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Android apps are heading to a whiter future with rounder rectangles

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A hint of what’s to come from Google’s 2018 Material redesign

Image: Ars Technica

A Google design sizzle reel, prepared to tease the upcoming Material Design update across all of Android, has surfaced to give us an early peek at how Google is planning to refresh the look of its own Android apps. Created by Adam Grabowski and Nicolo Bianchino, designers who’ve collaborated with Google in the past, the video shows off some conceptual images for the future of the Google Photos, Google Maps, and Gmail apps, among others. Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo has done a great job of breaking down the changes and setting the prospective new look against the existing one. As he notes, there are numerous placeholder items in the designs, suggesting they’re far from final — though the video has been pulled in the wake of it becoming publicized, which, in turn, suggests it probably contains at least a strong indication of Google’s intent.

The biggest differences shown off by the video are the rounding of every rectangle’s corners and the discarding of solid color blocks as design elements within Google’s apps. Instead, the new Google Photos looks closer to Instagram: spartan and minimalist in its interface with tons of white space — probably too much white space. Gmail also loses its characteristic red banner at the top and appears to handle image attachments and long email threads a little more elegantly. The video was captured by the team at WinFuture.de before being hidden, and you can see it for yourself below.