Google introduces 'material design' to iOS in app update, Apple fixes TestFlight app bugs

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An update to Google's flagship search app for iOS on Thursday brings the company's new "material design" user interface and Google Maps integration, while a new version of Apple's TestFlight beta testing app fixes minor bugs.

In Google's quest to create a pocket of Android in Apple's iOS, the Internet search giant released a new Google app version with fresh features, a revamped look tailored to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screens and Maps integration.

The most striking change in today's Google update is the inclusion of so-called material design, which uses bold colors, clean lines and animations to create a unique UI that feels a lot different than Apple's aesthetic. In essence, the design scheme is a taste of Android 5.0 Lollipop, brought over to iOS.

Google for iOS also packs in a few new features like a "Google" button that lets users conduct a new search from anywhere in the app. A version of this tool was first seen in Google's mobile email app Inbox, where pressing a similar round button bearing a plus sign reveals new messaging options. In addition, a Recents button gives quick access to user browsing history, while voice search and Google Now features carry over from prior updates.

Finally, users can now click on maps links to open a stripped-down version of Google Maps in-app instead of switching over to the standalone Google Maps for iOS. Displayed maps are interactive and incorporate Street View (for iPhone), though navigation assets are missing.

Google for iOS is a free 59.8MB download from the iOS App Store.

Apple on Monday released a small update to its TestFlight software beta testing tool with minor bug fixes and performance improvements.

The company debuted its version of TestFlight in September after purchasing the app's developer Burstly earlier this year. The app and corresponding platform allow developers to create and manage public beta programs without going through iOS provisioning processes.

TestFlight version 1.0.2 comes in at 2.8MB and can be downloaded for free from the iOS App Store.