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Google updates its Material guidelines for developers

Google has made a few change to its Material design guidelines, giving better clarity for app developers.

Published onNovember 3, 2014


Android 5.0 Lollipop is almost here, and that means more developers are (hopefully) preparing for the biggest changes to Android yet but updating their own apps to better fit Google’s new look. While I personally liked Holo quite a bit, it took a long time for many app developers to follow suit with Google’s direction and some never did. So what will be different this time around? For one thing, Google seems to be doing more to reach out to developers and show them “the way”. This includes actively updating Material Design guidelines so developers know exactly what Google wants and expects when it comes to the standard.

With that in mind, Google took to its blog today and announced a big set of improvements to its guidelines. Some of the changes are the addition of links to Android developer docs, a new “What is Material” section that gives app developers a deeper look at what exactly Material Design is all about and a ‘what’s new section’ for highlighting the changes in the specs along the way.

That’s not all, Google is also providing more details on how to better design launcher icons and more:

  • A new section on product icons (launcher icons for Android apps).
  • New patterns like the navigation drawer, navigational transitions, scrolling techniques, swipe to refresh, date/time formats, and errors.
  • New and updated components including pickers, dialogs, and menus.
  • A new usability section on bidirectionality.

Obviously these guidelines are really meant for developers, but they are important for end users too. Why’s that? For one thing it helps further illustrate Google’s commitment towards making Material Design accepted by developers. In turn, that means we should see more app developers bring this unified look to their apps and hopefully that means less ‘rogue’ apps that follow their own thing (in an ugly way..) and ignore Google guidelines completely.


For more details on the guideline changes, check out Google’s blog. What do you think of Material? Like the changes being made or not? Do you think developers will actively embrace it?

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