Google is now focused on making its iPhone and iPad apps feel more native to iOS

Google applications on iOS have long been criticized for not feeling native to the platform. Earlier this year, the company’s designers reviewed their approach for developing iOS apps and opted for a change. 

Google apps on iOS have long looked and functioned near identically to their Android counterparts. That in itself is fine and the company’s prerogative, but Apple enthusiasts have complained about Google applications not respecting common iOS conventions and “feel,” thus resulting in an inconsistent user experience between first and third-party clients. 

Behind-the-scenes, this was due to the company’s belief in “shar[ing] UI components across Google.” In building their own libraries, another focus was “filling gaps in UIKit,” Apple’s framework for building apps.

This is according to staff engineering lead for Google Design on Apple platforms Jeff Verkoeyen in a Twitter thread earlier this week. All that work was eventually open sourced as Material Components for iOS (MDC) to allow any third-party developer to adopt the same UI elements used by Google’s iPhone and iPads apps, like floating action buttons (FABs), chips, and snackbars.