TLDR: I’m not impressed by material design
Sorry Matias Duarte. I’m not buying it. I know you came on stage months ago and all the geeks got all googley like preteens at a One Direction meet and greet, but what really did you bring to the table? It’s just a new UI for cripes sake. I’m just not buying material design.
I don’t know. I guess it’s pretty. But Duarte went out of his way to show how everything was layered in material design. My first instinct then is still my reaction today – didn’t we want everything flat just a couple of years ago? Didn’t we criticize this UI and that UI for having layers and drop shadows because flat was the way to go? Didn’t we praise Metro UI for being flat?
Maybe you had to be there
So I got excited when the ‘pop’ was about to drop. I wanted me some hot and heavy material design goodness, because maybe it just didn’t come out right in the presentations. Maybe I just needed to hold it to get it.
I got so excited, I sideloaded that beeotch. That’s right. I’m not a big hackey kind of guy, but this year has seen some leaps in my mobile experience expansion. First I swapped out my own tablet screen and now I’m sideloading an OTA update. We’re talking big time here people! Ok fine. Well, I was excited.
So, I had to upgrade my Nexus 5 manually, and I’m still a little perturbed about that (though Joe Levi makes some good arguments). But I did it, and I got to start using it. Woot! It’s easier to get to the quick settings, so that’s cool. I can set up trusted devices to disable my passcode, so awesome.
And that’s really about it.
Oh, except for material design
So, now that I’m using it, and it’s in hand, I’m still a little meh about the whole thing. I’m not sure why this layering effect, material something or other really warranted a discussion all its own. It’s…just a UI change.
Some call it prettier. Some have called it the best update yet in the Google ecosystem. I just call it change for change’s sake. Again, I’m just talking about the UI change here. The additional features I mentioned (and the ones I didn’t) are, on balance, positive changes that make using Android easier and better. But it’s the material design thing that I’m just not getting.
Am I wrong here? How are you feeling about the latest brain candy to spring from Matias Duarte’s head? If I’m missing something, please do point it out.