Status Report: Android’s Material Design Rollout


Material Design has been on the tip of every Android fan’s tongue. Particularly those which Nexus 5s, who for some reason make up a sizeable chunk of Colombo these days. In a nutshell, Material Design is Google’s new design ethos for Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it brings a comprehensive but fairly subtle UI overhaul. It’s meant to give users a consistent – and appealing – look and feel across Android. The end result is a an Android interface that finally catches up to iOS’s design, subtly integrating animations and transitions according to certain guidelines.

As the update rolls out to Nexus devices, Google’s updating their stock applications to match. Pushbullet, Calendar and Google Play Music received the update a while ago: Maps just updated to Material Design and a number of third party applications are making the leap. However, the Maps update was the most interesting, because it also brings OpenTable (US only) and Uber integration. Google’s blessing of Uber is unexpected.

Meanwhile, Google Apps for iOS are also being updated. New changes are coming in almost every day. Here’s a list of what we’ve got so far on our devices with the new look:

  • Google Mapsmaterial
  • Pushbullet
  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Google Play Music
  • EvolveSMS
  • Pocket
  • Greenify
  • Google Play Games
  • Google Wallet
  • Reddit News
  • Google Fit
  • Flyne
  • Inbox by Gmail
  • Go SMS
  • Google Play Newsstand
  • Google+
  • Google Dos
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Cabinet
  • Chrome
  • Unclouded


For those who’re still puzzled at the changes, take a look at the video below, which imagines what Instagram would look like if designed according to the Material Design principles. It’s old, but showcases the design quite well.

At this moment, only Nexus owners are getting this update. However, as more and more developers shift their design over to the Material school of thought, major, popular apps and ROMs are likely to join in – perhaps we’ll even get this on that Galaxy S5.



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