Google Looks Back at the Evolution of the Android Homescreen and Navigation

For Android’s 10th anniversary, we thought it’d be cool to look back and see how it’s evolved. As you can imagine, the operating system has had quite a transformation since 2008 — the year that Twilight hit theaters and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies was topping the charts.

You’ve probably noticed that over the last few weeks, there has been more Google coverage than usual. I’m a big fan of Google’s design philosophy and ever since I/O 2018, they’ve been releasing various design related tidbits that are worth highlighting.

Today, they have published a detailed look at how Android has evolved from when it had no chance of being featured here to where we are today. The Medium post has some nice GIFs showcasing the evolution of navigation on the platform.



Pocket Casts Gets Acquired by NPR and Other Public Radio Stations

Shifty Jelly is one of my favourite developers out there. Pocket Casts is one of the rare apps that we feature almost every year in the end of year Highlight and of course through covering their lovely big updates that happen across platforms multiple times a year. Pocket Casts is also one of my favourite apps on all platforms. When they announced that WNYC, NPR, WBEZ and This American Life as a group approached them and acquired Pocket Casts, both Preshit and myself were pretty shocked.

Their blog post goes on multiple times to ensure that users and customers know that nothing will change going forward for Pocket Casts as an app. I’m beyond happy for the team. I spoke to Russel in depth on The Dialogue and hope to do another one with him in the future once things settle. This is a huge deal for the team and I wish them the best with this.

I’m curious to see what this big partnership entails for podcasts as a whole because Pocket Casts is basically podcasts for me at this point.




The Growing Trend of Bloated Apps with ‘Lite’ Alternatives

K. Q. Dreger notices a peculiar trend in apps by large companies and writes that a company’s ‘Lite’ app should be their only app:

What part of being fast, data conscious, and reliable is exclusive to old devices or those on poor networks? Why does Twitter Lite feel more like Twitter than anything the company’s done with their main website or app over the past few years? Are Facebook, Twitter, and Google truly so married to ads, analytics, and A/B testing frameworks that their only shot at making a reasonably sized, fast app is to start fresh? Will these lite variants actually stay that way, or will the bloat slowly creep back in?

Being based in India, I have used some of these ‘Lite’ apps over the last few months and in almost all the cases, these lite versions offer a far better user experience than using the official apps. It’s downright ridiculous to experience how bloated the official apps are with unnecessary crap.

It’s also sad to see that there are many apps out there which are severely bloated and do not offer a lite version at all. This issue is becoming more common across not just iOS and Android, but on the Mac as well, thanks to all the “apps” powered by Electron.


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