Google's Web Framework Will Make Pages Look Like Android Apps

Since continuity breeds adoption of software and applications, Web sites may soon look a lot like Android apps if Google gets its way. The Mountain View, Calif. company Tuesday said it will bring new design guidelines to the Web using CSS, JavaScript and HTML. Google calls it Material Deign Lite (MDL).

The framework includes design components such as buttons, checkboxes, input fields, and custom typography. It also offers templates and guidelines on grids and breakpoints, which happens when the window becomes too narrow to display all elements side-by-side. The company said this is geared toward Web pages that are heavy with content, such as marketing pages, text articles and blogs. Google has built a series of templates to show the range of sites that can be created using MDL.

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The framework works on all types of browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Safari, but degrades to CSS-only in browsers like Internet Explorer 9, which Microsoft will phase out. Google published a browser compatibility matrix that offers information on the browsers MDL officially supports.

Google previewed the framework at its I/O 2015 conference in May. Developers can take pieces of Material Design to use if the entire code is not ideal for their needs.  The company said it can replace many parts of Twitter Bootstrap, but not everything. Bootstrap, developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter, is a framework to encourage consistency across internal tools. Before Bootstrap, various libraries were used for interface development, which led to inconsistencies and high maintenance in Web design.

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