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  1. Firefox 57 Photon Mockups: Activity Stream, Library, Compact Mode, More Mozilla revealed a new batch of mockups showcasing the planned re-design of the Firefox user interface, codename Photon, in Firefox 57. Mozilla plans to release a theme refresh of its Firefox web browser when the browser hits version 57 in November 2017. The refresh is code-named Photon, and it is the first major design refresh of Firefox since the launch of Australis back when Firefox 29 was released. Australis was a highly controversial change, not only because of the design elements that it introduced, but also the things that it removed or blocked from customization. Firefox 57 will introduce major changes, even more than Australis did. This is only partially because of the redesign, as Mozilla plans to make the switch to WebExtension exclusivity when that version hits as well. The browser makers break with Firefox's old add-on system, so that only WebExtensions add-ons may be run in Firefox 57 Stable or newer. But Firefox 57 Stable is also the first version of the browser that ships with major Project Quantum components, which, according to Mozilla, will make the browser significantly faster in those areas. The first Firefox Photon mockups showed up on the Internet in March 2017. They showed the main interface, and the new tips section that Mozilla plans to add to the about:home page of the web browser. The about:home page is displayed to new users of the browser, or when it is loaded manually. Note: The following screens are mockups. This means that they are not set in stone yet, and that looks and functionality may change before things land in Firefox 57. Firefox 57 Photon: new mockups The new mockups highlight other parts of the web browser, including the activity stream, the library, and the compact mode among other things. The first two mockup screenshots show the new Activity Stream page of Firefox. Activity Stream launched as a Test Pilot project initially. These test add-ons are launched to collect feedback and telemetry data to make educated decisions about their future integration in the Firefox web browser. The Activity Stream page has a Pocket "trending stories" listing. It is unclear whether this will only be displayed to Pocket users, or if this is displayed to all Firefox users. Mozilla acquired Pocket some time ago, which means that it could be either way. Firefox users who don't want to use the Activity Stream tab page can install WebExtensions that modify the New Tab Page of the web browser. You may also notice that the two Firefox windows on the screenshots above have different window colors. Mozilla might pick up the color from the operating system. Firefox Compact Mode Mozilla plans to launch two compact themes in Firefox 53 (a light and dark one). The company plans to launch a touch mode and compact mode in Firefox 57. It seems likely -- but has not been confirmed -- that this new compact mode will replace the modes that Mozilla will launch in Firefox 53. The mockup shows the differences between touch, normal and compact mode in Firefox. The planned touch interface increases interface elements a bit to improve accessibility. Firefox new main menu The main menu mockup shows the new menu structure. Mozilla plans to move away from the current, icon-heavy menu that is quite difficult to navigate and use. The new menu displays an entry per line, and uses considerably less space than the current menu. The menu lists more options than the old, and some, like the Web Developer menu, link to secondary pages with additional options. Another difference is that you won't be able to remove entries from the menu any longer. Firefox users may add entries to a new >> menu that is displayed on the left side of the main menu. This is the new location that users may add things like extension links that should not be visible all the time in the browser UI. Customize options The customize screen looks pretty much the same as before. One change is that you cannot add or remove items from the main menu anymore as it is locked. You may move the icons to select locations of the interface, including before or after the address bar, and to the new custom menu. Firefox users who use the search will notice that the search element is listed on the customize page. This is an indicator that it will be still an option when Firefox 57 launches. Firefox 57 new library A click on the library icon lists several options. Users may use it to open the bookmarks, downloads, history and synced tabs, the Pocket list, and check out the recent activity. Note that it takes two clicks now to display bookmarks or downloads. The classic library options remain in place however for the time being. Sidebars The sidebars get a new menu that enables you to switch between them easily using it. (Thanks Sören Hentzschel) Now You: What's your take on the new batch of mockups? Source
  2. Firefox Photon: New Design Mockups Show Interface, And More Mozilla revealed new mockup screenshots of Firefox's upcoming design refresh, codename Photon, including how the interface will look like, recently. We talked about the upcoming Firefox interface design change, codename Photon, before here on Ghacks, and even revealed a mockup showing some of its interface elements last week. Turned out later that the mockup was not by the Photon team, but by another Firefox team that used tidbits of Photon in the screenshot. Anyway, if things go well, Photon will be part of Firefox 57. The browser is one of the most important releases for Mozilla in a long, long time. It will put the focus on WebExtensions as classic add-ons won't run anymore in that version. Additionally, plans are underway to make it the first stable version with bits from project Quantum included. Firefox 57 will be released in November 2017 if things go as planned. Note: The following screenshots are mockups. While the final product