Android Design Revolution

The underappreciated Android design revolution | computer world

Over the past couple of years, those of us who pay close attention to issues of mobile technology have been seeing a whole new paradigm of design form before our hyper-moistened eyeballs.

And you I know I have to talk about something important here, because I use big words like “model” and “eyeballs”.

The subject matter is something fundamental to the Android experience—especially for anyone who pets a Google-made Pixel phone, where Android’s core is in its most undiluted form.

It’s a little something called “Material You, and after living with Pixel for a full year of Android 12 and now the start of Android 13, I’m here to tell you that it’s one of the most underappreciated shape-shifting advances” seen in modern technology — even if it seems to be Hardly anyone gives her the recognition she deserves.

Material You, if you’re not familiar, is the new design standard that Google introduced with Android 12 in 2021 and then revised further with this year’s Android 13 update. It’s easy to dismiss as just another revamp of Android’s on-screen look — some added shadows here, some extra stuff there, and other seemingly random tweaks.

However, doing so could put you at risk of missing out on not only one of the smartest and most important Android improvements ever, but also one of the coolest and most important design innovations ever to come. Which A form of technology in recent memory.

Mark my words: If Apple had shipped a system like this with its latest iPhone, we’d hear a myriad of adjectives and overuse of adjectives like “game-changing” and “magical.” But Google is much less shameless Effective in commercializing its advances, this magical (important) game-changing innovation thus goes largely unnoticed.

So let me take a moment to talk about how much you really like the stuff you use on Android and why it really deserves your attention.

The magic of Material You on Android

The core part of the Android 12-and-up stuff that you make is what is best described as a dynamic theme engine. This is a great way to say that the software can pull complementary colors from any background you’re using on your home screen at any given moment, and then create a custom system-wide panel that spans your entire Android experience.

Every time you change your wallpaper, bam: Android automatically adjusts it entire interface to match. This means that everything from the color of the icons on your home screen to the coloration of the on-screen keyboard to accent colors in all kinds of apps change quickly and dynamically – without any thought or effort on your part.

it’s not productivity An advantage, in and of itself, certainly does not have any practical function. But let’s not kid ourselves: the way our technology looks matters. Feeling like you have a completely new and up-to-date phone every day is a powerful feature – one that completely enhances your enjoyment of the device and gives you more. Attractive Productive experience.

And — if I’m so bold as to borrow a favorite word from the company that’s currently making a fuss about a black band gaping in the middle of the display surface of its newer devices — it really feels magic In a way that extends to almost every corner of the phone journey.

Here, for example, is my Pixel 6 home screen with a green background in place:

Android Design / Materials you use: Home screen JR

See how icons and even widgets — both the world time clock widget at the top of the home screen and the Pixel Launcher’s built-in search bar widget — are colored to match?

This same color appears everywhere from my phone’s quick settings to the onscreen keyboard:

Android design / Materials you are using: Quick Settings, Keyboard JR

Compatible apps like Gmail and Google Drive pick it up too, changing its entire basic look to match:

Android design / Material you are using: Gmail, Drive JR

… as with system-wide tools like the Android Calculator app and even something as simple as the Google Contacts Android interface:

Android design / Materials you use: Calculator, Contacts JR

The second I switch to a different background, poof: the whole system adjusts itself to fit.

Android Design / Materials you use: Dynamic Themes JR

If I really want to get wild, I can even head over to the System Backgrounds tool to bypass the automatic color matching and create my own custom look, on demand, with a single tap of my sticky, fishy finger:

Android Design / Material: Color selector JR

And again, in the blink of an eye, the file Entire system interface It takes on a whole new look to match – with its pervasiveness as a constant source of delight and surprise.

Android Design / Material I Made: Changes JR

It might be one of those things that you have to live with for a while to fully appreciate it, but when you have this level of ever-evolving smart customization in your pocket, it really is a great experience. And you certainly don’t have to be a power user to appreciate it.

If Google could actually market the system in a way that would allow ordinary phone owners to understand what it could do – to market it the way Apple would (and perhaps eventually will), in other words — well, the phone-buying crowd might start to see how special Android has become and how powerful the advanced customization capabilities really are.

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