Google introduces ‘Material You’ design coming to Android 12: Here's what's new
Widely considered the biggest change to its design language since ‘Material Design’ was introduced in 2014, the new Material You design is focused on personalisation and customisation of the user interface.
Google on Tuesday took the wraps off the most radical and massive redesign of its Android operating system yet, powered by new design guidelines called Material You. Widely considered the biggest change to its design language since ‘Material Design' was introduced in 2014, the new Material You design is focused on personalisation and customisation of the user interface.
Material You builds on some of the strengths of the original Material Design, which replaced the dated-looking Holo design seven years ago. However, Google's new design has been adapted to make use of all the extra screen space available on all the massive new screens that have come online over the past few years.
From automatic colour theming to adaptive widgets and better accessibility, here's everything that Google said on its blog about the new Material You design for Android 12 and beyond:
Wallpaper-inspired systemwide theming
Android has always been an operating system that focused on customisation and making a device your own with icon packs and customisable system colours, but with Android 12, Google is going a step further with colour extraction - the system will be able to identify the primary colour in your wallpaper and quickly update the entire system to use that colour in your quick setting toggles, volume and brightness sliders, your menus – and some Google apps.
New animations and adaptive layouts
Unlike previous versions of Android, where animations have always felt like an afterthought, the new Material You design focuses on “reacting” to screen changes with animations all across the system. From a new charging animation that sends a pulse of colour from the center of the screen, to an adaptive lock screen clock that expands when there are no notifications to fill the screen, the new design should help apps, widgets and other elements look better across a variety of screen sizes.
No new design can be considered truly useful if it doesn't have the right mix of functionality, aesthetics and accessibility. While Google's previous designs have always come with useful accessibility functionality and features, the company says Material You will allow users to better control contrast, size and line width for various elements on the operating system. Users who don't like excessive motion should also be able to turn the new animations off, while the larger quick setting toggles and broader sliders should also help build a more inclusive interface.
Material You is set to feature on Android 12, which is typically released to Google's eligible Pixel devices every September, but it is likely up to manufacturers to integrate the smaller design changes to Android. This means that while Google says its new design is a ‘multiyear journey', it really depends on whether the company that manufactures your phone implements all these new features – and ultimately whether your favourite third party apps also adopt the new Material You design.