Google Pixel: Material You

Material You is Google’s attempt to provide a personalised design dynamically tailored to the user’s taste. When I first heard about it during Google’e 2021 IO, it did not particularly impress me because I just figured that is just more theming of the phone.

Here is a video from Google on Material You:

I was WRONG. I have had the Google Pixel 6 for over a week now. This has allowed me to use Material You first hand, and I am impressed. Yes, the entire phone, including system elements, take inspirations from the user’s wallpaper. This in itself is pretty cool. However, I found more interesting is how the third-party app developers have taken advantage of this feature in their apps. For example, Todoist, took the green colours from my wallpaper and updated its interface with the same shade of green. The benefit for me is that Todoist feels like a native android experience, where my use of the phone delightedly flows from one app to another. Infinity, a free Reddit client, has also implemented support for Material You and my Reddit experience has changed significantly. Impressively, when the phone switches to dark mode, Infinity also adapts to it whilst still maintaining the colours from my wallpaper. I look forward to using the Google Pixel for my Reddit consumption simply because of this design change.

Browse through this post from 9to5Google, which has pictures of some apps taking advantage of Material You. If you prefer a video walk through, this video on YouTube maybe to your liking:

In the next 12 months, I hope to see more developers take advantage of this feature. Material You has made using an android device more fun, more dynamic, more colourful, more bold, more personal and a little quirky. It’s an approach to design centred around the user. Obviously, being the self-centred person I am, I like that.

A note on Apple: please use more colours in your design. It’s fun, and everyone likes fun.

If you are interested in why I am using an Android device, you are in luck.

Originally published at on November 14, 2021.

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