may look similar or even identical, it is also possible that things may change before the final release of Firefox 57. Firefox Photon The first mockup shows Firefox running the Photon user interface, and the about:home page of the browser. The UI has not changed all that much when you compare it to last week's mockup. Tabs are still displayed in rectangular shape, and the address bar is still centered. Some icons look different, and some have been moved around if you compare their position to current stable versions of Firefox. The reload button has been moved to the left side of the address bar for instance. There is also a ... icon which is new, and some of the icons on the right have a new design but have identical functions. The about:home page shows several new features. There is a new Firefox icon in the top left corner that displays several tips when you click on it. The about:home page is the first page that opens after a new Firefox installation. The new tips section, if it survives and becomes part of the final release, introduces core Firefox features to users of the browser (especially new users). It highlights Sync, Extensions, Search, Customization, Privacy and making Firefox the default browser. You may check the "mark all as complete, and hide the tips menu" box to hide it on the about:home page. What's the three-dots menu used for in the address bar? That was a question that I heard more than once after I published the first mockup screenshot last week. Another mockup, this time on Bugzilla, answers that question. The menu is divided into four sections in the mockup. The first lists copy URL and email link options; these are self-explanatory and don't need further explanation. The second group lists options to save the page to Pocket (Mozilla acquired Pocket some time ago), to set a reminder, to send the page to another device, and to take a screenshot. It is unclear right now what "set a reminder" does. It resembles the Snooze Tab Test Pilot project which allows you to hide a tab for a time period. The third group shows a placeholder for extension entries, and the fourth the share functionality. All that is been revealed right now is what you see. Information on customization options, for instance removal of options not needed, are not available right now. Mozilla published several videos highlighting new animations that the organization plans to launch in Firefox 57 for opening closing the arrow panels, downloads, bookmarks, session restore, and awesome bar. (via Sören Hentzschel) Now You: What's your impression of Photon so far? Source
  3. VLC for Android - 2.1.3 Beta Overview: VLC media player is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as discs, devices, and network streaming protocols. This is the port of VLC media player to the Android™ platform. VLC for Android can play any video and audio files, as well as network streams and DVD ISOs, like the desktop version of VLC. VLC for Android is a full audio player, with a complete database, an equalizer and filters, playing all weird audio formats. Exisitng Features in 2.0.6 Stable: Plays all files, in all formats, like the classic VLC. Audio and video media library, with full search. Support for network streams, including HLS. Supports Android Version 2.2 (platform-8) or later. Supports ARMv6, ARMv7, ARMv8 / AArch64, MIPS and x86. Supports secondary display. Subtitles support, embedded and external, including ASS and DVD subtitles. Multi audio or subtitles tracks selection. Multi-core decoding. Supports full hardware decoding. Gestures, headphones control. Audio equalizer New Features in 2.1 Beta: Changelog: Downloads - VLC for Android 2.1.3 Beta: ARM v7: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv7.apk or ARM v7[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1./VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv7.apk ARM v7 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv7.apk.sha256 or ARM v7 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv7.apk.sha256 ARM v8: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv8.apk or ARM v8[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv8.apk ARM v8 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv8.apk.sha256 or ARM v8 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-ARMv8.apk.sha256 MIPS: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS.apk or MIPS[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS.apk MIPS SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS.apk.sha256 or MIPS SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS.apk.sha256 MIPS 64: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS64.apk or MIPS 64[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS64.apk MIPS 64 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS64.apk.sha256 or MIPS 64 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-MIPS64.apk.sha256 Android x86: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86.apk or Android x86[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86.apk Android x86 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86.apk.sha256 or Android x86 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86.apk.sha256 Android x64: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86_64.apk or Android x64[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86_64.apk Android x64 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86_64.apk.sha256 or Android x64 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3-x86_64.apk.sha256 Other: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3.tar.gz or Other[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3.tar.gz Other SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3.tar.gz.sha256 or Other SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.3/VLC-Android-2.1.3.tar.gz.sha256 Older Stable Versions APK available here or here[Mirrors]. Older BETA Version 1.9.0 & later APK available here or here[Mirrors].
