Project Moonshine: Google's Plan to Flatten Android App Icons Leaks
April 16, 2014 1:46 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Android Police)
Android is looking to follow in Windows Phone's footsteps with new update
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and virtually every major phone operating system maker has been
accused of imitating popular looks or features
from the others' platforms over the last several years.
It's hard to deny that the market is shifting from the skeuomorphic (3D/gemlike) look that Apple, Inc. (
championed with the 2007
launch of the iPhone to the flat poster style icons championed by Microsoft Corp. (
) with the
2010 launch of Windows Phone
Google Inc. (GOOG) was perhaps the first to pay homage to Microsoft's design shift, when it turned its web app icons -- including Chrome from skeuomorphic designs to flat designs. Google's flattening has been ongoing from 2011 to as recently as last year, when it comes to its web apps. Google Chrome was one of the first icons to go flat,
back in March 2011.
This trend continued through till last August when YouTube got a new flat icon.
These icons weren't quite as flat as Microsoft's though, as they had hard shadows behind prominent design elements. Google's flattening paradigm is described under its "Visual Asset Guidelines"
Google was not alone. Apple too,
parroted Microsoft's design direction with iOS 7
(which could also be viewed to a lesser extent as derivative of Google's flattened web icon look); a release that
was rather controversial
and which some Apple fans still
refuse to embrace
But Google has yet to make the move to flatter icons on the mobile end. Its core app icons in Android are still relatively skeuomorphic, with interior gradients, shines, and other chracteristic stylings.
has gotten its hands on
a reportedly leaked set of Android icons
for an update dubbed "Project Moonshine", which ports Android's icons towards the web-icons.
The same icons have popped up on
a Google Partners Page
, lending credence that they are indeed authentic, although its unknown whether the claim that they are coming to Android is the real deal as well.
One of the users has
posted a version of the icons
that can be seen below without the backing.
If accurate, this will mean that both Google and Apple will now have followed in Microsoft's lines in adopting flatter design cues. Given the controversy surrounding iOS 7, we're guessing that Android fans will have mixed feelings regarding the shift in design direction.
Google Partners Page
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/16/2014 2:31:52 PM
The whole move sucks. Sure they want to make things simple, and stream across platforms but dumbing down the icon? Please. Its a 2D image file that is either going to look flat and plain or going to look 3D. Its still the same processing power either way.
RE: Total Crap
4/16/2014 2:48:50 PM
I'm not reefing to just the icons, but the overall removal of bling from UIs, like transparency and shine. Sure, any one bit of graphical eye-candy may be negligible, but they add up.
RE: Total Crap
4/16/2014 2:49:36 PM
referring. Not sure how that ended up as reefing
RE: Total Crap
4/16/2014 4:20:31 PM
Australia's Gold Coast sure seems nice about now.
Agreed with most everyone here, the design sucks. Why doesn't MS just call it "Retro"? Why did Apple copy MS with that terrible idea, and why does Google have to copy both? I had an old iPhone 3GS that Apple somehow got me to upgrade to iOS 6 when it could hardly run iOS 4. I don't really need a smart phone so never paid much attention, but a friend with an iPhone 4S got iOS 7. My first reaction was, "man that's an ugly skin you put on there!" She said she accidentally upgraded to iOS 7 and couldn't downgrade. That ugly skin was iOS 7's default look.
In the tech world, market research is so crucial which makes this ugly retro look all the more confusing. That 3 major smartphone OS makers all went to the same ugly design begs the question just exactly who is doing their market research and who are the decision making wise guys who go along with that?
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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