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Here Come the Material You Apps

Posted September 10, 2021 | Android | Google | Material Design | Material You | Windows


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.”

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.

Gmail

Google Calendar

Google Slides, Docs, and Sheets

Google Drive

Google Meet

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