Android 12 Has Windows Phone’s Best Idea
Android 12‘s most noticeable feature is the new “Material You” UI with system-wide color theming. Simply change your wallpaper, and the phone’s UI matches the colours. A smartphone OS of yesteryear had an identical thought years in the past, and it was nice.
You would possibly bear in mind Microsoft’s final try at a smartphone OS, Windows Phone. It was forward of its time in some ways, however finally, lack of app assist was its greatest downfall. However, one factor that Windows Phone completely nailed was its “Metro UI” design.
Windows Phone and Android by no means regarded remotely comparable, however Material You and Metro UI do share an vital characteristic. Windows Phone allowed you to pick out a light-weight or darkish theme and a secondary “Accent” shade, similar to you can now in Windows 10 and 11.
That accent shade selection might be discovered all all through the UI. The most noticeable place the place you can see the accent shade was proper on the house display screen. Windows Phone’s “live tiles” used the accent shade. Even if an app didn’t use the accent shade in its UI, most of them nonetheless did for the stay tile. You may simply fill your property display screen with tiles with matching colours.
The accent shade wasn’t simply restricted to system apps, both. The majority of third-party apps additionally utilized the accent shade. Windows Phone—greater than some other smartphone OS that has existed—had probably the most constant look from the house display screen to the in-app expertise. Across the system and third-party apps, it was a really cohesive expertise.
Android 12 is trying one thing comparable with Material You. Rather than manually choosing an accent shade, it’s derived out of your wallpaper. You can barely change the colours by selecting a unique shade palette, however you’ll be able to’t choose a particular shade. If you don’t need to use the wallpaper for the theme, you solely get 4 shade selections.
Windows Phone had 20 accent colours to select from. It wasn’t as nuanced as Material You because it was actually simply an accent shade with a black or white background. Still, you actually felt just like the cellphone UI matched your private type, even with no wallpaper on the house display screen—which Windows Phone did finally get.
Of course, there are downsides to this design type, and Android 12 will run into these points, too. Services that depend on having the identical expertise throughout Android and that iPhone received’t be adopting Material You themes. Many apps have distinct branding that’s simply identifiable. The final thing they need to do is “blend in” with the remainder of the cellphone’s UI.
Many Windows Phone concepts have withstood the take a look at of time. The flat icon type that was launched with Metro UI continues to be fairly prevalent in software program design. In reality, when you activate Material You theming for icons, you get the identical type of flat icon on a coloured form impact as stay tiles. It’s all coming full circle.
There had been many professional issues with Windows Phone. It doesn’t exist at this time for some superb causes. But that doesn’t imply that it had nothing to supply the smartphone world. Both (*12*) and Apple’s iOS/iPadOS have taken bits and items from Windows Phone all through the years. With Android 12’s Material You, somebody lastly took the most effective half.
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