Google is converting its apps for iOS: Instead of its own material design look, the company wants to use Apple’s UI kit. Developers and users alike should be happy about it.
In the midst of the major design changes that are leading to the new Material You design language with Android 12, there is also a lot going on for Google’s developers, who are responsible for the in-house iOS apps: According to Jeff Verkoeyen, chief developer of Google products for the Apple Platform, Chrome, Google Maps, Gmail and other Google apps will be wrapped in Apple design in the future.
So far, Google had relied on its own design components for its in-house apps in order to spray a pinch of material design on Apple’s platform. That Google built on its own library of UI components for its apps on iOS, According to Verkoeyen, had the reasonTo fill the gaps in Apple’s UI kit design language.
After ten years of development, Google has continued to evolve away from Apple’s UI kit by using its own components, which was further developed during this period. The gaps that existed at the time have now been closed by UI-Kit, which “leads to a much closer integration with the operating system than we can reasonably achieve with user-defined solutions,” explains Verkoeyen.
At the beginning of this year, Google’s development team carried out a thorough evaluation of the design strategy of its own products for the Apple platform. The decision was made to increasingly rely on Apple’s UI kit and reduce Google’s own design language and components.
“This evolution of our approach to design for Apple platforms has enabled us to combine the best of UI-Kit with the highlights of Google’s design language,” says Verkoyen. With the new approach, custom components would simply no longer be required. Those who are still there now get more attention and focus. According to Verkoyen, the renovation work on the apps will take a while and will be published gradually.
For Android users, the journey towards Material You continues. The first apps have already been adapted so that they can be seamlessly integrated into Android 12. It will take a while until all applications are adjusted accordingly. Even Google hasn’t optimized all apps yet.