With the release of Android L just a few months away, proactive developers are already churning out Material Design versions of their apps. With over 10 million downloads, Equalizer is a popular Android EQ, but it was in serious need of a visual overhaul. What better way to do it than to go Material? Version 4.0 of Equalizer is out now with a new L-themed UI.

1 2 3

A lot of the features of Material Design Google talked about at I/O are dependent on Android L, but that's still just a developer preview for a few devices. However, the interface shown in the Play Store screens seems to work on my KitKat devices. Presumably the dev is working around the L-specific features to make this run on older versions of Android. To be clear, it's not all Material. The developer is calling it a Material interface, and it does have floating action buttons, more colors, and flashy L-style animations. Yes, there are still Holo sliders and menus, but as I pointed out above, it works on non-L devices this way. There are definitely still some Holo bits in Equalizer, but it's a vast improvement (see the screens at the bottom).

4 5 6

The core features are unchanged in this update—it still packs a customizable 5-band EQ and 11 presets. You can tweak the settings however you like, but adding new custom presets requires a $1.99 pro key. Note: Updated to more fully explain what elements are Material-like and what isn't.

q2 q3 q1

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Franco Rossel

    That seems a lot more Holo than Material to me.

  • Dfigs23

    Just because it has the floating action button, does not mean that it is Material Design.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That's not all it has. See my response above.

      • Dfigs23

        Great insight, I completely agree. I'm just worried that Devs will think that adding floating action buttons will be sufficient and not want to fully redesign their apps to meet Google's Guidelines.

      • WTF

        Just because it has the animations and a misplaced FAB - IT'S NOT MATERIAL. This app took material and made it absolutely horrible looking

  • Damian S.

    God damn, this is NOT a Material Design update, it is just Holo from Android 4.0 update with white icon on a light dialog.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not true.

      • Damian S.

        Just stop calling every UI update of some apps Material Design, like @silaslenz:disqus said.

      • SSJwiggy

        Such a good counterargument.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I've already listed my counterarguments here. I don't want to repeat it 5x.

          • WaveatDave

            wow - you should stop being so rude to your readers. This is an open thread.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I didn't want to repeat the same comment 5 times, and that makes me rude?

          • SSJwiggy

            It's better if you don't comment at all if you have nothing to add like "Not True." That was the point of my response.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            And yet I had a point - to disagree with the statement.

          • SSJwiggy

            Trolling has a point to but that doesn't make it the right thing to do.

  • silaslenz

    Please Ryan/AP, could you stop calling every fucking app that adds some more colors, an floating button and some occasional animation Material Design? This is Holo with some inspiration from Material.

  • Anthony Tyson

    That's fncking hidious. Sadly this is the kind of crap I expect we will see a lot of.

    • silaslenz

      This is the kind of crap we will see when devs try to clone a UI that they shouldn't use. Most apps would look a lot better if they just waited for L to be released and simply changed the theme to Material for L and up.

  • Danny

    AP needs to stop promoting these "material" updates as Material. The guidelines are very specific this time around. You are promoting poor practice and giving developers that don't take the time to look into the guidelines a bad idea of what they should be striving for.

    • Shining Wing

      In my opinion, I think this Liam should be the only AP writer covering Material, since he's actually shown that he knows what Material is supposed to be.

  • Shining Wing

    This is a new low for you guys. This is literally Holo with a floating action button tacked on.

  • iamnotkurtcobain

    If this is Material Design, Google should cancel Android L lol. Looks horrible.
    A floating button and weird color combination is not material design.
    I hope Google updates gmail, play music and hangouts with material design in the next few weeks..

  • Taco Monster

    Is this rampant misuse of 'Material Design' on AP Liam-approved? It's getting tiresome. It's not a synonym for 'vaguely decent design'.

  • http://retardedgeniuscomics.tumblr.com najodleglejszy

    every preset colour except Normal, Classical and Folk is HIDEOUS. what were they thinking?

  • bhake

    I will still follow AP closely, but I think I will skip future posts about "Material updates" to apps. Just not interesting, to be honest. Actual Android L updates, google app updates, phone reviews, apk teardowns, rumors, etc that you usually do is pretty awesome. Just my 2 cents!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Material Design is more than just static UI, it's also about transitions and animations, which can't be easily seen in screenshots. And then there's the whole z-order 3D layers effect.

    These things are present in the redesign here - the buttons transition and rotate, there's a nice Material checkbox with animation when you select a preset, etc., but unfortunately, not the whole app has been Materialized, there are some UI elements that are distinctly Holo, like the checkboxes and dialogs.

    I'm not sure everyone commenting even understands what Material Design is, plus Ryan clarified that there are Holo elements left behind, which I'm sure the devs will clean up in a future update.

