Despite Google’s best efforts with Material Design, Android is always a bit uglier than expected when you actually bring it home. That’s largely because while Google creates standards for balancing the various geometries of elements like icons, it doesn’t, unlike Apple, actually enforce them.
But what happens when Google’s patience runs out? Wonderful things. And in a recent beta release of its Google Now Launcher–essentially an app to give your Android phone a better home screen–we get a taste.
The update, which was only available to people who had signed up for Google’s beta program, uses software to normalize the sizing of those icons that break the rules. The results speak for themselves. The indescribably bloated interface feels instantly more balanced, with white space cutting through the claustrophobia created by app developers who were trying too hard to get your attention.
For whatever reason, Google immediately released another beta of its Google Now Launcher that pulled the resizing function, but we’d be pretty shocked if it didn’t come back with a future update. Now if only Google could learn to throw its weight around with the smartphone and tablet manufacturers who distribute Android–and who reskin the interface to standards far below Google’s superb design department–we’d really have something to celebrate.
If you’re an Android user who’d like to see these sorts of experiments playing out sporadically on your phone, you can sign up for beta access here.