Google’s subtle new Material You redesign begins to land

Fi material Your changes are so small that you may not notice them.

You should already know what Google Fi is, but whether you’re subscribed to Google’s MVNO service or not, its Android companion app is finally catching up with other Google apps with its own Material You layout. It’s not a total redesign (if that’s what you’re hoping for), where the app just gets dynamic color theme support and small changes to the navigation bar’s interface.

The change was first discovered by 9to5Google and appears to be very early in its rollout. This could be part of a limited soak test as there are virtually no other public reports for the new layout, or it may just be so small that most people with the tweak do not notice it.

Left: Old user interface. Right: New user interface (image via 9to5Google).

It’s hard to say with the limited examples available, but the changes look pretty mild. As you can see above, dynamic color tones the icons in the navigation bar as well as colored text and icons in other parts of the app and can also affect content graphics. Avatars and device icons are reportedly also toned to match, though there are no examples to show. The navigation bar may be slightly higher and now outlines the icon for the selected tab with a Material You-style pill.

The rollout of the change appears to be limited. 9to5 notes that it was available on v60 of the app, but it is not live on any of our devices, even with the required version. Changes like these can sometimes take the form of remotely triggered “feature flags”, and Google may have restricted implementation so far as part of a staggered release.

Last year, Google Fi added end-to-end encryption support on “qualified” calls (between Google Fi subscribers when using the Google caller ID). Earlier this month, Google lowered the prices of some of its unlimited plans, reducing them by $ 5-10 a month. This had the unusual effect of making a three-line Simply Unlimited plan slightly cheaper than either the two- or four-line plans, but Google will Google.


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