More evidence piles up suggesting a Google apps redesign is coming

by: Andrew GrushApril 9, 2014

 gmail new features

Ever since first leaked screenshots of what it claimed to be a redesign of Google’s gmail app, we’ve heard all sorts of rumors and seen various leaks that indicate a major UI redesign is heading Android’s way. The big question now is what exactly the new design language will look like.

The reason for the confusion is that we’ve already seen a few different leaked screenshots and renders, and each of these leaks have at least slightly differing styles. So what rumor/style is correct? We might not know just yet, but let’s take a look at just a few of the ‘interpretations’ we’ve seen when it comes to Google’s alleged app redesign initiative.


The Geek redesign style

First, there is what we’ll refer to as the “ redesign style”, which today has been expanded to include a screenshot of what is reportedly an internal build of Google Calendar. The latest screenshots come from a version of the Calendar app that Geek’s Russel Holly was able to test out personally.

The new Google Calendar app’s design seems to mostly fit in with the language from the original Geek leak (seen at the very top of the article), as it features a slightly more colorful design than the current Google Calendar app and switches to the same flatter circular look.

One thing you’ll notice is that one of the Calendar images shows the name as “Timely”, which is reportedly the internal name for Google Calendar, and also happens to be the name of the popular clock app acquired by Google not too long ago.


The AP renders

Although has given us two screenshots of what are reportedly very early builds of the redesigned Calendar and Gmail app, sources speaking to Android Police recently brought word that Google isn’t just redesigning many of its apps, it is also planning to introduce a new initiative called Project Hera (though the two efforts aren’t directly related).

Using the details provided by its sources, AP created several renders that give somewhat similar design language to the redesign style, though we some obvious differences when it comes to the color bar, Android’s status bar, icons and an overall more colorful vibe.


The wild card from androidleaker

A third design style has also been introduced in a leak from the aptly named “androidleaker” over at Reddit. The leaker says that the AP renders are not quite accurate, and says that the above screenshot better represents Google’s plans.

Reportedly this version of the Gmail app is a developmental build and may be “a little outdated” compared to the final design. Although it retains the same red bar seen in the AP renders, it’s icons are very different and the layout of the top bar is more akin to the most recently available public version of Gmail.

Now it’s important to note that Androidleaker’s screen might be legit, but the look could have since changed to something more akin to Geek’s leaks or even AP’s renders.

The writing is on the wall

We might not know with an certainty which of the three above mentioned “styles” is correct, if any of them. What we do know, however, is that all these rumors swirling around seem to lend further credence to the idea that change is in the wind for Android, even if it’s unclear exactly what form this change will take.

Which of the three redesigns to you prefer? Conversely do you feel that Google’s app design language is perfect as it is and should be left alone? Vote in the poll and let us know what you think in the comments below!

[poll id=”508″]

  • Alon Schondorf

    Ap is the best

  • nhujjk

    The geek one looks too Htc Sense-ish and Sense looks worse than touch wiz…

    • José A.

      As someone who is a hardcore Nexus fan… I kinda like htc sense 6, i feel it’s less “invasive”. But we can agree tochwiz is terrible.

  • MasterMuffin

    I like the AP ones, they resemble Sense 6. Whatever the new design is, change is most welcome!

  • Shark Bait

    Change is always good, but none of the above jump out at me. I would like more detailed on project hara, that’si interesting, and confusing ………

  • Dimitri

    The AP ones looks the best in my opinion but i wouldn’t complain about the other ones. Considering the fact that Android 4.X is based on the Holo ui which was best for the AMOLED display of the Galaxy Nexus, its about time Google made a UI that was better suited for the bright and vivid displays of current Nexus phones. (Though they started doing that with Kitkat and Google Experience Launcher).

  • n11

    Those circles in gmail are dumb in my opinion, they really don’t give any information and take up a lot of space. And no, its not going to be easy to visually identify by similar shades of colors and a barely legible letter.
    Get rid of the circles.

  • I wish the calendar would work without needing to sync with google.

  • gils001

    The geek render looks like a throwup of colors. Reminds me of a Brazilian housing district.

  • Danny McVey

    Why do Google apps for iOS look waaaaaaay better than their Android versions?

    • communicationbreakdown92

      they don’t…