  4. Here Is The First Mockup Screenshot Of Firefox 57’s New Design Mozilla plans to launch a new Firefox theme in version 57 of the web browser. Here is the first mockup screenshot of the theme! Mozilla plans to make Firefox 57 a milestone release by introducing major changes to the web browser when the version is released. We talked about those in the past already; most notable probably is the focus on WebExtensions in Firefox 57. Classic add-ons will stop working at that time, as they are no longer supported in the stable version of the web browser. If things turn out well, Firefox 57 will also be the version of Firefox that ships with a first version of Quantum. Mozilla calls Quantum its next-generation web engine. It is all about parallelism and modern hardware, and it includes components adopted from the Servo project. What it means for users is that Firefox will get a speed boost when compared to the browser's current engine Gecko. Note: Firefox 57 is the release target for these changes. There is still a chance that things may be delayed along the way, so that they land in a later stable version of Firefox. Firefox 57: new Firefox theme Along with those major changes comes a design refresh that runs under the codename Photon currently. Veteran Firefox users may remember the last time Mozilla changed the theme for Firefox. The Australis theme for Firefox 29 was controversial for a number of reasons. Some users thought that it looked too much like Google Chrome, others disliked that customization features were removed when the theme launched that were part of Firefox for years. Users who did not like the design installed extensions like Classic Theme Restorer to restore most of the classic Firefox after the Australis launch. The new Firefox design that Mozilla plans to make the default in Firefox 57 has not been revealed officially yet. But, it was revealed unofficially in a a Firefox Screenshot mockup that revealed the functionality. Note: Mockup means that things may, and probably will, change before release. What you see is not the final product. Probably the biggest change in the new theme is related to tabs in the browser. Mozilla launched curved tabs in Australis, and plans to make tabs squared in Firefox 57. These tabs are full squares, whereas pre-Australis tabs used had rounded edges. The mockup shows no search bar, and the address bar is centered on the main toolbar. While this could mean that Mozilla will hide the search bar by default, it is too early to conclude that or anything else related to the design. Another change that is visible on the mockup is that back, forward and reload buttons are visible on the left side of the main toolbar. If you look at Firefox's current design, you will notice that the forward button is only displayed when it can be used (meaning when you can go forward in history), and that the reload button is attached to the right of the address field. Here is how Google Chrome's design looks currently. The tab design looks different, and the placement of the address bar as well if Mozilla plans to keep the address bar centered in the interface of the browser. The button placement on the left of the main toolbar is identical, with the exception of the home button that the mockup of the new Firefox 57 design shows as the home button is missing in Chrome. Questions Things will get clearer in the next couple of months. Right now, questions may come up that cannot be answered right now: What is the status of the search bar? Will it be visible by default, hidden for new users? What modifications are supported by default? Can icons still be moved around? Classic Theme Restorer is dead. Will there be something similarly available to modify the interface beyond what Mozilla makes available? E.g. tabs on bottom and not top. How capable is the theme API when Firefox 57 is released? Now You: What are your wishes for a new theme in Firefox? (via Sören Hentzschel) Source
  5. VLC for Android - 2.1.2 Beta Overview: VLC media player is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as discs, devices, and network streaming protocols. This is the port of VLC media player to the Android™ platform. VLC for Android can play any video and audio files, as well as network streams and DVD ISOs, like the desktop version of VLC. VLC for Android is a full audio player, with a complete database, an equalizer and filters, playing all weird audio formats. Exisitng Features in 2.0.6 Stable: Plays all files, in all formats, like the classic VLC. Audio and video media library, with full search. Support for network streams, including HLS. Supports Android Version 2.2 (platform-8) or later. Supports ARMv6, ARMv7, ARMv8 / AArch64, MIPS and x86. Supports secondary display. Subtitles support, embedded and external, including ASS and DVD subtitles. Multi audio or subtitles tracks selection. Multi-core decoding. Supports full hardware decoding. Gestures, headphones control. Audio equalizer New Features in 2.1 Beta: Changelog: Downloads - VLC for Android 2.1.2 Beta: ARM v7: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv7.apk or ARM v7[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv7.apk ARM v7 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv7.apk.sha256 or ARM v7 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv7.apk.sha256 