Android 12 has come from the hand of Material You, a somewhat more radical change from what we are used to in android design line and the applications. just like when it came Material Theming in 2018, Google has made us a bit dizzy with nomenclatures. Is Material You the same as Material Design?
We’ll get to the bottom of it by going through the history of Material Design and all of its major updates leading up to the latest one, Material You. We also tell you what is Material You and what are its differences with previous versions.
Brief history of Material Design
In the early days of Android, the application interface was a bit of the Wild West, with a design that was heavily committed to escheumorphism, until it came Holo design philosophyreleased in Android Honeycomb, in 2011. Honeycomb, the version of Android optimized for tablets, didn’t go far, but the Holo interface was here to stay… at least a couple of versions.
The Holo interface gained strength with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, although in mobile technology, nothing is forever. Holo was kept on ICS, Jelly Bean and KitKat, but in 2014, with the launch of Lolipop, Holo was already beginning to smell closed. It was time for something new, it was time for Material Design.
Material Design arrived in 2014 hand in hand with Lollipop as a new design regulation that expanded the concept of Google Now cards. The keys to Material Design were the use of designs based on grids, animations and transitions, more air between elements and depth effects, lights and shadows according to the hierarchy of the elements. In practice, it was the definitive goodbye to escheumorphism, with minimalist interfaces with flat colors where the stars were the cards, the floating buttons and the hamburger menus ☰.
The first version of Material Design, from 2014
Starting with Android Lollipop, Material Design quickly gained popularity as it was gradually implemented into Google apps and Android itself. App developers took longer to adapt Material Design, but the redesign ended up spreading to almost all apps for a simple reason: Material Design represented the future of Androidand the much cruder earlier designs seemed Pleistocene in comparison.
Material Design has never stopped evolving since its launch -for example, in 2016 it added the component of the bottom bar- but four years later and when almost all the important applications had already made the change, small adjustments were not enough: it took a quantum leap to give it a touch of fresh air and make it less “checkered”.
In 2018, the original Material Design was starting to look dated, so Google pulled Material Theming out of its sleeve.
That change came in 2018 with Material Theming, the first great evolution of Material Design. Material Theming puts a twist on Material Design, giving it more expressiveness through the use of “themes” (hence the theme of the name), made up of colors, fonts and, above all, shapes, something that had not been exploited too much in the original Material Design.
Material Theming (Material Design 2) arrived in 2018 with important changes such as custom shapes
Material Theming gives developers a much more complete toolbox to create a theme to be applied coherently to the entire design of the application, being able to adopt a greater expressiveness than with the original version. For example, an app can choose to use shapes with angled edges, and they will be applied to all shapes in the various components almost automatically.
The Google theme opted for curved shapes, the new Google Sans typography, bright colors and silhouetted icons that under the name of Google Material Theme. It is just one of the different possible combinations, but when Google applied it to its apps, it ended up becoming in a way the new standard.
In 2021, Material Theming also fell short. The next big evolution was Material You
We have reached 2021 and although Material Theming cannot be said to be outdated – many apps have not yet adopted it or taken advantage of all its features – Google has fallen short. born like this Material Youfrom the hand of Android 12, a new evolution of Material Design more personal than ever: the design varies according to the user’s preference and also shows more “emotion” through animations and the use of shapes dynamically.
What is Material You
Material You is the latest iteration of Material Design, which tries to respond to increasingly complex needs, with applications that must be adapted from the small screens of a smartwatch to mobile phones, tablets, foldables, televisions and cars. In a way Material You try to add soul to Material Designwhich until now was mostly functional.
That “soul” comes from the hand of new options to add expressiveness to applications, such as the use of animations and transitions, with new shapes to give Android a less checkered (or rounded) look. In a way, the Android interface comes to life to convey something more than “here are the buttons, press them if you want”.
In the customization part, the most important part of Material You is the dynamic colors, based on wallpaper. With Material You, the system can extract a color palette from the wallpaper and apply it to the system and applications that take advantage of the system. Google has put its engineers to work hard to make sure these generated palettes are high-contrast and accessible.
In this way, an application does not have a fixed design, but its colors may vary from one mobile to another. In a certain way, the final design of an app is halfway between the idea of its creators and the user’s preference.
Material You introduces important changes in the use of color of the applications and also in the forms. For example, some items such as chips or floating buttons are now square with rounded edges and less shadows and elevations are used, preferring the use of different shades of color.
Virtually every component of Material Design has undergone changes and adjustments, which are documented here. Normal buttons used to be square and now they are roundwhile the floats were round and are now square, and more.
The Material You navigation bar, a characteristic sign
And, of course, we cannot forget the widgetswhich have undergone a second rebirth with Material You and Android 12. Widgets with Material You are more personal and useful than ever through the use of dynamic color, rounded edges, responsive design that adapts to various sizes, and greater interactivity with the use of checkboxes, radio buttons and switches.
Is Material You Material Design?
So how is Material You different from Material Design? The answer is simple, nothing. google has a certain tendency to get dizzy with names that later change, and this is one of these cases. Just as in 2018 Google used the Material Theming name instead of Material Design 2, it is now using Material You instead of Material Design 3.
Two names for the same. Thanks Google.
And yet Material Design 3 is Material Youand Material You is Material Design 3. In the official Material Design documentation, it is clearly stated that Material You corresponds to Material Design 3 and the previous version, which was known as Material Theming when it was released, is still available and is called Yeah, Material Design 2. It’s been a bit of a tongue twister, so here’s the rundown:
material designreleased in 2014.
Material Design 2released in 2018 and also known as Material Theming.
Material Design 3released in 2021 and also known as Material You.