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Material You is Google's reboot of Material Design

Material You is the next-generation version of Google's long-running Material Design, announced as part of Google I/O 2021.

Published onMay 18, 2021

Google IO 2021 Matias Duarte talks material you 05
  • Material You was revealed as part of Google I/O 2021 today.
  • This is the next-generation version of the company’s long-running Material Design for devices.
  • It will be coming first to the company’s next Pixel phones this fall.

As part of Google I/O 2021 today, Google announced a new design language for apps and Android. Previously, the company had launched and embraced Material Design, but now it’s rebooting that style under the new “Material You” design. It’s the biggest design change coming to Android since 2014.

According to the presentation, the “You” part of Material You refers to the fact that users will be able to have more ways to personalize the look of apps. It will allow users to change the color palettes of apps and the entire operating system quickly, including based on the selected wallpaper.

Apps using Material You design will also be able to work and change across different types of devices and screens, from smartwatches to smartphones to smart displays and big-screen monitors. Apps can also be personalized in new ways.

What does that mean? One screenshot indicates smartphones will not only have light and dark modes, but also other different types of color backgrounds as well, like pink or purple.

Material You also touches on animations, aiming to provide more natural and intuitive interactions with products. For instance, Google showcased a subtle effect where the screen lights up from the power button when it’s pressed, or from the bottom up when the lock screen is swiped.

The first Material You design features will debut on the next Android 12-based Pixel phones, which are due out this fall. That will include all of Google’s apps. Material You apps and design will expand to other platforms and devices in the future, including smartphones, smart displays, the web, and more.

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