Google aims to make its apps feel native to iOS

Users have criticized Google in previous years for creating applications that felt more like Android ports than separate iOS apps

Google is reportedly focusing on making its iOS applications feel more native on Apple devices after its designers reevaluated their approach to building iOS apps and decided to modify it.

Jeff Verkoeyen (@featherless), a staff engineering lead for Google Design on Apple platforms, revealed the news in a Twitter thread earlier this week, saying that Google has put all of its open-source Material UI component libraries for iOS into “maintenance mode.

In previous years, consumers have criticized Google for creating applications that felt more like Android ports than separate iOS apps. Consumers claim that certain Google applications do not adhere to the standard iOS look and feel and instead employ an interface and controls that are not native to the platform.

Verkoeyen details how he and his team “began a deep evaluation of what it means to build a hallmark Google experience on Apple platforms” at the beginning of 2021 and pondered whether “a switch really need to be built custom in alignment with a generic design system? Or might it be sufficient to simply use the system solution and move on?”

That is where Apple’s UIKit comes in, which Verkoeyen says has improved over time, allowing Google to drop the need to develop its own solutions for many of the previously custom-built UI components for its iOS apps. Instead, Google’s apps will begin using Apple’s stock solutions, with minor branding touches applied as needed.

As a result, iPhone and iPad users will experience applications that feel much more native and iOS-like, with greater synergy to the operating system. However, it’s unclear how the new Material You will influence Google applications on iOS.

Source: @featherless