    • Shining Wing

      The animations are nothing like Material Design. The animation when selecting a preset looks very rough and out of place, and other than that, the only Material elements in the whole app are the floating action buttons. The rest is still Holo, much more than just a few bits leftover.

      ...And I'm disagreeing with Artem. Never thought that would happen. XD

    • silaslenz

      It's more like material dropped some elements on holo, instead of some "holo elements left behind". In fact, like I've already said, it is mostly holo, except of a few animations, the transition from the bottom, and the floating button.

  • Greg

    I REALLY HOPE Google gives developers a kick up the arse for designing terrible looking apps. I am no longer enjoying Android as the UI of most apps is boring, outdated and annoyingly uglier then iOS by FAR.

    • max8mium2014

      Developers really need to start concentrating on making their apps look beautiful.
      I agree, compared to iOS, Android's apps look like they've hit every branch in the tree on the way down!!!!!!

  • http://tablified.com Ayman Suleiman

    So many butt-hurt Android fans. I personally think it looks great and it does have many aspects of Material Design. As far I am concerned, this is Material Design for those not on L. We should be saying 'Great job dev, keep it up. Hope to see more MD elements in the future!'

    • silaslenz

      "it does have many aspects of Material Design"

      Yes, or at least imitations of them. And that's it. That does in no way make it material, or even "material like". What i would say instead is "Good job dev, keep it up. Hope to see an Material Design update when L is released. But don't call it Material Design just yet."

  • wtffff

    Oh gawd, people really don't know how to follow guidelines. this app is horrible

  • Thomas Wong

    Not sure why recently more readers have such backlash against AP's "Material Design" posts... I think the posters merely are trying to recognize developers who are trying to catch up with the latest design technologies, and give them some credit and encouragement.

    To be honest, there are good elements and bad elements in both Holo and Material. We can't expect developers to fully embrace Material... because for some it might be too much work, and it could be more of a design change then feature addition. So it is not hard to imagine that in the future there would be mostly Holo-and-Material hybrid designs.

    What is important is that the main reason a design change is implemented should be improvement in usability, not beauty. Holo carries usability improvements over Gingerbread designs (action bar, overflow button, navigation drawer, cards), and for now, Material might not bring the biggest improvement over Holo. In my humble opinion, I think we should recognize these developers named in such posts, because they are the first to embrace what they think is the most significant benefit in getting Material.

    • jeez

      Promoting an app as "Material" when it's not is the problem.

      • Shining Wing

        Exactly, when big guys like AP say that apps like this are Material, it makes users and developers believe that stuff like this is what Material should be.

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        I don't even think that the design isn't material. Consider this. Holo and Material look very similar. What makes them different (besides the coloring) is the animation. we can't get that with pictures.

        • Shining Wing

          "Holo and Material look very similar"

          Not really. They look pretty damn different, nearly every graphic is redone. And the guidelines are MASSIVELY redone, they're so much clearer and less ambiguous than Holo's guidelines are. A lot of it is even completely changed in function than Holo. I'm not sure if you have actually read the guidelines, because if you did, you would understand that Material is an incredibly huge change to Android as a whole.

  • http://www.smartandroidapps.com Smart Android Apps

    Hey guys,

    My name is Alex and I'm one of the developers behind Equalizer.

    Man, some of these comments are rough! not exactly what I was expecting, specially after putting a whole weeks worth of work into redesigning the whole app's UI and UX, not just changing simple assets here and there.

    Agreed 100% with Artem's comment - this is our first attempt and there are still certain elements that are not "material". My whole goal from the get-go was to make the look and feel of the app as "material" as possible to current non Android L preview users. I believe the current design achieved this and personally I am very happy with the results.

    The compromise was of course what Artem previously mentioned, some widgets (namely checkboxes, dialogs, and seekbars) remain holo. We will hopefully transition some of these in later updates, to bring even more of material to non Android L users.


    • WaveatDave

      This isn't your fault this AP's for suggesting it's had a Material UI update. When it's NOT.

      • Shining Wing

        To be fair, the dev's claiming it's Material too.

        • WaveatDave

          Okay, fine. But it's not.

          • Shining Wing

            Yeah, far from it. The dev still has a long way to go!

          • WaveatDave

            This is annoying. Are you both deluded?
            This isn't a Material design update. How can you call it that?
            You've enhanced HOLO!!!

          • Shining Wing

            Did you mean to reply to someone else? Because I'm definitely not saying that this is Material. :P

          • WaveatDave

            Yeah I meant it to Artem and Alex.

          • Neo

            Am I wrong or does the title clearly says 'Material-Like' update ? even the URL says -material-like-update-with .. so not sure why so many rude comments ..

          • Shining Wing

            It used to say "Material Design update", they changed it sometime after the swarm of comments.

          • Neo

            Aaha .. I always thought even though they can change the title the url stays the same.. doesn't look to be the case i guess :) thanks for confirming..

