The customization that it offers us is profound: we will see the same choice of accent colors in all areas of the system, even in applications, although only in those that are compatible. It is a delight to handle a mobile with Material You because it gives a feeling of continuity and consistency. In addition, it does not remain in the Pixel range, but is compatible with models from other manufacturers.
Material You Theming Evolution: Custom Palettes
Before we begin to describe the personalization that Material You offers, we must know the changes that occurred with the version change, from Android 12 to 13. In Android 12, our wallpaper determined the accent colors that were applied to the system. But with the latest version of Google’s operating system it has changed, now we can select between different color palettes.
First, our wallpaper generates different palettes and the default one is applied based on the color. Then we are given choose between different color palettes that stay in line with said background, however we have more options. This makes the level of customization higher. The distinction between background and basic colors allows for deeper theming.
Home screen personalization: themed icons and widgets
To begin with, what stands out the most is our home screen. Here we can see how the icons and widgets fit into the accent color and design lines of Material You. If we use a wallpaper with other shades, they will change their color, adapting perfectly. The Android home screen looks better than ever: we can activate the themed icons, or on the contrary, deactivate them to see the traditional ones.
The feeling of consistency comes to Android, and it is that seeing a home screen with the same colors as the wallpaper is great. We can boast of the design of the system, and it is that the result is satisfactory.
Material You in the notification area
Another system element that is affected by the Material You effect is the notification area, along with the quick controls menu. Again, the color gives a totally renewed look. Quick settings cards such as Wi-Fi, access to the flashlight, or the airplane mode button change their color. They also change the font color of the indicators if we have dark mode activated, thus allowing better readability, going from white to black, or vice versa.
The slider brightness control bar is colored with the accent of the wallpaper we are using. Everything is in tune and enters through the eyesIt’s love at first sight.
Settings change their color depending on the theme
If we thought that the theme was there, we were wrong. The Settings app also adapts to the color palette. If we have a background with a green accent, the different configurations will have a green hue. Of course, it is not as evident as in other parts to facilitate the vision of each option.
As we see in the capture, accent color softens to allow the user to read the entire content of each section. This way it does not break the balance with the rest of the system. If we enter a setting such as Wi-Fi, we can see that even the buttons and switches have been themed.
Accent colors also in apps
When Google developed Material You, it decided that the design was to be applied to all applications that we use in our day to day. Therefore, it began to update all its official apps. Currently, all its main applications have this design line, some more secondary ones remain to be updated, but even Android Auto is changing its design.
Google apps that have a Material You design improve the user experience of the system itself. Among them we can list the following:
- Gmail: the most famous mail app uses the accent color on buttons such as “Compose”, as well as in the search bar or in the bottom menu.
- Google Play Store: how could it be otherwise, the Android application store saw its design renewed. As in the others, the search bar and the menu look great with the different colors that our wallpaper has.
- Google Drive: in the Google cloud we see the button to add “+” following the style.
- google camera: The camera interface has been updated to maintain the Material You design, buttons such as zoom or switching between functions at the bottom also respect the indicated color.
Material You must continue to improve: disadvantages and limitations
We cannot affirm that the customization is perfect and complete. It also has its drawbacks and limitations, but we hope that Google put the batteries and encourage manufacturers and developers to adapt all the content. The most prominent drawbacks are:
- Not all apps are compatible: We have mentioned it before, but it needed to be said again. We want all apps to be compatible. This would take it to the next level.
We like themed icons but they should give it a spin: These icons apply the colors correctly and adapt the symbol of the app, but we ran into some difficulties. Sometimes it’s hard to tell at a glance which app is which.
Different brands using Android should embrace Material You: Personalization layers that differentiate devices between brands and offer more features is nice, but we’d like to see Material You across all of them. It is understood that they want to stand out from the rest, but they could adapt these design lines in some particular way, combining the best of both worlds. Something like Samsung does in One UI.
Material You is one of the best things that could have happened to Android since its inception.
As we have seen, this line of design has penetrated deeply into Android. Give a fresh and more personal touch to our mobiles, but still we expect it to continue to evolve constantly. We want to see more compatible applications and that it reaches more aspects of the system, for example the Google search app.
If the customization that Material You offers is not enough for us, we can always configure it in more depth thanks to the fact that there are tools for it. The importance of Material You is growing every day, so much so that Google forces manufacturers to adopt it.