Google's Logo

Google has updated its own applications for Android with a splash screen that adds a tweaks to remind users who built the app, the operating system, and the ecosystem that it hooks into.

Having updated Googles’ own applications, you’ll now be presented with a white screen, an oversized logo, and the word “Google” plastered across the screen. But why?

Adding a splash screen to the loading process of an app only increases the time taken to get into the app itself – something previously Android design guidelines discouraged in order to load the app as quickly as possible.

However, Google has now taken a defensive position on app branding to counter the bundled Microsoft apps that now come with some Android phones that directly compete with Googles’ offerings. Here’s what Google say in their Material Design guidelines:

Branded launch screens are a good way to portray a brand while the app is loading. Take advantage of the loading time to display your logo or other elements that improve brand recognition. Avoid using text on this screen except your logo and, if applicable, a tagline.

So whilst technically completely unnecessary, Google feels it needs to protect its brand against its competitors on its own platform by introducing this loading screen into their own apps. Is the average user naive enough to not be able to distinguish between cloud services providers? Perhaps they are, and perhaps that’s why Google feels the need to hinder the app experience with these ugly splash screens.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Did you even notice the change?

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  1. Oh, I noticed them all right. They don’t do anything to remind me of which company provided the app, but they sure do remind me of which company is wasting my time with the silly splash screen.

  2. “Adding a splash screen to the loading process of an app”
    Exacly. The loading time was already there, but you would see it like a lag.
    I personally I like splash screens more than showing a non functional app UI or not showing anything at all, because it makes the users think that they are opening the app faster and their phone is not lagging.

  3. The splash screen is just a feature to let the user know that the app is loading rather than seeing nothing or a black screen. I like the idea. Some user notification would be nice on the larger load time apps that I have.

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