September 13, 2016
Six years ago, I bought the beauty you see. It was my first foray into the Android ecosystem. I had an iPhone 3 something-or-other before this device, but for the last six years, I have been solely working with Android on my phone for a daily driver.
Apps on Android have always been the second-class citizen to their iPhone counterparts. I would always cringe when I would try out a new app and see iPhone UI elements pop up. It happens way more than you’d think. Then there were apps like this:
Look at those buttons and input fields. I know it was a different time back then, but the experiences on the apps were all so scattered and random. It was even worse than just a browser website. It was just a “whatever” kind of feeling. Those grey buttons made me want to become a designer. I didn’t know what they were supposed to look like, but they gave me such a reaction.
Then came Material Design. Material Design, in some cases, caused this copycat mentality. Everything used some of these boilerplate UI elements and apps all started to look the same; slide out menu on the left and a floating action button on the bottom with some buttons that had the cool wave function when you would press on them. Things felt great to use, but it was like what happened when people found bootstrap. Everyone had a bootstrap grid with those buttons on their websites.
There was a period of time where it was all the same, but that was ok. We went from the gray buttons to higher standards. I want to call out some apps that handle the material design really well.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter