Android Central Preview

We're sprucing up the joint, and we're starting at the top with a new header

Hi. How's it going? We're Android Central. And we're still Android Central. We just look a little, well, different today. Not grossly so — just a new 'do up top is all. If you're reading this article in a web browser on your desktop, tablet or phone, look up — OK, it's kind of hard to miss — and you'll notice we've just rolled out a new site header.

We're pretty excited for this change as it marks the first of many upgrades we'll be pushing out over the weeks and months ahead. Some you'll get to see. Others will be just for us on the back end. And instead of launching one massive update, we're going to phase in the new features and design elements one or six at a time, the better for us all to ease into the new design while getting your valuable feedback along the way — and we definitely want your feedback.

So, what's new? You can't have new stuff without a changelog, right?

What's in this release?

  • A header that works on all devices and screen resolutions.
  • A new way for us to promote even more important stories while continuing to ramp up the daily news and how-to pieces.
  • (Pro tip, especially if you have a touchscreen device: Swipe through the featured stories!)
  • We've got a new streamlined menu system, with all site options moved under the "hamburger" icon on the far right.
  • Lloyd has been made 5 percent cooler. (Yes, it was possible.)

So what's next?

This new header is just the start, of course. Here's a taste of what we're still working on:

  • A new homepage layout (with traditional blog view still available to those who prefer it).
  • Customizable Chrome and app push notifications.
  • New article page designs with custom layouts for different types of content.
  • Much improved search (and, yes, search in our app).
  • A Q&A section.
  • An Editors' Choice app gallery.
  • Improved commenting on all posts, including upvoting and support for images.
  • Redesigned device pages, to bring you all the important information you need on all the hottest devices.

And whatever else we come up with ...

Our continuing mission is to make Android Central better for you, so please dive in and test it on all your devices and let us know what you find in the comments below. If you come across any bugs or have any feedback to share, be sure to post it in the comments! This is just the beginning. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

 

Reader comments

Allow ourselves to introduce ... ourselves

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Looks good so far! I made these comments on G+ also:

1. When using the full site on a mobile device (which I prefer over the mobile site), the top bar scales oddly when zooming in.

2. Thread titles are now HUUUUUUUGE.

Thank you for that link. I'm not a dev or anything, but my son was just diagnosed with color blindness (I guess "color vision deficiency" is the correct term), and I've been looking for more info on the subject.

Got it, thanks. Much preferred the dropdown menu with new features and latest forum posts which meant you didn't have to visit the site if there was nothing of interest.

Posted via Android Central App

Wow, I never would have thought to click there. I was looking for the same thing. Figured someone would have asked about it in the comments.

They're staying one Android version behind. So once Android 6.0 Lemon Meringue is released and the default Android color is switched to purple, Android Central will take up the Kit Kat white color.

Now I like what I'm seeing so far. Personally, I love blue but if it were more like a royal blue and not like a cyan color, I think it would like better. I also love the green at the very top and the Lloyd character is just the right size on my computer. When I'm on my tablet or my cell phone, I use the Android Central app not the mobile site on the browser on the device. I'll have to check it out more tonight when I get off of work to see how the app looks on my mobile devices.

Shucks, I was hoping you could lose the monster header altogether.
But it still fills my entire phone or tablet screen. And the first thing I do is scroll past it to get to content. Not quite as wasteful as the prior version, or The Verge, but still berries the lead.

Everything is huge, can't we shrink the fonts a little?

For the important stories at the top, I notice that the number of comments is gone. Any chance we could get that back?

I like this new design but please make Lloyd just a little bit smaller so he stays on the menu bar. I know he's cool and all but he doesn't let me read. Also remove the bottom bar since everything that's in there is also in the hamburger icon.

The top header and bottom bar take up too much space making my screen cramped. The massive carousel doesn't help either especially when there are ads on the page.
I know there might have been good intentions behind the redesign but I'd like the traditional blog view back, thank you very much...

