I've finally watched the Material Design segment of the Google I/O 2014 keynote.
Material Design is the new Google's design language. It looks promising and great. There are some nice ideas, akin to iOS 7, like depth (automatically integrated by a z-axis with live shadows rendering for developers) or transitions and animations as first-class citizens.
Bonus? A comprehensive set of guidelines with a lot of examples.
Unfortunately, there is some bullshit lines lurking inside the documentation…
Create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. […]
A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.
Please, oh please, don't let marketing people write technical papers.
I'm really eager to see how it will be implemented in Android & the Google web apps (if I understood well, the current Android L preview is not completely converted to Material Design yet).
There's still a lot of things that I don't like about Android and there's still a lot of rough edges (the awful black navigation bar, the heavy use of small typography, weird transitions & cie), but it's a great step forward for the platform. And there's even a decent status bar now!
The real problem for Google is to force developers to adapt to the new style. It's the fourth Android redesign (if I recount well) and the majority of the Android apps are still looking bad. I hope that this time, developers will rejoice and follow Google's lead.