Google finally sees the point of splashscreens

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Source: Reddit

A new day, something just as new from Google. This time, the company had a change of heart regarding splashscreens – users are beginning to report their existence within Google’s own apps.

If you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what splashscreens are, you should know they are basically screenshots displayed for a few seconds during the time it takes for an app to load after you launch it.

Until now, Google’s tolerance for splashscreens was lacking. In fact the company always recommended developers not to use them. However, Mountain View appears to have started using them within their own apps, as reported by users on Reddit.

So what’s the point of these splashscreens anyway? Well…their main purpose is to give users something to look at, while the app loads, thus offer the illusion of faster loading speed. Furthermore, Google even changed their Material Design guidelines and while “branded launch screens” as they prefer to call them, are not the primary method they recommend for the app load transition, they do consider them as a viable option. Here’s the most relevant excerpt from the 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.”

While Android does rely on other methods to camouflage the loading time for apps, specifically animations and transitions, it looks like Google still decided splashscreens are at the very least a necessary evil, as they are more suitable for resource-intensive apps and slow devices.

Youtube and Google Music, but also some other Google apps are already showing splashscreens and updates are rolling out for more of their apps as we speak. What do you think about Google’s decision to use splashscreens? Is it something that would make app loading more seamless for you compared to a placeholder UI?

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