Yeah, this looks awful. Takes up waaay too much space. On my HTC One, all I see before scrolling down is the absurdly massive lead stories header. The screen is cramped once I get past that with big headers and footers. On the desktop, all I see before scrolling down are the massive lead story header and part of the picture from the first story.

AC has always had too much going on near the top of its screen on mobile. The site renders massively on the Nexus 10 in landscape, with text too small on a phone in portrait.

Less is more, AC, less is more.

+1. Looks good but the header and footer are just too bulky. It really detracts a lot from the screen real estate and that's bad considering on the One M8 I have a 5 inch 1080p screen.

This. The garbage eating up my screen real estate is honestly enough to keep my from coming to the site. Browsing and reading on my mobile device is an awful experience with this new design.

Change is good, but, the problem I see across the Mobile Nations sites lately is when landing on the page the top portion is flooded with ads. I have to scroll to get to the first article/content. Its not simple/clean. The new header is nice, but very big and take up a lot of screen real estate. On my iPad when using the full site I have to scroll half a page to see an article. I know I can use the mobile version, but, I prefer the full site.

I love the Mobile Nations sites, just think the latest updates could be tweaked a bit to give a better user experience.

The Top Header looks good but i feel like it is a mobile version of the site. The one thing i not like is the menu system is on the right i would rather see it to the left.

I like the aesthetic of the new layout but the header and footer combined on my.moto x leave very little space for reading I can't event see this comment while typing out the first line....

Wow what the hell......second reaction was what site am I on.....then the coffee kicked in a bit...I like it. Was just kinda like when an app updates on its own and the UI changes.....it's new all over again...not a bad thing.

Nice layout but that shade of blue is weird and there's too much of it. The overlay on the main stories needs to go so there's more color from the actual images I think. Just my honest opinion though.

Posted via Android Central App

I like the new site, bit the header is just too large! Also, in the header, the G3 and One Plus One reviews are under "Applications". That's weird. On the mobile site, the hamburger menu should be on the left. Other than these, it is a pretty nice redesign.

Love it! It looks clean and fresh, but the only problem is have is the top header is quite irritating when reading articles, especially with that bright colour

Site doesn't work right on mobile. For example, I can't see what I'm typing because it's overlapped by the header. Also, it may look cool to have Lloyd invading the article .... But it's not cool. What UX genius made that decision? Have you guys heard of square space? Wow.

Hey guys! Everything looks beautiful! Well Done!!!

Please opt for disqus for your comment section though :( you can't upvote here what so ever....

Nice! :) Keep it up, guys! And thanks, now I'll get hungry every time I see the overflow menu button in Android apps ¬¬

I am glad Stylish exists. I clicked the tab and was wondering what site I had somehow opened without knowing it. Please do not ruin your site design like Android Authority did. I had three sites I could read for various Android content, now I am down to two, I really would rather not feel the need to go down to one.

Having finally opened the site on my phone, I guess I will not be checking in on mobile anymore. That persistent bar at the top is a no go for me. I must have its type already hidden on desktop.

I like the new scheme. But... YOWZA! The banner/carousel is HUGE! IMHO think the banner could be scaled down a bit. It takes up fully half the vertical space in the browser window, blocking a substantial amount of consumable content that users are typically greeted with.

As well, there could probably be some margin space added to the left and right sides of the banner. On a widescreen monitor, it looks a bit off when the main consumable content is centered with a substantial margin.

The font on the mobile site is too big to read. The previous version of the mobile site was much easier to read than this one.

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 5 or LG G2

Good Morning!!,
I sat down with my coffee as usual and low and behold the site looked diffrent.. so far I like it. I had to look up at first to make sure I was truly at Android cenral and I was lol... looking nice has a clean feel too it..
Have a good day.
Paul

First, I love your content. Your site is my first stop of the day everyday. But.....I'm a minimalist by nature and your site is as far from that as you can get (i.e., big banners, ads everywhere, embedded video that starts automatically, etc.).

