Google’s Material Design guidelines are a living document that updates over time. In order to be “more transparent about which components, patterns, and elements are likely to evolve in the near term,” the company’s design team is now applying a “beta” label.

Like in other areas, the beta label on design components are “subject to change.” That said, they are “still backed by research and careful consideration.” It comes as Google wants to “get new components into your hands faster and learn from how you use them.” There are two reasons for a spec to receive this classification:

  1. It hasn’t been fully engineered on enough of our platforms: Implementing new guidance on different platforms is an important part of finalizing the design. Material supports four platforms: Android, Flutter, iOS, and the web. Implementing a new component on one platform is a first step, but we want to address any concerns that come up as we implement across our other platforms.
  2. The underlying concept is still emerging: For example, machine learning is clearly changing the world, but design best practices are still taking shape. Our patterns for machine learning-powered features are a first attempt at helping designers grapple with certain use cases and situations. However, given the newness of machine learning in user interfaces, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the landscape is changing rapidly and our guidance might need significant updates to continue to work well.

The designation will be dropped when a design component is “implemented in code for multiple platforms or becomes a well-established pattern across several Google products.” Currently, seven Material Design components, design elements, and UI patterns are in beta:

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