Google plans to revamp its iPhone and iPad apps soon
When it comes to Google apps on iOS and iPadOS, almost all users notice one thing when first launching them — how similar they look to the ones on Android. For the longest time, there have been complaints regarding how their user interface (UI) doesn’t match that of iOS. Switches, banners, and other buttons all follow Google’s Material Design language from Android. However, it seems like Google is now finally planning to revamp its iPhone and iPad apps to match Apple’s design language.
In a recent Twitter thread Jeff Verkoeyen — a staff engineering lead for Google Design on Apple platforms — highlights (via 9to5Google) that Google has been “filling gaps in UIKit” all these years. That’s because Apple’s UIKit was missing fundamental elements that Google needed in its apps. The latter had to build its own custom top bars, menus, lists, etc., which led to the similarities. But now Google believes that UIKit has matured enough to be almost completely dependent on. There’s simply no need to recreate and maintain custom buttons and designs when there’s a native solution for nearly everything.
This year my team shifted the open source Material components libraries for iOS into maintenance mode. Why?
— Jeff Verkoeyen (@featherless) October 7, 2021
Google put Material components libraries for iOS into maintenance mode back in July. It now encourages developers to follow Apple’s Human Interface guidelines and depend on modern UIKit and SwiftUI components. It’s worth mentioning that Google will still be applying “light branded touches” to maintain the Google feel on its iOS apps, even after the revamp.
Google has been adopting some newer iOS APIs, such as supporting iOS 14 widgets when they were first made available. In fact, some Android users complain about Google implementing some new features on iOS before its own mobile operating system. It is yet to be seen when the first revamped app updates will appear on the App Store and whether the shift will be gradual or not.
What do you think of this revamp? Are you bothered by Google using Android’s Material Design elements on iOS? Let us know in the comments section below.