Google dropping Material Design in iOS to make iPhone apps look more like they should

Posted:
in iPhone
Google will begin phasing out its Material Design for iOS apps in favor of Apple's own proprietary UIKit, a change that could result in apps that feel more like they belong on iPhone.

Credit: Google
Credit: Google


Jeff Verkoeyen, Google's iOS design chief, announced the change on Twitter Tuesday, stating that his team began a deep dive into "what it means to build a hallmark Google experience on Apple platforms" -- namely, Google apps on the App Store. The Verge first spotted the news.

This year my team shifted the open source Material components libraries for iOS into maintenance mode. Why?

A ...

-- Jeff Verkoeyen (@featherless)


"The time we're saving not building custom code is now invested in the long tail of UX details that really make products feel great on Apple platforms," Verkoeyen wrote.

In addition to less work for Google's iOS design team, the switch in direction will likely also mean that Google apps feel more "native" on Apple devices like the iPhone or iPad. An example of how the change could play out practically could include the swapping of Android-esque buttons in Google apps in favor of more iOS-based elements.

Overall, Verkoeyen said that the change will "result in much tighter integrations with the OS than what we can reasonably achieve via custom solutions."

First unveiled in 2014, Material Design is a set of in-house design principles and conventions that were aimed at unifying how Google apps look and feel across various platforms.

Over time, Verkoeyen said Google's iOS design components have been" slowly drifting further and further from Apple platform fundamentals because those fundaments were also evolving year over year."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,682member
    "Apple's own proprietary UIKit" Interesting how you snuck that in. It's still a UIKit that's available to every developer to develop apps on iOS devices so why the dig?

    I know Google has always wanted to take over every hardware platform it can get on, change everything to look the way they want it to look, but this is Apple's platform and they are graciously allowing developers to write software for it. As a longtime customer, I welcome UI standards. That way I am able to figure out how to use an app because it follows the way every other app works. Make it difficult to figure out and I delete it. I'm sure there are others who do the same thing.
    williamlondonkingofsomewherehotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,906member
    Well, halleleujah. Google sucks at UI design, but this should help.
    StrangeDayswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,890member
    Google is finally following proper etiquette and conforming to the user experience defined by the host platform. When Apple puts an app on Android or Windows they should follow the same common courtesy and conform to the UX precedents on those platforms. None of this should come as a surprise. It's not about trying to one-up a rival or push what you may claim is a "universal" standard down someone else's throat. It's about not surprising, or shocking, the users of the platform. No matter how much you think your UX is better than the host platform's UX, if it doesn't conform it will be seen as a wart.
    gatorguyFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    rob53 said:
    "Apple's own proprietary UIKit" Interesting how you snuck that in. It's still a UIKit that's available to every developer to develop apps on iOS devices so why the dig?


    Because it's accurate.  The Material Design system may be ugly, but at least it's open source.  UIKit is proprietary.


    FileMakerFellerwilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 13
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 261member
    dewme said:
    When Apple puts an app on Android or Windows they should follow the same common courtesy and conform to the UX precedents on those platforms. None of this should come as a surprise. It's not about trying to one-up a rival or push what you may claim is a "universal" standard down someone else's throat. It's about not surprising, or shocking, the users of the platform. No matter how much you think your UX is better than the host platform's UX, if it doesn't conform it will be seen as a wart.
    Looking at you, iTunes... Apple has a long, sad history of breaking all sorts of guidelines and conventions on Windows.
    edited October 12
  • Reply 6 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,827member
    I don't use any Google software on my devices, but their web services are just fucking awful UX design. I use Analytics on a regular basis and still get confused as to how to navigate my properties. Other services are similar. It's bizarre.
    chadbagwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,501member
    darkvader said:
    rob53 said:
    "Apple's own proprietary UIKit" Interesting how you snuck that in. It's still a UIKit that's available to every developer to develop apps on iOS devices so why the dig?


    Because it's accurate.  The Material Design system may be ugly, but at least it's open source.  UIKit is proprietary.


    iOS is proprietary.   Seeing as everyone who has an iPhone has free use of UIKit, it is not really the same as using MySQL /postgres etc vs Oracle or MS SQL.   
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    applguyapplguy Posts: 178member
    If Google made a car they would probably put the brake pedal on the right. Ten plus years later realize that’s an unfamiliar consumer experience and switch to what is a familiar consumer UX. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,783member
    darkvader said:
    rob53 said:
    "Apple's own proprietary UIKit" Interesting how you snuck that in. It's still a UIKit that's available to every developer to develop apps on iOS devices so why the dig?


    Because it's accurate.  The Material Design system may be ugly, but at least it's open source.  UIKit is proprietary.
    Yep, if you can’t design it, open source it.  Like Apple Silicon, proprietary = better.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,783member
    This is a good start presumably preempting Apple’s ban on all 3rd party UI frameworks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    croprcropr Posts: 1,053member
    dewme said:
    Google is finally following proper etiquette and conforming to the user experience defined by the host platform. When Apple puts an app on Android or Windows they should follow the same common courtesy and conform to the UX precedents on those platforms. None of this should come as a surprise. It's not about trying to one-up a rival or push what you may claim is a "universal" standard down someone else's throat. It's about not surprising, or shocking, the users of the platform. No matter how much you think your UX is better than the host platform's UX, if it doesn't conform it will be seen as a wart.
    I agree
    Nevertheless I am using GMail (and other Google apps) on several devices (PC, Mac, Android, iOS), and up to know the UI is very aligned.   In the future my GMail on iOS experience will differ from the browser and Android versions, which might complicate things a bit.  But of course it is only a minority who uses Android and iOS simultaneously

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 13
    darkvader said:
    rob53 said:
    "Apple's own proprietary UIKit" Interesting how you snuck that in. It's still a UIKit that's available to every developer to develop apps on iOS devices so why the dig?


    Because it's accurate.  The Material Design system may be ugly, but at least it's open source.  UIKit is proprietary.



    No, it’s not.  The word “proprietary” isn’t used correctly in this context.  Where else except Google products is their UI used?  Put another way. When they put that UI on iOS and macOS apps, it’s THEIR use of “Material Design” that becomes proprietary.  Apple doesn’t keep UIKit as a first-party framework. All Apple developers use it.  
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,904member
    darkvader said:
    rob53 said:
    "Apple's own proprietary UIKit" Interesting how you snuck that in. It's still a UIKit that's available to every developer to develop apps on iOS devices so why the dig?
    Because it's accurate.  The Material Design system may be ugly, but at least it's open source.  UIKit is proprietary.
    No, it’s not.  The word “proprietary” isn’t used correctly in this context.  Where else except Google products is their UI used?  Put another way. When they put that UI on iOS and macOS apps, it’s THEIR use of “Material Design” that becomes proprietary.  Apple doesn’t keep UIKit as a first-party framework. All Apple developers use it.  
    Google publish Material Design resources and have an open license for them as free to use on any platform.  They even publish specific iOS resources at Develop - iOS - Material Design.

    Apple's UIKit framework is only available to use on Apple devices.
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