Material Design brings massive UI overhaul for Android L

by: Robert TriggsJune 25, 2014
material design android l release

Google has just released the details on the new look and feel that it has in mind for Android L, named Material Design.

Material Design will completely overhaul the user interface in the next version of Android, bringing tweaks and changes to typography, grids, space, scale, color, and use of imagery. Not only that, but Material Design will be used unify the look and feel of all Google’s software over a range of devices, including laptops and tablets. Google is also extending its software UI to the web, via its Polymer initiative. The entire interface is based on what Google calls a “unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion”.

You’ll probably already have tried out the revamped Google+ interface, but Google has a lot more in store for users and app developers with Material Design. The first big change is the introduction of real-time lighting and shadowing for apps, allowing app developers to specify an elevation for their apps and content. The aim is to give developers the power to draw the user’s eye to what’s important, as well as making everything look a little fancier.

The Material Design engine opens up color and icon schemes to developers even further, allowing for a more unified look across a range of apps, which will also scale across a range of platforms. Google has also introduced a range of new swanky animations, both in app and in-between apps and activities, which can be customized based on a user’s touch.

Everything certainly looks sleek with Material Designs, and you can take a look at some of the changes in store for Android’s new UI in the video below.

The first draft of Google’s new Material Design guidelines can already be found over at, and will be available for developers to try out with the developer version of Android L.

  • AndroidBrian

    How Windows 8….

    • I dont understand

      I agree.

      IMHO – I am also baffled by how many people are so quick to embrace this *absolutely* hideous Ios/Windows 8/Sony, knockoff. Personally, I’ve been a fan of HD or photo-realistic icons. However the industry trend is flat color or themes created to reflect a solid color. Its hella’ ugly – Period. I am not a child, nor someone with an 8th grade reading level. I dont need to re-learn my shapes, alphabet and 1-2-3’s. And dont get me started on the animations. They look so similar to windows8, it makes me sick. Thank goodness for root privileges.

  • Jayfeather787


    • Crutchcorn


  • MasterMuffin

    Looks like pretty much every leak was correct. The new virtual keys remind me of Play Station :)

    • Crutchcorn

      Indeed. Glad to know that though

    • John-Phillip Saayman

      Love that it looks more futuristic. Now I’m bit sad I have capacitive buttons that don’t look like that.

  • Hywel Davies

    I really like the new UI in L, but those new soft keys look awful.

    • Sunny

      There’s always root and mod to change that :)

    • Pitahson

      it does look fantastic. only downside is that Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC will all put their skins on it. so most of the visual candy will be gone. animations should remain untouched however.

      • John A

        There’s always root and mod to change that ;-)

      • Arturo Raygoza

        Except nexus.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      I actually like them

  • RobertLWilliams

    Everything certainly looks sleek with Material Designs, and you can take a look at some of the changes in store for Android’s new UI in the video below.

  • diogo

    in love! <3diogo

  • Evriviadis Karagitsis

    Everything looks simple and clean yet beautiful and useful. The nav buttons though ugly as hell.

    • mobilemann

      yeah i dislike the nav buttons and some of the brighter new colors. I like the animations tho

    • Crutchcorn

      I personally really like the buttons but hey – it’s Google. Customability is king ;D

      • mobilemann

        the irony of your statement will be great when you need root to change that.

        • Crutchcorn

          Oooooh that’s right. Their new version breaks root huh? Yikes!

    • cizzlen

      Don’t have a problem with the nav buttons, I think the current ones are ugly as all hell.

  • Crutchcorn

    I love the new UI.

    • mobilemann

      really? I dislike the colors, and the new on screen buttons; but love the animations.

      • Crutchcorn

        Fair enough, the colors seem a bit off, but I don’t mind the screen buttons. What I meant was the animations and the fluidity of it

  • cizzlen

    LOVE IT! Thank you Google for this much needed redesign!

    • alex0000000001

      They change it every year or 18 months, though.

      • Azeem

        They only tweak it a little bit. They never redesigned after going from GB to ICS.

        • alex0000000001

          I run nova launcher so I’m more or less insulated from most visual changes, but KitKat seemed pretty different to the ones before it.

      • cizzlen

        Which is a good thing. Kit Kat didn’t change much in terms of looks from ICS. So I will say it again, this redesign was much needed. Android was getting ugly and boring quick.

        • alex0000000001

          Does an OS “get ugly”? I mean, assuming you liked it initially?

          • cizzlen

            After 3 years yes it does. Ask iOS users. Lol dafuq is wrong with you?

  • Anonymous

    The animations are really cool, however, the new navigation buttons are really ugly.

  • Mur

    Who else watched all two hours :D.

  • John A

    Nice animations, and movement, but I’m just not particularly liking the bright look and colours. Gotta feeling I’ll be modding a plenty.

  • i_say_uuhhh

    This looks to be amazing. I love the colors and shapes. This is the U/I I have been waiting for especially being a Graphic Designer. And for those who say it looks like iOS, I honestly don’t see it at all. It’s a trend that’s been gaining popularity for a couple of years now.

  • Arturo Raygoza

    I love the new buttons!

  • TK3

    Great, more candy changes to eat up power/battery.