Upon waking up this morning and checking the Google TV app for Christmas movies to watch with the family (don’t judge me, I’m not that early!), I realized that some of its UI elements had adopted Google’s fancy Material You design language.
Thinking I may have been imagining it and that this had been present prior to today, I then checked the news to see that 9to5Google corroborated this information. Last week, the movie and TV show application received an update to its remote control design, added multiple casting services, and more. Now, it looks like it’s getting a new lick of paint!
As you can see in the image below, the navigation drawer is thicker (or taller if you’re viewing it in portrait mode – again, don’t judge me. Additionally, each highlighted active tab you visit will have a white pill shape around it. Since we still don’t have a light mode for YouTube Music or Google TV, we’ll never know what that looks like with a colorful backdrop, but I digress.
Despite this, the theming is quite a bit lighter than it was previously. Instead of an OLED black, it’s now using a dark grey. Again, this is light by comparison, but I thought I would mention it as it could mean good things for the future of the UI in terms of us getting the aforementioned light theme. Who knows!
Another thing that’s been updated is the search bar. Instead of having to tap directly on the magnifying glass icon at the top left of the screen, you can tap anywhere on the newly added search field which is lightly colored to differentiate itself from the background.
If you’re rocking version 4.37.20 of the Google TV app, you’re all set to receive a server-side update with these new elements. It’s worth noting that I did load this up on my Lenovo Chromebook Duet, and it’s still utilizing the old theming for now.
While a small and seemingly insignificant update, I wanted to feature it as it means Google is working quickly toward a complete overhaul of its apps and services across the web and mobile. Before long, the old, outdated designs of the present will become relics of the past. As someone obsessed with aesthetics, this pleases me greatly. Most recently, Google Collections on the web and mobile received a Material Design refresh as well, and they even fixed that crazy loading issue on Android!