As I said, I love the content that you deliver and in the end that's what is most important and why I continue to visit this page. I just wish all of the other stuff could be toned down.

Couldn't agree more. I would add that the site renders pretty poorly on a phone in portrait (text too small) and a tablet in landscape (text is massive). In this day and age, this seems like something that shouldn't be an issue... for a tech site.

I like the new page design for the most part, however do have one complaint. For the articles where you guys review multiple apps of would have different views it used to be on one page... now you have us clicking multiple pages. Please Bring that back.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't Phil make a blog post about this back a year or two ago about how he hated multiple click news articles? I remember one of my daily blog sites did and I thought it was Phil as it gave me one more reason to frequent AC over other andriod blogs.

Even with a large monitor, I think the header is too big and should disappear once you scroll a few lines down the page, and re-appear when you try to scroll back up (a la mobile browser address bars).

With featured posts that you can say scroll, you should put arrows at each end (a la Netflix or your embedded picture galleries). I would've never gone to click and drag up there if you didn't say anything in this article.

I forget what they're called (HTML anchors?), but when we click on an article it should take us to the start of the text, otherwise with the header, featured articles, huge title and huge picture, it takes an unnecessary amount of scrolling to get to the text of the article we wanted to read. Currently, it seems that only some articles have the featured articles bar above them, while others don't have it on the page at all (I'm assuming in error/transition phase).

When you're in an article, right under the featured articles bar, there are links for "Home" and "<type of article, e.g. Editorial>." The type of article seems misleading when it brings a dropdown of popular articles and a search bar since they don't have anything to do with that type of article. Maybe replace that with similar or recent articles of that same category, and add a separate dropdown for popular articles. Search in the dropdown seems a little redundant, as it's now always in the top right on the new header.

I haven't had a problem with the new review article format, but if you guys change up the homepage layout, try to use a cookie or a URL that denotes blog layout for those of us that prefer blog format, so we won't have to change to blog format every visit.

I agree with others that colors could use a little tweaking. The blue is kinda weird.

Very Good....
nice first impression!
Wow... Note: I just wanted to say "Very Good.... " and you don let me post just that? with a... Please submit a more constructive comment :) .. That´s not good.. Sometimes you just want to say "less constructive comments" but I hope it´s works for you anyway...

I believe they are looking for actual feedback, good or bad!
And I realize I am feeding the troll here but........;-P

Now there we go overusing, and improperly using, the word troll.

Troll: To make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

My response was a rather common one to the constant whining over site redesigns. People, by nature, hate change to a degree.

MY comment was not meant to cause and angry nor provocative response.

But go ahead, be that guy who gets all touchy about crap for no good reason at all. Everybody absolutely LOVES that guy.

So far, yes I have. Only however, because I have Stylish installed hiding everything I hate about the layout, which is a lot of types. In the future... I may just have to leave the site altogether, and that would be a shame as I like the writing over here.

I like the new color scheme and I'm eager to see it roll out to more of the site. There's far less "stuff" to look at and more direction. I like that. Watch out for the "Got Milk" ad though as it covered part of the header and menu system.

The only thing I don't like is that I can't quickly take a look at what is happening on other MN sites anymore. I really enjoyed being able to hop in to different news articles from anywhere in the network.

you can move the article to the left to expose dead space.
Update, maybe that space is where ads would be on web page? 2nd That about not seeing what you are typing. Also header doesn't disappear on chrome.

Like others have said the header is too big and I really don't see the point of the bottom bar. Why couldnt those four things been put into a menu at the top? Even on my Note 3 the screen seems really cramped now.

On mobile using chrome beta the new layout keeps the URL bar from autohiding and eats a considerable amount of screen space

I am really liking the changes. Keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing gore improvements as they are rolled out.

The header is completely obnoxious!!! I don't want that BS taking up the top 1/5 of my screen!! This site gets more and more useless bullshit every time I come here. It's really just sad how much you guys feel the need to compensate for your shortcomings compared to other sites.

