Google Play Books Gets The Material Design Treatment

Google's Material Design language has invaded still more of the Android operating system, and it's not exclusive to Android Lollipop's developer preview.  This time though, if you have Gingerbread, Android 2.3, or above, you can add the Material reDesigned version of Google's Play Books.  The MD has come many times today, but each one is special.  Now, let's take a look at the Play Books update.

First, the thing to notice is the plain blue-on-blue cover and binding, overshadowed by the bookmark hanging out of the top of the book.  The icon is very easy on the eyes, so it looks like this might be a final (or working-final) design.  Basically, this means that the icon fits right in among the other MD'ed apps from Google so far.  Also, if you look at the un-setup Play - My Library widget (with the Material Play Store installed of course) you can see an icon that almost if not identically matches this one.

Now, to the contents, since the app icon is all well and good, but essentially useless from a functional standpoint.  The inside of the app, which we have compared to the pre-Material version below, is laid out rather differently, with some minor aesthetic alterations as well.  The non-Material Designed Play Books is on the right half, and the Material Designed is on the left half

The non-Material Designed Play Books features the traditional section label icon (a little white book) by the lines that denote a hamburger menu in the top left corner.  The four 'types' of books, all, uploads, purchases and samples, are in the arrowed drop-down menu, whereas the Material has a slide-across view of just three (losing the uploads option, likely until you have one that matches that type).

The other major things to note, design- and layout-wise, is the addition of showing only the downloaded titles (and books, obviously), instead of the entire library, with most being inaccessible.  There's also a slight color change (from a more pastel blue in the previous version) to a solid, simple Material blue in the new version.

If you've gotten the update, how do you feel about it?  Is it a big deal, or do you not really read that many books on the go, even in the digital age?  If you haven't gotten it yet, is it something you'll actively pursue, or will you just let it happen.  Which Google app needs Material Design's makeover next?  Let us know down below.

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About the Author

Phil Bourget

Staff Writer
Using Android since 2012 and the Galaxy S III, I'm now running a Nexus 5 paired to a Moto 360 to keep updated on the Internet of stuff. Usually found on Google+ or in class.
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