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What is the Android ripple effect and why is Google committed to reducing it?

By Roland Udvarlaki June 7, 2021, 10:33 am

Android 12 has brought a number of new design changes and a lot of improvements with the new Material You design interface. Generally speaking, the new design changes were well received with Android users, but a lot of people were seemingly confused about the ripple effect that Google introduced in Android 12.

What is the ripple effect?


The new ripple effect appears when you long-press on any element within Android 12. The animation goes outwards from where your finger touches it and sparkles on both sides. It looks neat after you get used to it, but it’s no surprise that many found this odd at first. Effects like this are uncommon, especially in Android.


Why is Google changing the ripple effect?

A lot of users – including myself – found the ripple effect weird, distracting and I must admit that I also thought it was a bug or a glitch at first. The bug report (via 9to5Google) was starred by over 269 people as of writing. Android never really focused on animations as much as it does in Android 12, so it was surprising to see a lot of new additions to the user interface that we’re all so familiar with. The pixelated effect really didn’t help at making it look and feel like it belonged there, so no wonder a lot of people thought it was a bug.

Thankfully, Google has listened to the user reported feedback and promised to make the necessary changes in the new, upcoming Beta version of Android 12.

Thanks a ton for the feedback – you’ll be seeing continued updates in Beta 2, 3, and onwards to make the ripple more subtle and less distracting/glitch-feeling.

It will be interesting to see how Google manages the issues and works around it, and see what improvements they do to make the effects better. The new Android 12 Beta is expected to come out at the end of this month, so hopefully we’ll see some meaningful improvements in this regard very soon.


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