Many Google apps have received visual updates over the past two months. Android 9 Pie brings a new Material Theme, which is commonly referred to as Material Design 2 (MD2). It has a greater emphasis on white space, and it opts to go with white instead of using the bright colors that were the hallmark of the first generation Material Design. The new Material Theme used in Google apps such as Google Phone, Google Contacts, and Google Maps, also uses Google’s new Google Sans font in many prominent areas such as headings. The Material Theme design refreshes of Google apps are still ongoing, and opinion is divided on whether the new Material Theme is an improvement over the previous design.
Recently, the Google Phone and the Google Contacts apps received a major new coat of paint with Google Phone 23 and Google Contacts 3.0 respectively. Google Contacts is available on the Play Store for all Android 5.0+ devices, while Google Phone is restricted to being available on Pixel and Android One devices.
The changes were major from a design perspective. The new Material Theme changed the design of the dialer home screen, the typography of the app, and even the background of the InCallUI screen. Similarly, Google Contacts 3.0 brought the Google Sans font, and removed use of colors in favor of using white nearly everywhere. Now, Google Contacts 3.13 has brought a redesigned sidebar and a new feature that lets users clear interaction data.
The redesigned sidebar is simple to explain. The account header no longer has a generic image background. Instead, it uses a simple white background to make the app’s design even more minimalist. This removes the only remaining trace of bright color in the app, and completes the transition from Material Design 1 to the new Material Theme. The screenshots above show the differences between Google Contacts 3.13 and the older 3.07 version of the app.
Google Contacts 3.13 also brings the clear interaction data feature. Users can now clear device data about how often they have contacted people. This data is generated with calls, messages, and emails. Google notes that clearing interaction data may reset suggestions for contacts in apps. The company also notes that clearing interaction data won’t wipe call history, contacts, texts, and emails.
Users can download the updated version of the app from the Google Play Store.