Google’s apps look and feel increasingly out of place on Apple’s iOS

“Google’s decision to use Material Design has rubbed some iOS users the wrong way,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO. “My own feeling about this is that companies should make it a point to respect the design language of the platform they are developing for, since anything else seems to anger the majority of users on that platform. This is really just common sense, if you are going to release an app for iOS then make it look like an iOS app and vice versa for Android apps.”

“I think that the reason companies like Google don’t do this is simple laziness, as well as an unwillingness to spend a little more development money to tweak an app’s design to match the design language of the platform it is going to run on,” Lynch writes. “But is it really worth it to skip a little more work or save a few bucks while angering users and driving them away from your apps? I don’t think so.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t see Google changing its behavior anytime soon. The company seems blithely unaware of how many iOS users dislike Material Design on the iPhone and iPad. So Google will probably bumble along, making the same design mistakes that they’ve been making so far,” Lynch writes. “I hope, however, that Apple learns from Google’s mistakes and makes it a point to make Apple Music and any other apps it makes for Android use Material Design instead of Apple’s usual iOS design language. It’s the best way to satisfy users on Android and avoid alienating them from Apple’s products.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Before seemingly doing little more than porting their apps from Android to iOS, Google should have listened to Steve Jobs in 2010 when he explained why allowing devlopers to use Adobe’s shiteous Flash to create iOS apps would result in poor, lowest-comon-denominator apps:

Some typical components of Google's Material Design UI
Some typical components of Google’s Material Design UI
We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

Our motivation is simple – we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen. We want to continually enhance the platform so developers can create even more amazing, powerful, fun and useful applications. Everyone wins – we sell more devices because we have the best apps, developers reach a wider and wider audience and customer base, and users are continually delighted by the best and broadest selection of apps on any platform.

Smart developers, unlike Google, design their apps for specific platforms’ capabilities, design language, and conventions.


  1. Still amazes me that so many people are so OK with installing anything Google, and in the process accepting the Google Peeping Tom licensing agreement that allows Google to Peep at and track your every act.


    1. People need to remember that nothing is free. Google is making money off those free apps and they are making it at the expense of your privacy. Google is NOT a tech company they are an advertising company that uses technology to increase the value of the produce they sell, and that product is you.

    1. I was going to write the same thing! Google Maps is the only google app i have on my phone, and it is so hard to find crap. The older google maps was so simple and worked so well…i don’t see how they figured their new crap was better.

      1. I have to jump on this bandwagon. In the distant past, I could honestly say that Google search and Google Maps worked pretty well. It almost goes without saying that I transitioned away from all Google services when their evil, backstabbing ways became evident. I use DuckDuckGo almost exclusively for search and Apple Maps for the majority of my maps and directions. I also added Google blockers to my Safari extensions because the majority of websites are infested with Google trackers.

        But, even after committing to Apple Maps and occasionally trying out Bing if I needed an alternative, I still turned to Google Maps from time to time.

        In the past couple of years, though, Google has royally screwed up Google Maps. It can be hard to find it (I had to show my boss how to get to it), much less use it. Switching from Map View to Hybrid View used to be easy and obvious. Not any more.

        Thanks, Google! I had already pushed Google to the side, only occasionally using Google Search or Google Maps. But you are increasingly making the best choice a complete elimination of Google from my life – not even the occasional dabble in Google Maps or Search.

  2. This could apply to iTunes on Windows as well. There’s no attempt to play nice with the UI of Windows 8 or 10.

    The YouTube update to its iPad app was a significant downgrade in appearance and function thanks to Material Design.

    Lack of UI awareness is a lack of respect for users no matter what platform it is. I kind of like Material Design – on Android devices.

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