Google is making changes to the visual style and design of its software and refreshing the design guidelines for Android apps. We saw the beginning of this shift with the initial developer release of Android P earlier this year. Today at its I/O conference, Google offered more examples of the colorful icons, rounded corners, and gratuitous use of white space that mark an evolution over the initial Material Design style that’s served as the visual foundation for Google’s apps and many third-party Android apps over the last four years.

You don’t have to wait to see these new design traits; they’re already visible in the redesigned Gmail experience on the web. Google says its updated, unified visual identity is also coming to (or already implemented in) the Google Home, Google Pay, and Google News apps, as well.


In 2014, after Apple’s iOS had finally moved away from tacky, skeuomorphic design elements, Google too made a major push to modernize the look and feel of Android with Material Design. The philosophy behind it went like this: “A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic.”

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