Material You all the things! If you’ve been reading our coverage for any length of time, then you’ll notice that pretty much everything Google owns from apps to services and so on have all been slowly updated to match the company’s new, more personalized design language. Material You intelligently adapts based on the wallpaper and the colors are picked based on the element’s surroundings so that everything fits neatly together and nothing looks out of place.
Most recently, ChromeOS received a “MY” (Material You) update for its quick settings panel on the Canary channel and the Google TV app for Android also got a new lick of paint. Oh, and let’s not forget the all-too-often forgotten Google Collections, which also received a complete overhaul in this style as well. Additionally, the Nearby Share on Android and Chrome for desktop’s new tab page (NTP) all got Material You tweaks.
Now, the YouTube app for your Android phone is finally getting a widget which provides quick access to search, the home feed, YouTube Shorts, the latest content from your subscriptions, and even your personal video library, including Watch Later, history and so on.
This isn’t just any widget though, and while we finally have a way to jump instantly to these important features each day, which I appreciate, the design seen below is probably the most intriguing part. It’s been many years since the original Android widgets came out, and they’ve looked antiquated ever since.
This new “‘Material You’tube” (see what I did there?) fits right in with the recent complete revamps of the widgets available to users. I’m not sure why Google woke up one day and realized “Hey, these things are old and dusty and haven’t gotten any love since the dawn of the smartphone…maybe we should do something about that!”, but I’m glad they did.
I can now say that much of my home screen setup is populated by widgets instead of app icons, and that’s refreshing. It’s not for everyone, but it does feel a bit more organic to navigate, and dare I say, a bit more personal. Are you going to use the new YouTube widget, or are you sticking with pressing and holding the app icon to get these shortcuts?