ARM v8: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv8.apk or ARM v8[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv8.apk ARM v8 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv8.apk.sha256 or ARM v8 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-ARMv8.apk.sha256 MIPS: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS.apk or MIPS[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS.apk MIPS SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS.apk.sha256 or MIPS SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS.apk.sha256 MIPS 64: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS64.apk or MIPS 64[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS64.apk MIPS 64 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS64.apk.sha256 or MIPS 64 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-MIPS64.apk.sha256 Android x86: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86.apk or Android x86[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86.apk Android x86 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86.apk.sha256 or Android x86 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86.apk.sha256 Android x64: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86_64.apk or Android x64[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86_64.apk Android x64 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86_64.apk.sha256 or Android x64 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2-x86_64.apk.sha256 Other: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2.tar.gz or Other[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2.tar.gz Other SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2.tar.gz.sha256 or Other SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.2/VLC-Android-2.1.2.tar.gz.sha256 Older Stable Versions APK available here or here[Mirrors]. Older BETA Version 1.9.0 & later APK available here or here[Mirrors].
  6. VLC for Android - 2.1.1 Beta Overview: VLC media player is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as discs, devices, and network streaming protocols. This is the port of VLC media player to the Android™ platform. VLC for Android can play any video and audio files, as well as network streams and DVD ISOs, like the desktop version of VLC. VLC for Android is a full audio player, with a complete database, an equalizer and filters, playing all weird audio formats. Exisitng Features in 2.0.6 Stable: Plays all files, in all formats, like the classic VLC. Audio and video media library, with full search. Support for network streams, including HLS. Supports Android Version 2.2 (platform-8) or later. Supports ARMv6, ARMv7, ARMv8 / AArch64, MIPS and x86. Supports secondary display. Subtitles support, embedded and external, including ASS and DVD subtitles. Multi audio or subtitles tracks selection. Multi-core decoding. Supports full hardware decoding. Gestures, headphones control. Audio equalizer New Features in 2.1 Beta: Changelog: Downloads - VLC for Android 2.1.1 Beta: ARM v7: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv7.apk or ARM v7[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv7.apk ARM v7 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv7.apk.sha256 or ARM v7 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv7.apk.sha256 ARM v8: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv8.apk or ARM v8[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv8.apk ARM v8 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv8.apk.sha256 or ARM v8 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-ARMv8.apk.sha256 MIPS: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS.apk or MIPS[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS.apk MIPS SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS.apk.sha256 or MIPS SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS.apk.sha256 MIPS 64: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS64.apk or MIPS 64[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS64.apk MIPS 64 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS64.apk.sha256 or MIPS 64 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-MIPS64.apk.sha256 Android x86: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86.apk or Android x86[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86.apk Android x86 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86.apk.sha256 or Android x86 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86.apk.sha256 Android x64: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86_64.apk or Android x64[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86_64.apk Android x64 SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86_64.apk.sha256 or Android x64 SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1-x86_64.apk.sha256 Other: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1.tar.gz or Other[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1.tar.gz Other SHA-256: https://downloads.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1.tar.gz.sha256 or Other SHA-256[Mirrors]: https://get.videolan.org/testing/android/2.1.1/VLC-Android-2.1.1.tar.gz.sha256 Older Stable Versions APK available here or here[Mirrors]. Older BETA Version 1.9.0 & later APK available here or here[Mirrors].
