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Google unveiled Material Design at I/O in 2014. A critical design system was desperately needed, bringing consistency to Google’s digital products and making it easier for developers to create apps that looked native on Android and elsewhere. It has evolved a lot over the years, but the next major iteration is upon us and it will be the biggest overhaul since launch. Content You, as the name suggests, is all about personalization. It will first be released with Android 12 on Google Pixels. Later this year.
Google has made it easy for developers to customize the look of their apps. As a material theme in 2018, and indeed many of the company’s apps have been updated with their own material theme. Despite being called Material Design 2.0, many key elements haven’t changed, but Material You’ll get a pretty deep reimagining.
We’re getting tons of redesigned components with new shapes, new colors, new lights, and new animations. That means new toggles, thicker sliders, new button configurations… almost everything is being adjusted in one way or another. Android 12 will put all of these first, but you can expect it to expand to smart displays, Chrome OS, and Google’s apps and websites.
Android has grown tremendously in recent years, but this new direction will bring some playfulness back into the equation. The Pixel offers an incredibly consistent experience, but most people’s phones look the same. With Android 12 and Material You, everything is personalized.
Desktop-based themes, or what Google calls “color extraction,” bring bold color combinations to every corner of your OS. Main and complementary colors are automatically extracted and applied to all Android screens, menus and our own apps. But don’t worry. If you don’t like what you see, you can even customize your own color.
The end result is a carefully deployed and consistent color palette so you can follow your customers wherever they go. It will make your phone feel more unique than ever. Custom colors can ultimately follow you on any device, so if you have a Pixel phone, a Pixelbook, and a Nest Hub, you’ll have a fully personalized experience across the board. With Material You, Google wants to unite its software and hardware teams and define the look and feel of the company’s products for years to come. We hope you won’t experience a slow and painful rollout like Google Material Themes. It took years for Google to update some of its core apps, and it’s a trend over time.
With the release of the stable version of Android 12 this fall, you can get your first decent taste for Material U. The Google Sans font will become more prominent and many UI elements will be bolder and larger than before. The default lock screen clock is inevitably huge, not always the slimmer sibling of the always-on display. Like everything…