Home Android Android’s underappreciated design revolution | Computerworld

Android’s underappreciated design revolution | Computerworld

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Over the past couple years, those of us who pay close attention to mobile-tech matters have been watching a whole new paradigm of design shape up right before our overly moist eyeballs.

And you know I have to be talking about something important here, ’cause I’m using big words like “paradigm” and, erm, “eyeballs.”

The subject in question is something core to the Android experience — particularly for anyone who’s palming a Google-made Pixel phone, where the core Android software exists in its most undiluted form.

It’s a little somethin’ called Material You, and having lived with a Pixel through a full year of Android 12 and now the beginning of Android 13, I’m here to tell you it’s one of the most shape-shifting and underappreciated advancements we’ve seen in modern tech — even if hardly anyone seems to be giving it the credit it deserves.

Material You, if you aren’t familiar, is the new design standard Google introduced with Android 12 in 2021 and then fine-tuned further with this year’s Android 13 update. It’s easy to brush it off as another mere revamping of Android’s on-screen appearance — some added shadows here, some extra-rounded elements there, and other such arbitrary-seeming adjustments.

To do so, however, would put you at risk of missing not only one of Android’s most clever and significant enhancements of all time but also one of the coolest and most consequential design innovations to hit any form of technology in recent memory.

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