Material Design 2 update spruces up Google Photos — here’s how to get it

Whether you love it or hate it, Material Design 2 has become Google’s core style with the release of Android 9.0 Pie, and the internet giant has wasted no time in updating its core apps to reflect the change in style. Google Photos is the latest app to get the design refresh, and like the earlier updates to Android Messages, Google Contacts, and Google Phone, the style changes are sure to cause comment in the Android community.

The changes are broadly in line with what we’ve come to expect from Material Design 2. The bolder-colored header bars and titles of the previous Material Design have been removed, and simpler design with stark white has replaced it. Gentle curves have replaced hard angles, and the boldly colored buttons have gone, replaced by softer pastel colors. The buttons on the bottom row have also been tweaked, with the darker gray areas being removed in favor of a simpler black-and-white design. Finally, the previously gray navigation bar now matches the app’s white color. As a whole, the changes help to open the app up, and make it feel less enclosed.

Aside from these changes in appearance, there’s precious little to report from the update, and it seems that no major features have been added. Android Police reports that users can now access a photo’s info by swiping up on the image, but also noted some major inconsistencies with the gesture triggering. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to trigger this new feature at all, and can only assume it’s a work in progress on Google’s part.

If you want to check out Google Photos’ new look, the update is said to be rolling out. However, if you don’t want to wait for the update to reach your region, you can manually update your app by sideloading the new APK. To do so, just head to APK Mirror’s site for this new update, select the correct APK, and manually install it to your phone. If you need a bit more guidance, you can check out our guide on how to sideload an app on your Android phone or tablet.

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