The newest iteration of the Material Design guidelines, known as “Material Theme” or more colloquially “Material Design 2” has generated mixed opinions among Android enthusiasts. On one hand, some appreciate the simplicity in its design, incorporating new elements or changing existing ones without losing the “Material” essence. Others criticize it heavily for borrowing bits of iOS theming with lots of white. Love it or hate it, Google is rolling out their updated design language to all their applications and service, and we may see most, if not all, Google apps already updated by the time the Google Pixel 3 is announced. We previously reported that Google rolled out this design update for Google Contacts just a few days back, and we’re now getting a Google Phone Material Theme redesign as well.
The redesigned app includes most of the changes we’ve seen on other Material Theme redesigns: Most of the purple that used to make up the action bar and headers are now replaced with a pure white interface. Rounded corners are also the order of the day, and the Google Sans font appears in different parts of the app. The new design change extends all over the app, from the menus to the actual call screen and anything in between.
Google Phone 22 (top) vs Google Phone 23 (bottom)
The biggest change, in my opinion, can be seen in the actual call screen. In both incoming and outgoing calls, the UI looks radically different. While interface elements are still ordered the same, the background is changed from a semi-transparent blue to a solid white, while also using Google Sans font for the contact name and number.
Incoming/outgoing calls on Google Phone 22 (left) and Google Phone 23 (right).
While I don’t think this new design looks bad, I think that it’ll take some time to get used to. If you’re interested in downloading this updated version to your device, you can do so from the Google Play Store on supported devices like the Google Nexus, Google Pixel, and Android One devices. The latest design is only available on the beta channel for now, so make sure you join that before updating the app. For those of you without a supported device, you can check out the unofficial port of the app on our forums which will likely be updated with these changes sometime soon.
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