skype app, and might be adding more Fluent Design UI enhancements soon. However, we’ve not seen any traces of Fluent Design on Windows 10 Mobile so far.

This update also introduces some changes to the profile page. The toggles for ” Do Not Disturb” and  “Do Not share my presence” are replaced with a simple “Status” field, which is more consistent with how status management now works on other platforms. There also is a change in the green status dots, which are now slightly larger.

ceb2c_Status-e1511996297205 Windows 10 Skype app gets first Fluent design touches in latest Insider update

The Status Page

You can expect this update to roll out to a wider audience soon. For now, though, Windows Insiders can bask in all the Fluent Design glory by heading to the Microsoft Store and updating the Skype app.


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Skype Gets the Fluent Design Treatment in Windows 10

da3c4_skype-uwp-fluent Skype Gets the Fluent Design Treatment in Windows 10

While Microsoft has been promising to bring the modern Skype design to Windows 10 for a while, the company has been quite slow at delivering on its promise. The modern Skype for desktops isn’t installable in Windows 10, with Microsoft basically forcing users to use the Windows 10 UWP app instead. The company is, however, bringing a touch of Fluent Design to the Skype app in Windows 10 this week.

Microsoft is testing a new update for the Skype app with Windows Insiders which brings Fluent Design’s Acrylic effect (blur) to the app’s sidebar. For dark theme users, you will also see the Reveal Highlight effect on the Skype app. While these new additions were much-needed, they actually don’t look very good on the app.

Fluent Design on the majority of Microsoft apps look pretty great, but the Acrylic on the Skype app just doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing. More importantly, though, the Skype app in Windows 10 still looks way different from the modern Skype design on other platforms. Microsoft has been committed to providing a consistent Skype experience across devices with the modern Skype, and the company has succeeded for the most part. But in Windows 10, the Skype experience is extremely inconsistent and feels almost like the work of an entirely different design team.

In fact, it has come to a point where Skype for older versions of Windows is actually more powerful and prettier than Skype for Windows 10. Still, there’s a possibility Microsoft will end up bringing the modern Skype experience to Windows 10 in the future — but right now, we are only getting Fluent Design.

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