A major design change is imminent at Google: The group is giving up its own “material” look with its own “material” look, including various user interface modules, for its apps designed for the iPhone and iPad, in order to switch to Apple’s in-house UIKit. This was officially announced by Jeff Verkoeyen, design manager for Apple platform products at the search giant.
No more Android on the iPhone
Google’s apps for iOS and iPadOS, including Chrome, Drive, YouTube, Gmail and Photos, have always had their own look. Recently, the company even gave iPhone owners tips on how to make their device more Android-like with Google widgets. The Apple version of Google’s “material” design common on other platforms even had one entire component library for iOS on GitHub, which, however, was not very prominent in the iOS developer scene.
With its approach, Google tried to achieve a uniform design of the user interfaces of its products across platforms. In addition, Apple’s UIKit had “gaps in the design language” that they wanted to close like Verkoeyen stated in a Twitter thread. However, one has gradually moved further and further away from the “Apple platform fundamentals”, since these fundamentals have developed further year after year. This also caused all kinds of user criticism because the apps look completely different from other iOS programs – and operation doesn’t make this any easier either.
Google started rethinking the design strategy for Apple products in 2021 and has apparently come to the conclusion that the design of UIKit has improved to the point that it can be used for its apps. In practice, this means that in the future you will have to live with significantly fewer Google UI components of your own than before – the company wants to rely on Apple’s completely normal UIKit instead. ^
The new design on iOS should come little by little. You will still use “Google’s best design language”. “A simplification in which we still set ourselves apart where it is important,” said Verkoeyen. Users should be just as pleased as Google’s developers: the former understand the Google apps better, the latter can now use all the practical features that Apple offers in Xcode for UIKit-Uses. Verkoeyen used his thread to look for new designers.
With Android 12, Google adopted or fundamentally revised the material design on its own mobile operating system. With the new version, Google is carrying out the most extensive change of scenery on Android since material design was introduced in 2014.
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