BTW, your terrible banner is buggy. Because it's static at the top of th page it won't allow chrome mobile to collapse my browser's address bar or tabs. So it's useless and it is full of bugs...nice addition, jackasses!

The more they change it, the more you hate it. So we can only hope that they keep changing it and you keep hating it and leave. Because clearly that is what we all want. I want lightyear420 to leave, lightyear420 wants to leave, and everyone else wants lightyear420 to leave. So we can hope, we can dream, that one day, the time will come and lightyear420 will quit his whining and bitching and just leave.

The only thing I don't like about the redesign is that the page width is a fixed 1000px including the sidebar. The actual content is only 680px. I use a 2560x1440 screen, and having 2/3 of your page as blank white nothingness looks really odd. Not sure if I'll be able to post a screenshot but I'll give it a try http://i.imgur.com/GOJE7r3.png

Just wanted to say that the new changes have made the site almost unusable on even a large phone like the S5. The top header takes up too much space and when combined with the fact that there is now know way to switch to desktop mode, it takes forever to scroll through and see the different stories.

I like most of the changes except the following (using Firefox on my laptop):

1. The header is always there taking up space (even in the forums, ugh!). It should disappear until I need it; such as by mousing over the area to get it to re-appear. Edit: this is even worse on my Note 2 where I prefer to use the full site (never cared for the mobile site). This is completely unacceptable and makes me not want to visit here using a mobile device!
2. It now takes two clicks to get to the login screen. Previously it was just one.
3. Too much blue and an odd shade of it. Feel like I'm swimming in water.
4. Featured stories area at the top is too big and the blue tint makes it look washed out

On that note: I'm looking forward to the traditional blog view option for the homepage. :)

Update, more feedback;

On my Note 2 using the stock browser I can't log into the forums using the full site. I have to either come to the blog side or attempt to respond to a post to get the login screen. Otherwise the login option on the new header is off the screen in landscape or portrait. Actually the entire header doesn't display properly. It has little blue squares all along it.

Also in replying here in landscape the comment box disappears under the header. Have to use portrait to even see it.

Finally the site, forum or blog, feels heavier and takes longer to load even on fast Verizon LTE. All around this update is nothing but a PITA to me. :(

Another update; while browsing the forums (again stock browser on the Note 2) in full site mode, the new header will drop some of its elements (ex. my avatar, search option, hamburger menu) down into the page itself below the header. I have to refresh the page to get it to clear. But it will happen again when changing between landscape and portrait or vice versa. Argh, please make it stop!! I hate that new header now with a passion. It's completely ruining my use and enjoyment of this site! :(

Ok, can't take it anymore. A good site now ruined. I'm done until these issues are fixed. :(

Edit; ugh, the log out option doesn't even work.

Just wanted to add my opinion. First, props to those devs that worked on this, as designing webpages is challenging I'm sure. However this redesign seems a little too over-the-top for a pc browser. The homepage is overwhelming with the large featured content banner. But I think it's the menu bar that is very redundant and consumes way too much space. For a mobile page it absolutely makes sense, but on a computer it is so very simple to scroll back to the top (both on trackpad and page up/down). It's not necessary and takes up a lot of webpage space. I happened to go to Windows Central and was glad that it is still the same UI; much more friendly and practical. I don't see a purpose for the floating bar. I'm on a 15" macbook pro with my dock set to the left-hand side yet the page's content has been greatly limited; I can't imagine how it shows up on a 13" laptop. Again this is simply my feedback and I hope I won't get flamed for it.

Not bad looking. But my first response was that I had accidentally dragged all over the header. That blue is close to the blue I get when I am marking something by dragging.

No sir! I do not like it! Waaaay to busy at the top of the page now. Article titles are too large. I feel like I have my browser in geriatric mode zoomed way in.

