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Google Play Music gets Material redesign

Google has revamped its Play Music web service with a fresh new Material Design.

While Google has been updating its mobile apps with its bold Material Design language over the past months, its websites have proven curiously immune.

Now one of the most prominent Google web properties, its Play Music web service, has received the Material Design touch. The result will be familiar to anyone who’s used Android 5.0 Lollipop.

At the heart of this new design is an attempt to make Google’s websites look and behave more like apps.

“We’re moving towards making the web feel more like an app and less like a series of web pages strung together by links,” Google UX designer Bryan Rea told The Verge. “The new header, the slick transition as you scroll, the collapsible nav, new animations, these all feel like things you expect in an app not on the web.”

Sure enough, there’s now a permanent orange header overlay containing a search field and the various settings and profile shortcuts. You also have to slide in the side bar containing the usual Listen Now, My Library, Radio, and Playlist options.

All of these transitions are handled by slick animations, too, rather than popping into view like an old fashioned website. It all feels very much like the equivalent mobile apps.

Meanwhile, there’s much more artwork on display. Google Play Music always used to feel quite sparse and cold, but now there are high resolution images backing everything from playlists and albums. It’s a far more inviting and attractive experience.

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Artists in the My Library page are now represented by circular thumbnails in a deliberate bid to set them apart from the rest of the content.

All in all, it’s a well-timed update with Apple Music looming on the horizon.