        • http://www.smartandroidapps.com Smart Android Apps

          Absolutely - and if "material inspired" makes more sense, then we will make that correction.

          Listen guys, this is process and transition from every dev out there. When iOS7 first came out, it took several iterations for apps to get the look and feel right for the new flat design style. Likewise, it is a process for us and hopefully we've got things started on the right track.

          • Shining Wing

            "and if "material inspired" makes more sense, then we will make that correction."

            Well, that definitely puts you above Artem for this!

            "When iOS7 first came out, it took several iterations for apps to get the look and feel right for the new flat design style."

            iOS 7 also had better betas (and more than one of them), so it was easier to develop iOS 7 apps. Meanwhile, Android L seems to only be getting one preview, and it's one that's pretty hard to develop for because it's so unfinished.

            Overall, I don't blame you for not having a perfect Material app out, especially since that's really hard to do at this point. Seeing how much of an improvement this is over the old UI, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing a more finished version! Keep up the good work! :)

            You've probably already seen it, but just as a reminder, you should definitely be looking at the guidelines, since it's pretty much the best reference available at this point. http://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html It's definitely helped me out a lot when I've been confused about what to do for my design!

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        What's New
        - New material design for Equalizer!
        - Easier and more intuitive controls
        - Simplified navigation
        - Minor bug fixes

        • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

          You have eyes right?

    • Shining Wing

      It's good that you're trying. You've definitely made the UI look so much better than in the old version! Keep it up! I just wouldn't call it Material yet, since it's mostly still Holo with some colors and a FAB. As @iamnotkurtcobain said, it's more of a problem with AP, as a big news source claiming that this is Material can be misleading to users and developer.

    • silaslenz

      I'm (and i think most comments in here) not complaining about the design. It's a huge upgrade over the old one,even if some parts look misplaced and a little rough around the edges. What we are complaining about is that you took holo, cloned some parts (which you will of course not get as perfect as google did) from material, like the floating button, some more color, and somewhat random animations, and then call it Material.

      Sure, fine, go on and try to add some things that you like from Material design, but don't call it Material Design until it is Material Design.

      • WaveatDave

        Yep, what he said.

      • woojoo666

        calm down dude. What makes Material Design such a highly regarded standard anyways? From what I saw from the guidelines, most of it is just standard design pattern and common sense anyways, like smooth transitions and responsive interaction. The only distinctive features I see are flat high-contrast pastel colors and elevation, both of which are already quite common in graphic design nowadays. And both of which are present in Equalizer's update, so I don't see what's wrong with calling it Material Design. Sure its not perfectly adhering to the standard, but UI design is never a commandment, there is always some freedom allowed

    • iamnotkurtcobain

      Makes sense. Keep up the good work and I'm sorry for my comment. I'm sure it'll look great when Android L is released! ☺👍

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Alex, let me express my gratitude at the work you and your team have done with this app. Internet commenters can be an impossibly tough crowd. Nothing is good enough, everything costs too much, etc. I honestly thought that app was left for dead. Do y'all have any similar plans for AudioManager? I use the Pro version daily and it still has no equal even though it hasn't been updated in over a year. Keep on keepin' on, my friend!

      • http://www.smartandroidapps.com Smart Android Apps

        Thanks for the kudos Shawn! We are definetly thinking about also giving AudioManager a makeover, perhaps once Android L is officially released to the public.


    • black

      Thank you Alex. AP followers can eat their words.

    • Mkvarner

      I'm just wondering about one thing. Is it even possible to make it 100% Material without the users being in Android L?

  • b0b

    Where is the MD police ?
    Loving the predictable backlash in the comments so far.
    We're going to endure this for month (years) to come.
    You're not going to have a true MD app (that is: respecting all guidelines to the letter) before a long time. Especially if there is not a full compat MD library.
    This first entire MD apps will be from Google but don't expect the industry to update every app to MD just because Google says it is cool and that paddding should be 16dp for such and such element.

    • RashedaCoulameto

      My last p­ay ch­eck w­as $9­500 wo­rking 12 h­ours a we­ek on­l­in­e. My ne­ighbour's sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out.

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  • Fiorta

    App isn't very good anyways. When i use the EQ, all sound becomes worse off on the Nexus 5

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Your beef is with the Nexus 5. EQ simply modifies the system level equalizer.

      • Fiorta

        Fair enough. Just does nothing on my Nexus.

  • Andrew

    Its going to be hard to get Material design on KitKat and older versions of android at the moment. Wait until more libraries are out to back-port a lot of the little things (like the ripple effect when you push a button). You get a lot of this for free in L and its difficult to want to port that back when Holo is fine. Only some things like Floating Action Button, CardView and Palette were added to the support library. Features like elevation which gives your items depth were left out. I'm sure if you ran this on an L device (with all the styles of Material Design added that can't be published yet) it would look a lot more Material-like. You get a lot of those features for practically free.

