Every app opened on Android 12 comes with a launch animation to make “starting up a more consistent and enjoyable experience”, and the experience can be further enhanced by an animated icon on the start screen as seen with Google apps.
Updated 04/12/22: In the past year or so, few Google apps have fetched animated splash screens on Android 12+. The biggest recent additions are Google Keep (which separately features a nice animation on Wear OS) and Tasks (deployment with version 2022.11.21).
Joining Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, Chat and even Jamboard, this leaves Google Voice as the only workspace to remember.
Meanwhile, Google Home – with the big redesign – features an animated splash screen for joining YouTube (and TV), Maps and News. Google Contacts previously had one, but the new icon has removed it along with Messages and Phone which are also currently missing.
Chrome, Google Play, Photos, YouTube Music, Wallet, One, Translate, Camera, Fit, TV, Play Books, Recorder are other big absences.
Updated 19/11/21: Version 16.45.36 from YouTube is rolling out widely tonight with the animated splash screen
Update 11/11: YouTube is testing an animated splash screen with the latest beta (16.45.32). Although simple, it is quite nuanced and begins with the hollowed-out shape of the play button. Two triangles slide in from the left with the larger one – in faded red – serving as the background. There is also a white triangle for the game symbol, while the dynamism increases until the whole shape is filled.
Update 11/10: Google Maps animated splash screen is now rolling out to the stable channel with version 11.6.2. It starts with a ring divided into five colors – there are two shades of blue. The pin icon then takes shape as the tints are positioned correctly diagonally. This animation first appeared with beta 10.87.0.
Update 11/8: The standalone Google Chat app has yet to receive a redesign from Material You despite the Gmail – and Meet – experience being integrated with the new look for some time now. That said, version 2021.10.17.x brings a pretty nice animated splash screen.
It starts with splashes of green that extend from the lower left and upper right corner. As the splash screen takes up more and more space on your screen, the green inserts do the same until they overlap in a past and just sent message.
Update 9/17: After a break of almost a month, Google Calendar now has an animated start screen. It was introduced alongside the wider Material You update which added Dynamic Color and changed widgets. The borders of the calendar fill in from the perimeter, while the “31” expands. Version 2021.37.0 is currently rolling out via the Play Store.
Update 8/25: Google Contacts gained an animated start screen with its wider Material You redesign. Version 3.52 of the application changes it so that the icon no longer fills from left to right. On the contrary, it takes care of the center with the person who grows.
This style of expansion matches Docs editors and Google Duo. By comparison, News adopted the side slide-in yesterday.
Update 8/24: After a lull in updates – besides Contacts, Google News is the latest app to adopt Android 12’s animated start screen.
It is introduced with version 5.37 and one of the most delightful implementations which starts before the splash screen takes up the entire display. As it does, the outline is filled with blue coming from the left followed by yellow and green. The “G” logo then appears, with red being the last color to appear. Everything then fades away.
Update 7/13: Version 1.21.262.04.40 of Docs, Sheets, and Slides is rolling out with launch animations. These three applications share the same shape: a folded sheet of paper in the upper right corner. Like Duo, they load from the middle of the screen and expand outward.
It starts with a rectangle with rounded corners. As the icon inside grows, the wedge begins to bend for one of the most detailed (and delightful) animations yet.
Update 7/12: Version 144.0 of Google Duo for Android introduces a splash screen. Duo’s animation begins with an outline of the app icon. The blue shape then appears in the middle and extends outward, unlike Workspace apps where the color fills (->) from the perimeter.
The shape of the video player starts out as a rounded rectangle with a slight protrusion for the triangular “lens”. As it grows, it expands before arriving at the intended icon.
Update 7/10: When Google first announced the Splash Screen API with Android 12 DP3 in April, Google used Gmail – which already has web animation – as an example. It is now rolling out with version 2021.06.13.x of Gmail for Android.
In practice, the app opens and loads into your default inbox just before the “M” fills up completely in the center. This new update is still rolling out through the Play Store.
Meanwhile, the standalone Google Meet app has also been updated in recent weeks with an animated splash screen on Android 12 which is now widely available.
Original 6/27: This fancy look of Android 12 starts when you tap on an app. The app will expand from where it is on the home screen (or grid) until it takes up all four corners of the screen. When you open an app that you haven’t launched in a while (cold or warm boot), you’re also greeted with a splash screen that features the icon. This way, users are not subject to an additional delay when returning to an application they just opened (warm start).
Developers can customize the logo that appears, including the ability to use an animated icon. Another interesting aspect is how animations “can have unlimited duration”, but Google recommends keeping it at 1000 milliseconds. Developers can find full implementation details here.
Developers have long been able to design their own custom splash screens (e.g. YouTube TV), but Android 12 makes it easy for any app to do so as part of opening experience standardization.
The first Google app to adopt this animation is Drive. First you see Drive’s empty, hollowed-out six-sided shape. After the splash screen takes over the entire display, dark green, yellow, red, blue, dark blue, and green colors slide from the edge.
Version 2.21.222.06.40 is widely released today and the animated splash screen is live for all Android 12 users. It does not appear on early versions of the OS.
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