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Google’s VP of Material Design talks about working on an iPad, reveals favorite mobile devices

Google’s Material Design champion Matias Duarte fields some questions about his work life and the tools he uses most frequently.

Published onDecember 21, 2015

What will Matias Duarte introduce this year?
What will Matias Duarte introduce this year?

Matias Duarte, the former Director of Android User Experience and current Vice President of Material Design at Google, has been shaping and molding the aesthetics of our favorite operating system ever since Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Duarte’s guiding hand is evident in Google’s Material Design, which he describes as “a sufficiently advanced form of paper as to be indistinguishable from magic.

This Sunday, Beautiful Pixels hosted an interview with Google’s design champion to ask him some questions about his work life and the tools he uses most frequently. In the interview, Duarte speaks highly of Apple’s design and doesn’t hesitate to reveal that he regularly works with an iPad.

It’s kind of amazing actually, that I’m using a Surface Book and Google Docs, my Android phone has Apple Music, and that my iPad Pro has Microsoft OneNote – maybe there is hope for peace on Earth this holiday!
Listen to Matias Duarte talk design on Joshua Topolsky's Tomorrow podcast

Duarte comes across as someone who is genuinely thrilled that our technologies are converging on devices across brands saying “iOS users are very important to Google!” However, when asked what software he prefers to use, Duarte reveals that he’s got something of an old school streak in him:

Still the tools I use the most on a day to day basis to explore and articulate design ideas are whiteboards, notebooks, and Google Docs. Like I said, I’m excited about OneNote because I think it could become my personal digital portable whiteboard, but for nuanced sketching, I still haven’t found something I’m as comfortable and proficient with as paper and ink.
matias duarte

The Material Design VP’s preference for the tactile and physical shows not only in Material Design, but also in his preference of mobile devices. When asked, Duarte revealed that aesthetics and durability rank right up there with hardware specs for him.

For work I have a Nexus 6P, but I also have a Moto X with the teak wooden back that I love. It’s long in the tooth though, so I need to find something to replace it…I also absolutely love my Sony tablet, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. It’s an amazing small tablet, super thin and light, and best of all, waterproof! On vacation, I’d see everyone else sitting in their deck chairs reading their tablets anxiously, and I’d just slip into the pool with mine and order a MaiTai. I know that seems super indulgent and niche, but actually I feel like that’s an important unsung part of the future — making technology robust enough that it’s not precious but just part of everyday life the way we want to live it.

For more info, be sure to check out the full interview at Beautiful PixelsWhat do you think of Matias Duarte’s hardware and software picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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