Material Design

As part of the first look at the Android L Developer Preview at Google I/O 2014, Google's Matias Duarte, introduced the brand new "Material Design" that we'll see when we fire it up for the very first time. It isn't just skin deep though immediately you see the flatter look and all new geometric on screen buttons. But Material Design goes beyond this, with a content focused approach and a bunch of new things app developers can do with it.

For example, developers will be able to specify a layer dimension and the rest of the user interface will render accordingly. The system font, Roboto, has been updated and the touch response of Material Design is as though you were touching real world objects such as paper and ink. It also means you can start designing an app for the phone but quickly and easily carry it across to tablets and even laptops.

Pictures can tell a story, too, and Duarte was all too pleased to show off a before and after image of Google's own Gmail app.

Material Design will bring a new set of unified style guidelines and with Polymer, web app developers are able to carry the very same design across as they could in Android 'L.' Impressive stuff.

The Google I/O keynote continues so be sure to join us in the liveblog!

There are 30 comments

Shawheim says:

The woman talking about mobile web is wearing an LG G Watch. Everyone is wearing wearables!

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Marvin-13 says:

I have yet to see any in the wild in Southern California... On another note, anyone else think the new version looks like HTC sense 6.0?

thatguy97 says:

I prefer the before over the after i won't make any judgments yet but this sort of seems like form over function a little
Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

cjbrigol says:

I feel like Android was always in need of some serious refinement until ICS/kitkat. Now it feels like they're just changing things to change things. But who knows, maybe this will kill the lag, and work and look nicer. Can't judge yet!

DWR_31 says:

Matias Duarte = Material Design.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!

impulse101 says:

I 100% prefer the after. Its like saying you like rotary phones over a cell phone

WolfpacDAR says:

is it though?

I can't wait for this release. It will look so nice on my G3

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Clak says:

Don't like the geometric on screen buttons.

Love em. So clean.

ab304945 says:

I don't like in screen buttons at all

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fuzzylumpkin says:

I don't think I like it... But I'll reserve judgement until I see it properly when/if I get to use it. I am fully prepared to admit that, like most people, I can be a little reactionary.


*cough* sorry about that.

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elvisgp says:

Looks great. Much better than before.

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doseas says:

How is this an improvement? Gaudy colors and less information displayed to the user. No thanks!

NerveBag says:

^This! It seems like fiddling just to fiddle. But if you're going to do that, at least don't make it uglier and less useful.

ScottJ says:

Beauty is subjective.

rovex says:

Holo was starting to look old, Android needed a UI update, not as badly as iOS did, but badly enough. Apart from a few colours here and there its hard to tell ICS from KK.

It looks pretty, but when will Google support responsively designed emails? They recently removed support in their native mail app with the latest Kit Kat update. Apple has supported this for some time now.

Dizfunctions says:

Material design is gorgeous.

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ACADM says:

True Dat!

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deeb215 says:

Seems like they didn't do much with the onscreen buttons. I was hoping for a different design to eliminate that thick black bar. Beyond that I like where this is going.

nick9000 says:

The old interface wasn't broke but Google decided to fix it anyway. Old Gmail screenshot has 7 emails, new one only 6. Too much white space means extra scrolling. Thanks for nothing Google.

shlk7 says:

Gmail needs a different color than Google+ and less white space. Looks clean, but too much wasted space.

i hate this shift towards minimalist designs. wasted white space instead of useful information. what is the point of having a big screen if you are just going to fill it with white space.

nwhaples says:

i think this looks a lot like the changes that took place in ios7... not trolling, just look at it.

jackdubl says:

It looks like the new Touchwiz/LG/Sense to me. What's with all that space in between icons in the notification/status bar?

bergeronjc says:

" as though you were touching real world objects such as paper and ink"
Actually no. It will feel like you're touching glass because you are touching glass. Until real tactile feedback become reality, shaking the device isn't that, it will always feel like you're touching glass. It may look like ink on paper but it won't feel like it.

LOVE the new UI!
HOWEVER, I really wish that the status bar color goes back to black as I find the red a bit... undesirable. Also, it would be great if the new UI did not cut the preview lines in the email messages to one. Leaving it at 2 would be awesome! But yeah apart from those things it's pretty good and I can't wait until I get it on my Nexus 5!! :D

21plays says:

Looks like PA

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BrysenA says:

I like them both, but I think that the first one will work a little bit easier.
I think that with their new "smooth" design, they want to get people to use android and choose it over an iPhone. I know a lot of people who choose an iPhone because it works easier so yeah