  7. Announcing VLC 2.1 Beta Release! Not so much activity on Play Store since v2.0.6 release. I’ve been quite busy but VLC keeps going on with very interesting evolutions! This post will only deal with features, not their implementation. I will later publish other posts, more interesting for developers, about it. Incoming features UX evolutions Presentation New Audio Player Style Dynamic UI Scrolling Updating content TV design 360° Videos support Search Android Auto Action mode Miscellaneous new features Under the hood MediaLibrary Playback performance & formats support Future 2.1.x version name will be used for beta only, we’ll decide later which version the stable release will be. To get it you need to join the beta program, and you’ll receive it like a normal update. For now, let me introduce you to the new VLC for Android. UX evolutions Presentation Video cards have been refactored, we now show you video informations over its cover picture. This is a nicer presentation and gives room for displaying more videos at once. Others lists view have been reworked too, like audio media, browsers and history. We got rid of cardview pattern, and got back to a more flat and clean design. Audio lists have been a bit lifted too but this change is lighter. Info page has also been redesigned with a fancy collapse effect for thumbnail or cover. New Audio Player Style Audio player background is now a blurred version of current art cover if available. Dynamic UI Scrolling The action bar will now hide when your scroll your media lists, to save the more useful space possible while you’re looking for your media. Album view has been revamped to become more #Material and now serves for playlists too Updating content Thanks to the DiffUtil tool from Appcompat library, grids/lists updates are now animated and more efficient. One disturbing side effect is when you refresh and there’s no change in your media library. You won’t see any update, not even any flickering. But the cool thing is whith actual content update, like during media scan or filtering the current view with the new search UX, insertions/deletions and position changes are animated: TV design TV interface had its own lifting too, nothing really impressive here. Colors are less depressive and we make long media titles scroll, I heard your (justified) frustration The interesting new feature on TV is the Picture-In-Picture (aka PIP) mode, available for all Android TVs powered by Android 7+. It’s really like our popup mode in classic phone/tablet interface (so we used the very same icon in video advanced options for PIP). You can still watch your video while using another application. 360° Videos support VLC now supports 360° videos, you can change viewpoint by swiping or with remote control arrows. Cardboard/VR mode is not available yet but we are working on it. Search Search has been splitted in two modes: First step, the text you type in triggers a filtering in the current view. Exaclty like in current playlist view. Then, if you want to do a global search, click on the SEARCH IN ALL MEDIALIBRARY button to show the new search activity. Which will bring detailed results grouped by video/artist/album/songs/genres/playlist Bonus: VLC will now be compatible with voice search. Asking Google Now “Search game in VLC” will trigger a game search and show you this new search result screen. Android Auto This release will bring Android Auto compatibility. You’ll be able to use VLC as your travel music player with easy browsing into you audio library, with the minimum possible distraction from driving. Action mode You can now select multiple items by long press on them (classic context menu is still available with the three dots icon) and enjoy actions like play it all or add selection to playlist Actions available depend on media type and selection count. This is very handy for starting or creating a playlist. Miscellaneous new features DayNight mode integration Restored double/long click on remote play to skip songs Removed sound lowering on notification Force previous song on audioplayer swipe Fix audioplayer layout for black theme and RTL Save subtitles delay and optionally audio delay for each file. Support for LG devices with 18:9 aspect ratio Under the hood MediaLibrary That’s the most important change in this update, because it affects the whole application, but you should barely notice it… VLC now uses medialibrary like VLC for Tizen, others VLC ports will follow. It’s a C++ library, written by Hugo Beauzée-Luyssen, which parses storages for video/audio files and manages a sqlite database to model