It is difficult to see the pictures in the new header because they are greyed out! Or blued out :-)
Either way the new header is not as clear to me and more difficult to read!
That's just my feedback, not hating ;-P

I appreciate you trying to make things better for the average user, but oh man is that light blue shade covering the pictures at the top of the home page so so so so so ugly. Honestly just take the blue off and it will already be way better.

When I first opened the page it looked like I had accidentally selected all of those pictures (like clicked and dragged over them). When I found that it had that shade of blue on purpose... I was aesthetically really unhappy.

I've never been more sad about feedly being down. Please get rid of the blue!

" I was aesthetically really unhappy."

Don't feel THAT bad, it is really on a tech blog........you will get over it. I have faith in you.

Ha!! You guys were so excited to roll out a new theme and you thought we'd all love it and you got nothing but an inbox full of hate mail. It's about time people realize this site is nothing but smoke and mirrors!!

The header cripples the address bar in chrome from moving. So together, it takes up 25% of my GS5 display. Also, the article titles are gigantic. Not cute. If not for the app, the site would be unusablle. Terrible design. Maybe you should use Square Space, you know...that company that sponsors your podcast.

Posted via Android Central App

Personally, I like the new design, but I do agree that you could probably stand to shrink the header bar just a bit. You could probably even get away with leaving Lloyd the same size he is now, and shrink the bar by 8 pixels or so. I definitely don't need my ugly mug staring back at me 60 pixels high ;)

Two things:
1) The header takes op to much of the screen, don't let it stick on the top constantly
2) Make the carrousel on the home screen scrollable with the mouse, for example on a macbook it's a great experience to be able to scroll horizontally through a list.

What the #3LL is wrong with you Phil?!?!?! I exactly calculated Lloyds additional coolness and it's only 4.37832%. ARE YOU LYING TO US NOW!!!!!!!??!!! And what's up with the WORDS on the page; they keep changing!!!! New ones replace the old ones CONSTANTLY!!!!!!!1111!!!!1 If you can't even code stable words they you shouldn't be in the internet business!!!!~!!!!!! I'm never coming back to androidcentral again!!!!!!@#@!!#@one!!!!eleven!!!!!!!!ashlkaj!#$#%$@$#%T

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

^ sarcasm (before anyone gets confused). The internet is a scary place.

Anyway, real feedback: I really like the updates. I've veiwed both the full desktop and the mobile site on both my computer and phone, and I don't see what the complaining is about. Looks great to me. Keep up the good work.

I'm browsing full screen, and the page header adjusts itself to the full width of the screen, which is fine, but the content underneath doesn't. The content has wide margins. That's something to rethink.

But what I really want to gripe about is the way you are now placing photos in an article. It used to be that each new article started with a headline, followed by any picture and content. But now you place the picture first - if there is one. So as I'm scrolling down through an article I see a picture, and I can't immediately tell whether that picture belongs to the article I'm reading or the *next* article, unless I scroll down further to see the headline. That was dumb. Please put the headline first like it used to be.

The filter over the top items is a bit strong. The Blue tint could be backed off a bit. It grabs my attention in kind of a negative way and makes the items tougher to see. I love the look but it is just strong

In general, looks nice. But on my laptop, the leading images are so tall and the headlines are so huge that it's easy to get lost on the page when scrolling. For many stories I cannot view both the entire image and headline at once because together they are are so tall on my 1366x768 screen. I feel like I'm peering through two Venetian blind slats scrolling up and down to figure out which image or headline goes with which story.

Thanks everyone for your feedback! We read everything and really appreciate your effort to help.

We especially appreciate as much detail about your issue as possible:

  • Browser/Platform/Device
  • URL
  • a link to a screenshot would be superamazing too

We're working on a bunch of little bugs and enabling the navbar to hide when you scroll down on mobile and desktop. We will also be slightly reducing the height of the feature story block.

