June 16, 2021

Google backtracks on Android 12’s new ripple effect after users confuse it for a bug

Wide-ranging visual changes are arriving with Android 12, all part of Google’s brand-new Material You design system. Reactions to this have, on the whole, been pretty positive, but there are some aspects of it that aren’t quite so popular. Animations are getting a lot of attention, since they’ve remained unchanged for so long, and the new ripple effect, in particular, isn’t going down so well.

When you tap or long-press any element within Android 12, you’ll notice there’s now a sparkly ripple animation that emanates from where your finger touches the screen and fills outwards. In certain places, I think this looks quite nice, but not everyone agrees. Due to the noisy, pixelated nature of the animation’s design, a good number of users reported it as a bug in the Android Issue Tracker (via 9to5Google).

https://www.androidpolice.com/

In certain apps — the calculator is a good example — the ripple really doesn’t look great, so this is understandable. The animation takes too long and the different background shade that accompanies it is too conspicuous/distracting.

https://www.androidpolice.com/ https://www.androidpolice.com/

Thankfully, Google has listened to the feedback and has promised changes in upcoming Android Beta versions. A Googler marked the issue as fixed and commented:

Thanks a ton for the feedback – you’ll be seeing continued updates in Beta 2, 3, and onwards to make the ripple more subtle and less distracting/glitch-feeling.

From what we’ve so far seen of Google’s new Material You design direction, these sparkly ripples seem to be an intended component rather than a bug, but perhaps they’re not yet working quite as intended. If Google is indeed going to make it more subtle than they had originally planned, it’ll be interesting to see if they make any other changes to predetermined design elements before the final version of Android 12 rolls out in the fall. I’m personally not a huge fan of the new overscroll animation either, since it stretches any content on the screen and doesn’t look very natural to me — I wouldn’t mind if that was reconsidered as well.