your media library (with album, artist, genre classification, etc..). It replaces the old system we had on Android which just saved media files with their metadata, we had no proper structure for media library. So these categories listing are now faster, we don’t have to generate categories at runtime. And this is all native code, which is faster than Java. Beside this speed improvement, one of the main benefits of this medialibrary is to provide better search results For now we are focusing on the first scan performance to make it at least as fast as the previous system. So, this library is aimed to be a common module of all VLC ports, wich means all debugging, performance and any improvement will benefit other platforms. Next steps for this library will be media scrapping, and network scan: Medialibrary will get informations and illustrations for your media, so we’ll be able to present you a nice collection, and not files list anymore. We will also group media by shows/seasons et genre/release year/whatever You will be able to scan your NAS content to access your media easily. Playback performance & formats support VLC core team worked hard too to bring performance improvements and some new features. Here are some highlights: 360° videos support Adaptive (HLS/Dash) & TS playback improved OpenGLES 2.0 is now used to render video (for software decoders & mediacodec) Support for VP8/9/10 in MP4 e-AC3 HDMI passthrough Future We also plan to implement a feature to download media on your device, in order to sync your series episodes or songs from your NAS to your device. We’d like to support videos playlists like we do with videos grouped by their common name prefix. As previously stated, medialibrary will allow to make VLC a real media center with fancy movies/tv shows presentation, and better artists/albums illustrations. At last, I started an extension API in order for everyone to develop android applications which will provide content to VLC. For example, we will release (with sources of course) extensions bringing support of podcasts subscriptions and Google Drive access. Source Videolan News - VLC for Android 2.1 beta Direct Download 2.1.0 without Beta Program - APKMirror Later Beta versions of v2.1 posted in individual threads.
  8. Turk

    In Praise Of Metro

    By Frederic Lardinois Posted 7 hours ago It looks like Microsoft has finally realized that Metro (or the Modern UI or whatever else they call it these days) wasn’t right for the desktop. If the rumors are true, it’ll continue to de-emphasize Metro with the first major Windows 8.1 update later this year. No doubt, that’s exactly the right thing to do. Metro is actually a great user interface – just not on the desktop. So let’s look at the positive side: On a tablet, Metro is actually really, really good. On a tablet like the Surface, it’s a more productive interface than iOS or Android. In large parts, that’s because you can have more than one app on the screen, something Microsoft often emphasized in its ads, but something you only really come to appreciate when you switch back from a Windows tablet to an iPad. It suffers from the lack of must-have apps and Microsoft never quite figured out how to get decent apps on the platform. Even today – with the exception of games – the best Metro apps are actually from Microsoft itself. Bing News is a very nice newsreader, for example. Microsoft’s finance app, too, is very good, and so are SkyDrive/OneDrive, Xbox Music, Bing Weather and Bing Maps (and especially the latest preview version). Live tiles are a great idea. Even Internet Explorer in Metro turns out to be a fast, touch-first browser. Those apps, however, show the potential of a platform that is radically different from its competitors (which may just explain its failure). Microsoft was willing to take a gamble and created a modern, highly usable user interface that can sometimes make the competition look like it’s a few years behind the design curve. Metro uses some touch gestures that aren’t always intuitive. Who would think to slide in from the left and slide right back to open your recently used apps? Slide in from the right to bring up your “charms” and settings? Once you get used to its quirks, though, it all just works. Yet if failed and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of business school papers written about Windows 8 in the future. Instapaper founder Marco Arment argues Windows 8 – and Metro specifically – failed because “Microsoft isn’t Apple, and Microsoft’s customers aren’t Apple’s customers.” In his view, Microsoft’s customers weren’t ready