Over the weekend, we spotted a Material Design “refresh” for Chrome on Windows, while we’ve previously managed to enable “Material Design 2” in the Google app and Feed. Today, we’ve been able to access it in Google Play services with revamped “My Account” settings in what is likely our best look at Google’s future design language.

Nintendo Switch

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Like with the past two versions of the Google app, we were able to access this new design in the latest beta version (12.6.65) of Google Play services. What we specifically enabled is a complete revamp to the “My Account” management section that contains privacy, security, and personal data controls.

At the moment, they are located by heading into the “Google” menu of the Android Settings app. Divided into Sign-in & security, Personal info & privacy, and Account preferences, the new design consolidates all three into an interface with a bottom bar and tabs.

“Account” is the first tab where we see designs and stylings that are very different from Google’s existing Material Design. We’ve already seen this new tab indicator — for Home, Personal info, and Data & Personalization — with rounded corners in the Google app, specifically to highlight Search results categories.

Also, note the heavy use of bolded Product Sans, especially in the app and bottom bar, as well as the stark white background.

As you scroll down, the header featuring your profile image, name, and email address are hidden, with only “Google Account” visible in the app bar. Interestingly, the status bar and app bar here are merged, much like what we’ve seen in Chrome for Android’s “Modern Design.”

Below are cards that are very similar to the new style we spotted in the Google Feed with rounded corners and noticeable shadows. Underneath are flatter non-dismissible cards with faintly bordered lines. There is a very useful “Search” tab that provides direct access to settings you are looking for, while “Support” provides more cards in the similar faint-outlined style.

Meanwhile, we see our next new design style in “Menu.” Not quite a tab, selecting brings up a bottom menu with rounded corners. Selected items have a rounded, circular blue highlight on the left hand-side. We’ve also seen this style used in our latest Google app APK Insight as a “New” banner.

9to5Google’s Take

This revamped Google Account is our clearest take on Google’s future design direction. As we previously speculated, it’s unlikely that “Material Design 2” will be the final, consumer facing name when all is said and done.

Meanwhile, lost in this new design is the significance of a very big revamp to the Google My Account section. Just today on the Q1 2018 earnings call, Sundar Pichai touted it as part of the company’s long-running commitment to privacy in light of upcoming European GDPR regulation.

The interface is already quite clean and straightforward on the web, but the built-in Android counterpart that users are more likely to access was in need of a new design. What we’ve been able to access today appears to be it.

Dylan contributed to this article


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