Project Moonshine: Google's Plan to Flatten Android App Icons Leaks
April 16, 2014 1:46 PM
(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
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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