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Google confirms a big change coming to its apps on iOS

Google Maps
Google Maps (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Google is changing up the way it builds apps on iOS.
  • It is moving from Material Design to Apple's own UIKit.
  • It should make apps look and perform a lot better than they currently do.

Google is improving its apps on iOS by switching to UIKit from Material Design.

That's according to Jeff Verkoeyen, who leads Google's Design team for apps on Apple's platforms, such as Google Maps and Gmail. Verkoeyen stated:

This year my team shifted the open source Material components libraries for iOS into maintenance mode…The time we're saving not building custom code is now invested in the long tail of UX details that really make products feel great on Apple platforms. To paraphrase Lucas Pope, we're "swimming in a sea of minor things", and I couldn't be more excited about this new direction.

This might all sound like pretty boring under-the-hood stuff, but is actually great news for users. As Verkoeyen explains, "this evolution of how we approach design for Apple platforms has enabled us to marry the best of UIKit with the highlights of Google's design language." This means that Google doesn't need as many custom components as it used to use to get its apps to work on devices like the iPhone 13 and Apple's other best iPhones. Rather than focusing efforts on getting these apps to simply work and function on Apple's platforms, Google can now focus on making better apps with more features. This is great news for users of Google apps on iOS, such as Google Maps or Gmail.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.