This year, Google is pushing out a major revamp to its Material Design guidelines. The new design language is slowly creeping across Google’s portfolio, and so far we’ve seen big changes for Gmail.com, early builds of Chrome, and for Android P. The Android side of things has so far only been the base operating system, but now a new Google design video has surfaced that shows off new designs for Gmail, Google Photos, Google Trips, and Google Drive.
The video is a design sizzle reel from Adam Grabowski and Nicolo Bianchino. They’re not Googlers themselves; instead, they’re collaborators who have worked on videos for major Google designs in the past. Bianchino’s description of the video says the two “worked together with the Google Material Design team to create a piece showcasing their updated design system for their internal teams.” Some Googlers have also shared the video on Twitter, so we can be sure it’s legit.
The video is full of the usual splashy motion effects and upbeat music, and it ends with a lineup of brand-new Google app designs. Keep in mind, these are just mockups for now, and nothing guarantees that Google will push these designs as they are out to the masses. We’ve covered sizzle reels from Google like this before when the first wave of Material Design apps was rolling out. While many of those old mockups were pretty close to the shipping versions, some (most notably a colorful Google Music design) were never made.
The mockup video also doesn’t seem too concerned with the minor details—it features placeholder shapes for the status bar icons, for instance. Still, if you’re looking for a hint at the future design direction of Google’s major mobile apps, these screenshots are a firm start. The general design direction? White. Really, really white.
The Gmail screens strip the app of its trademark red UI elements and give us a white bottom bar and white background. The phone inbox shows attached documents and even has large thumbnails for images. The message screen appears to show attachments on a horizontal scrolling carousel, which looks a lot like the horizontally scrolling news articles in the Google Feed. This screen again places the important controls down at the bottom of the screen, where a bottom bar houses the usual “Mark as Read,” “Delete,” “Archive,” and “Reply All” buttons. We even get to see the compose screen for a second, which shows previous replies above your compose field.
Google Photos looks a lot like it does now but with a white background (instead of gray) and plenty of outline artwork. Every interface adopting the new Material Design guidelines seems to get these new outline UI icons—they hit the most recent build of Android P, too.
Google Drive is another new member of the “bottom controls” club. It gets a tab bar at the bottom showing (I’m just guessing here) “Home,” “Favorites,” “Shared with me” and a mysterious folder tab. There are also top tabs and a search bar. Google Trips gets a really cool search bar up at the top. It contains a search icon, a colorful Google Trips logo, and a menu button.
So, again, these are not guaranteed to reach the public as final app releases, but these work-in-progress mockups give us a good idea of where Google app design is headed.
Listing image by Google