  • Guest Poster

    Damn. Here goes:

    1. The post was misleading.
    2. AP needs to stop calling each app with a FAB, Material Design.
    3. Artem really needs to learn manners. Can't deal with pissed off people? Don't post dumb shit for weeks. Can't handle so many comments? Don't make a site and get a good reputation only to ruin it with YOUR stupidity. I've seen him act like an ass on many posts before this too.
    4. Liam is the only guy who understands what MD is about, please just let him handle it all. Please?
    5. (To the developer of the aforementioned app) Well congratulations you tried but you were wrong. Accept it. There are pretty clear guidelines for MD, follow them and wait for L to be released or at least some Google Apps to learn how MD on KitKat is to be tackled. Instead of 'being pretty satisfied' with your results, accept your fault. You made an error bro so what? At least don't act all "I'm a developer, I worked hard." Users DON'T like your app update because you fucked up. End of story.
    6. If one more dumb app is called 'material' by AP, I'm seriously moving to DroidLife or something for my Android news because if these guys are so fucking clueless, I better not waste my time. That's an advice to all other readers too.

    • RashedaCoulameto

      My last p­ay ch­eck w­as $9­500 wo­rking 12 h­ours a we­ek on­l­in­e. My ne­ighbour's sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out.,,..,

      vi­­sit thi­­s sit­­e rig­­ht h­­ere ➨➨➨➨➨➨ SLAMJOBS.COM



    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      1. It was a little overzealous in the definition of Material, I'll give you that. The post text mentioned Holo elements right off the bat. It was not misleading.
      2. Agreed, we'll do better to clarify Material inspiration vs full Material design, which is pretty much impossible at this point due to the lack of library support.
      3. Who said I can't deal with pissed off people? I deal with them just fine. Who said I can't handle so many comments? The more the merrier, bring them on! This is me, this is who I am, I don't dance around with words all the time, some may not like it, they're welcome to hold a grudge, I guess.
      4. Liam is great, but he won't be the only person who will handle anything Material-related. That's not sustainable or realistic. But we'll do better, as per 2.
      5. N/A.
      6. You're welcome to read and not read any site you want. If AP is not for you, I'm sure DL will accept you with open arms.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
      • Shining Wing

        Ew, the comments on that article. D:

      • RTWright

        Hahahaa, nice one Artem! :) Goes to show, AP isn't the only ones saying this and that in a nutshell is how it goes in the media world.

    • Daniel Traynor

      ^^ Ledge!

    • Shining Wing

      "6. If one more dumb app is called 'material' by AP, I'm seriously moving to DroidLife"

      It's not worth it!

  • Opinion

    i don't get it why people are fighting over what material or not,as long as the developer updates the apps to more beautiful ui,i don't see any wrong with that

  • Neon

    Can people seriously stop flaming/bashing the developer and Android Police? Everyone commenting here is acting like they are the biggest Material Design experts. STFU and let developers do their work. Transitions to new designs isnt easy. Don't forget it took ages for developers to update their apps according to Holo design guidelines even though HOLO was simple as fuck. All those who are posting hate comments here - If you are really such Material Design experts, then design a fucking app yourself and publish it on PlayStore. Lets see how great experts you are.

  • JackPackage

    This is not Material. FAB is, but the rest is totally Holo ... But it's still a very good upgrade to the former version, so a great step in the right direction ;)

  • PhineasJW

    Wow. Comments here are really shocking. Shameful even.

  • Cooper

    Bunch of idiots whining about an app they got for free or maybe got the unluck key once for a peanut of $1.99 and expect a lifetime of support based on googles design change that isn't even live yet on all Google's own apps. Stop crying and bitching about your first world problems and cry and bitch about the poor and the sick that need our help.

  • philosopher_Mk

    To AP: Stop calling every holo app with a bunch of fab buttons material.

    To developers:Stop adding fabs and call it material, its wrong. If adding fabs to your holo apps,place them correctly, FAB means FLOATING action button.

    This Equalizer looks so ugly with faps places where raised buttons should be.

  • woojoo666

    The amount of people claiming this isn't material design is honestly kind of sad. I think we can all agree that this app definitely has a Material Design feel in some elements. And sure, not every pixel adheres to the google guidelines, but art was never meant to follow any rules. After all, the Google Guidelines are just guidelines, not commandments. It's sad how so many people feel the need for every app to worship every word of the Material Design page, and frankly I hope no app ever does. There is no rulebook for iOS apps, and there is huge variety between every app, yet they still look appealing and well designed. Imho, Android still has a ways to go before it will be up to par with iOS UI/UX, but to do that developers need to start valuing and appreciating all forms of art, not just abide by a strict set of design rules.