Google's new Material You design has already emerged on some older versions of Android – here's what we know

Some elements of Material You are appearing where you might least expect them

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has been steadily rolling out its new personalized design language, Material You, with it slowly updating across Android 12 apps following its official announcement at Google's I/O event back in May. 

And, although it’s not currently yet publicly available, there have been sporadic reports of it turning up on apps not exclusive to Google Pixel phones.

Right now, the Material You redesign should only show on devices running the Android 12 beta, yet several Samsung device users and select other models running older versions of Android have reported certain Material You design elements showing up on their handsets.

Android Police noted that they were using a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra on Android 11, wherein Gboard's new settings menu made an early appearance. Through this, a redesigned 'Theme' screen is seen, plus a layout that leverages more rounded corners and redesigned text, as per the screenshot below.

Android Police Material You snaps

(Image credit: Android Police)

Interestingly, though, Android Police says that "it's also had reports of the redesigned settings menu pop up on anything from Xiamoi to Sony devices running Android versions as old as Android 9." Indeed, it does seem that core elements of Material You are cropping up on a range of older-generation devices.

A lucky few users, then, running older versions of Android have seemingly been able to sample the Material You design paradigm without having to get in line and wait for firmware updates like the rest of us. For now, it's only a minute glimpse of what's to come: small design facets like the "tinted top bar, rounded corners, and altered system auto-icon," are all on display in Android Police's screenshots. Though it's not much, it does give us a small sample of what we might expect from this sumptuous design overhaul.

You can download this specific version of Gboard from the Play Store or APK Mirror and, as ever, it's always worth checking out our hyper-prestigious best Android phones list, which we regularly update with the best Android-powered devices currently available on the market.  

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.