Here Come the Material You Apps

With Android 12 releasing soon, Google has begun refreshing its in-house apps to take on the new Material You design system. Here’s a quick peek at some of the coming app refreshes.

“Beginning today, we’re rolling out Material You: a new design system for Google Workspace apps on Android devices,” a new post to the Google Workspace Updates blog reads. “Material You features an updated, fresh look and feel for your apps, along with additional options for personalization.”

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With Material You, Google core apps are getting updated navigation bars, improved floating action buttons, and a new font, Google Sans, that the firm says provides better readability in smaller font sizes. I’ve been using Android 12 since the first pre-release build, and with the most recent betas, it’s been nice seeing how Material You really impacts the whole system. This is clearly one of the best changes in Android 12.

My favorite visual change is that users can optionally choose to match the colors seen in the system and supported apps to automatically match their wallpaper. This feature, called dynamic color, provides a more personal look to the entire system, but it’s only truly effective when the apps you use every day support this feature. So it’s nice to see Google evolving its own apps first: To date, the only major apps in Android that support Material You’s wallpaper-based dynamic color feature are Calculator, Phone (though without dynamic color), and Settings.

But that’s about to change. Over the next several days, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Meet, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and other core Google apps will all be updated to fully support Material You—meaning with or without the dynamic color option—on Pixel handsets and other smartphones running Android.

Here are some Google-supplied images that detail how this will look.


Google Calendar

Google Slides, Docs, and Sheets

Google Drive

Google Meet

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Conversation 15 comments

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    10 September, 2021 - 9:32 am

    <p>Blink and you’ll miss the changes…</p>

  • navarac

    10 September, 2021 - 9:33 am

    <p>Who on earth names these things? Material You, Fluent Design etc etc. Totally meaningless terms.</p>

    • remc86007

      10 September, 2021 - 3:28 pm

      <p>I agree Material You is hilarious, but I kind of like the name Fluent Design.</p>

  • hal9000

    Premium Member
    10 September, 2021 - 9:42 am

    <p>potato, tomato…</p>

  • DBSync

    10 September, 2021 - 10:08 am

    <p>What changed?</p>

  • casaout

    10 September, 2021 - 11:24 am

    <p>reminds me of Windows Phone’s accent color #stillMissingWP</p>

    • ronh

      Premium Member
      10 September, 2021 - 12:05 pm

      <p>I used to change system colors in WP to see how apps adapted.</p>

  • ronh

    Premium Member
    10 September, 2021 - 12:04 pm

    <p>Colored text is bad. It looses contrast</p><p><br></p>

  • codymesh

    10 September, 2021 - 12:27 pm

    <p>am I the only one that thinks that they’ve gone too far with the tint? Mica in Windows 10 shows that this could have been done better</p>

    • codymesh

      10 September, 2021 - 12:32 pm

      <p>*Windows 11</p>

  • Daekar

    10 September, 2021 - 4:51 pm

    <p>And here I was looking forward to something where I could largely make my phone look like a black and green terminal from the old days, at least color-wise. Maybe the full potential of the new system isn’t shown in the screenshots….</p>

  • waethorn

    12 September, 2021 - 1:00 pm

    <p>It’s like GTAV 3.0.</p>

  • nbplopes

    13 September, 2021 - 6:59 am

    <p>This stuff usually looks much better in the pictures. Very few companies are able to make it look and feel the same if not better in actual use. Yes, I’m thinking of Apple … Google is not one of them … neither Microsoft.</p>

    • Davor Radman

      21 September, 2021 - 3:19 am

      <p>Do you really prefer the way iOS looks and feels?</p><p>I have not much experience with ios, but e.g. looking at their mail app, with awkward back button and borderless pop-outs I would certainly not think so.</p><p>Gmail has some usability issues for sure, but for most basic tasks it’s still vastly more usable IMHO.</p>

  • Davor Radman

    21 September, 2021 - 3:16 am

    <p>I do love the font and the squircles. Or whatever the rounded rectangle is called.</p><p><br></p><p>I was also afraid density would suffer, but it seems not it, in these examples at least.</p>

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