Leading up to I/O ’18, we saw Google revamp a lot of its apps and services with an updated Material Design. We’ve been hearing about something called “Material Design 2” for quite some time, so we assumed that would be the gist of Google’s announcement at I/O.
But instead, Google has today announced something called Material Theme Engine, which is basically a plugin to help designers implement Material Design in their apps.
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When building out a concept for an app or a redesign, one prototyping tool popular with designers is called Sketch. Material Theming is a plugin for Sketch that automatically adds the foundation for Material Design. It is then up to the designer to customize the look.
So where does the “Material Design 2” come in? Well, like I said above, Material Theming is all about bringing the overarching design language to new apps while letting brands build out its own look and feel. With this in mind, “Material Design 2” is Google’s Material Theme.
So does all of this mean? Well, Material Design in and of itself isn’t changing too much. Google did decide to update its look, but the main goal in introducing Material Theming is getting the right tools in the hands of developers to help them build better-looking apps that are also more user-friendly.