So, how does one get rid of that new top bar? Also, the "drop downs" stick, as in I moused over Forums, to try to sign in to post this, and had to figure that it said "Login" as it wouldn't go away when I moused away from it.

The new header is nice and all, but it's not very mobile friendly for people who browse the desktop site on their large phone or tablet... As soon as you zoom in a little, all the elements in the top navi bar end up on top of each other, which isn't too bad, but zoom in some more and your profile icon ends up bouncing out of it and actually growing. This happens particularly when posting comments, bit of an eyesore and functionality weak. I imagine the answer will be "use the mobile site" but oh well, I just hate it when a desktop formatted page that used to work alright on mobile suddenly doesn't. Nexus 5, latest version of Chrome and Android

The Search,Log in and that Hamburger thing do not work for me in Chrome! I even re-installed Chrome but did not help.
When I click on them nothing happens.Anybody else?

I posted this in General but I'll repeat it here. I'm seeing the same problem with this new format that I have seen since Connectedly switched their format. Whenever I click on the little down arrow to go to the new posts in a thread, the top line or two is covered up by the blue header bar at the top. I have to scroll up to see the beginning of the new post.

Hope you and Connectedly can find and fix the problem. I don't have this problem with any other forums that I am a member of. If it matters, I am using the Chrome browser on a Windows 7 PC.

For some reason my keyboard isn't working right,not showing predictive text, no auto cap., also no auto spacing.
Things are jumping all over when trying to zoom in i find this almost unusable, very, very buggy. :(

No problems like this on any other forum, please fix!

Please, Please, Please, STOP USING the SLIDE SHOW version for some of your reviews. Takes forever (I have 3 MBit DSL) to get through some of the articles.

I like the change, especially when viewing on mobile. I always used to have to scroll side to side, because it used to scale to awfully. I don't seem to have that problem anymore.

Just saw the new mobile site. I assume that is what this post is about. Please get rid of the persistent header for mobile! Not everyone is viewing your mobile site on a phablet. On my nexus 5 the header is HUGE and I can barely see any of your awesome content!

Posted via Android Central App

New interface blows. It takes a month and a day to load a page. The header takes up all viewable space when typing in landscape orientation. So I can't now see what I'm writing. The url bar never disappears now.

Who ever thought this up has the intelligence of something somewhere between a simian and hog shit.

I CAN'T STAND THIS DAMN HEADER THING THAT NEVER SCROLLS OFF THE SCREEN.

It is wasting 3/4" of valuable vertical screen space for NO GOOD REASON, 100% of the time and on EVERY page. I know what site I am on, and if I wanted those links, I can scroll to the top of the page.

It is one of the most ANNOYING THINGS EVER ADDED TO THE AC SITES. I have no idea how ANYONE could POSSIBLE like that thing or think it is actually useful. Please give us a way to turn it off.

Wow- it *is* fixed already... that was fast. Now it will hide when you scroll down. Would be better if it suppressed appearing again until a few inches of scroll back instead of a few pixels, and/or if it would hide again after a few seconds, but it is already a HUGE improvement on being present all the time.

T H A N K Y O U ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Oh, and the colorful header at the top-top of the page (that always scrolls away and stays at the top, with all the squares) that is pretty nice looking.

It is a lovely lovely change. I like the way you are bringing the changes. Better things every time. For mobile I believe the header should be a tad small.
Posted via Android Central App

Issue:
If I right click on one of those headers and tell it to open in a new tab, it grabs the scroll window and doesn't let go. I have to position the mouse after that below and click outside the screen. This is a slight issue for me as this is how I like to read my articles in the separate tab windows. Otherwise looks great.
Done from a MacBook Pro Retina 13 on the Chrome browser.

Please look into how the website displays on the mobile version of Feedly. It pretty much unreadable now due to how columns are displayed improperly. I like the new version for the desktop browser (chrome).

What the..?! Green!! Where's my GREEN?! Where's my PreCentral link?! How come no link to webOS Nation?! Blue is NOT the new orange!