Following the launch of the Pixel Tablet and Fold, several developer sessions at I/O 2023 focused on optimizing apps for large screens. At the end of a certain talk, the Material You team gave a “little preview of what [it] planned for [their] Google Apps on the big screen like tablets and foldables in the future.
preview during “You material for big screens“Making Material centered on three themes/principles from the You films. These ideas are “still a work in progress” with a timeline of “over the next few years” and point to a world where Android apps on tablets and foldables are getting a lot of focus and development.
Google believes that “large screens are a moment to bring bold expressiveness where a smaller device has no place.”
Here are some examples of what you can do on a larger screen with more space:
- “Icons built on tangible symbols, reactive under your finger.”
- “Expanding the canvas size allows for greater typographic expression and, when combined with variable fonts, facilitates smooth transitions between wide to narrow or thin to extra bold states, dynamically adapting to changing layouts and panels.”
Google offered a sample news app that uses the Material 3 carousel and displays different amounts of information:
- “Instead of centering icons inside a button, offsetting them can draw attention to a specific action, such as page navigation.”
- “A screen with a wider range of expression – quiet when you need extra focus or loud when you want to turn up the volume.”
“The shape is one of the most iconic and expansive aspects of the M3’s visual language.”
- “Shapes in motion can add emotion, have fun, and add vibrancy to your UI. They can make the product feel more human, alive and attractive. Shape transitions, especially when changing the relative size of components or applying a unique shape, can communicate UI change and hierarchy and effectively draw the user’s attention to an important element. Shapes can highlight UI responses in unique ways, giving it a lively feel and life.”
With the third principle, Google refers to customizable UIs that are “more personal and tailored.”
- “Enlarging tap targets like call buttons, giving them a little more space to separate their functions, adjusting the panel to create a more focused workspace, or pinching the zoom for a little more intimate conversation with a friend.”
A Google Docs example where you can see a list of documents when one is open would be really helpful. Meanwhile, it’s a nice change to be able to access that list by dragging instead of the hamburger button in the upper left corner.
One of the more interesting examples here is a Google Keep-like app where you can move a panel from the left edge down with your profile avatar, search, and new note/list/picture/picture. (See cool link.)
- “A customizable UI allows users to customize their environment. And here, the ergonomic placement of the controls, where you hold your device, where you type. And the flexibility to rework the UI according to the user’s needs.”
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