for this radical change and the company forgot who its customers are. There’s some truth to that, but my feeling is that Microsoft’s main mistake was simply to force the old desktop and the new tile-based interface into a single operating system. Just like Apple, Microsoft understood that a touch interface has to be different from a regular desktop interface. But instead of just building a Windows for tablets (preferably with a name that didn’t include “Windows” at all to avoid confusion) and a better Windows 7, it just had to cram it all into one. In a way, Windows RT was supposed to be that Windows for tablets, but even that had a built-in desktop so people could run Office. But RT just confused people. If Microsoft had just allowed itself to let go of its Office fetish, it may have had a better chance at making RT a success. Metro is great, but Microsoft was clearly wrong when it thought people would quickly adopt touch on the desktop and on their laptops. Maybe that’ll still happen, but for now, it’s doing the right thing for its users by hiding as much of the Metro interface as possible. http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/02/in-praise-of-metro
  9. Are you tired of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI? Then you’ll probably be happy to find out that the South Korean company is reportedly “exploring” the possibilities of launching a new smartphone UI. Trusty insider @evleaks has posted three screenshots of the alleged new UI, allowing us to see that it looks quite different from Samsung’s current TouchWiz Nature offering. Unfortunately, details on this new smartphone UI from Samsung are missing. But we can spot a Magazine icon, which leads us to believe that the new UI is related to the new Magazine UX that debuted yesterday on Samsung's 12.2-inch Galaxy NotePRO. Overall, the UI looks simple and elegant. Sure enough, there's no way of telling if this will ever make it to a commercial smartphone. But we're thinking that the rumored Galaxy S5 - expected to be officially announced in the next few months - can have a fresh look with a UI like this. Source
  10. smallhagrid

    They're just BOXES, dammit !

    This posting is motivated by another I saw about the Firefox UI soon changing radically. I am sure to wander in a few different directions in my tirade here - but at it's heart that is what it is about. Seriously. I am really not kidding here. I know this may be hard to follow=> my apologies for that. OK, here I go now: My monitor is a box-shaped thing; TVs are also box-shaped; where I live the walls are box-shaped too. So - this square screen that I'm using right now is not very big, and from what I can tell squarish things fit best on a square screen, usually, right ?? (With me so far here ?!?) So here's another thing=> we have bodies that are usually NOT square (at least most of us ??), and most of nature also avoids squareness too...so we tend to REALLY LIKE rounded stuff - OK, I get that, no trouble here, it makes perfect sense. BUT: Until the day when my screen is either like 6 x 9 FEET square and is a thing that is like part of the wall, OR until it is big like that and also round=> I expect for stuff inside programs to be kind of SQUARISH and that's OK with me. It's just plain sensible & normal, I think. SO WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH FOLKS MAKING ALL THIS KRAPPY LOBOTOMIZED ROUNDED STUFF IN PROGRAMS LATELY ?!? BIG, rounded folder tabs, 'pearls' instead of menus, 'ribbons', and all sorts of other visual (non-verbal) stuff that just numbs the brain. OK, so I'm an old fart who really does PREFER the plain, boring, un-stimulating classic windows style. (It's squarish and that's as it should be.) So what will I do with the latest Firefox V 258.3456789 ?!? I will give it the 3 for 4 theme when that is possible - to make it plain and squarish, and install add-ons that add functionality while keeping it as boring as possible to look at. It's like this IMO: I don't want my browser to compete for my attention - it's just a thing used for showing other stuff. And=> It's the same IMO regarding the OS that I use; I want it to shaddup and leave me alone - to just put what I need on the screen and otherwise stay the hell out of my face and out of my way, OK ?!?!? All this fancy, cutesy, cartoony, brainless stuff just makes me want to puke. And finally - yes - I'll keep my ancient, plain browser until such time as it ceases to work at all anymore. Sure, I've got Firefox 20-whatever, but do I use it everyday ?? Hell no.
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