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I have an Android app developed by using Material Design principles. Currently, I am planning to release it on iOS too.

I read several blogs/SO posts, which state that Apple is strict about Flat Design and UI consistency on their platform, but I see that, most Google apps look exactly the same on iOS as their Android variant and follow Android's design language. Why are they allowed then? Moreover, Google has published Material Components for iOS.

I am wondering that, is it okay if I implement the exact similar Android UI for iOS? Has Apple tweaked some of their rules to allow Material design on iOS?

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  • What is the reason for wanting to do this? Will it cause some confusion for the user if the user interface is inconsistent to what the user expects? There are actually many apps (generally web apps developed in a language that can be rendered different ways depending on the platform, such as React.js) that might look the same on iOS and Android, but the reason might not be the same as why you might want to do this.
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 15 '20 at 23:08
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It is a subjective and business decision whether to use material design on iOS apps or not. Here are some facts supporting it :

  1. Material Design, did prove to have a fairly good usability acceptance. There is no reason users don't want it on iOS.
  2. There is ample of design documentation, code support made available by Material Design team from Google. It must be true that this effort was backed by good research on whether user want apps with this styling on iOS and the answer is yes, its no harm.
  3. It is a design decision to make based on business impact and requirement.

Please note: There may be few navigational challenges that you may have to address with how the interaction works on iOS. However, when taken care of this it is still accepted design.

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You are not going to get penalized for implementing material on iOS.

However, if you are doing it just to keep your product consistent across the two platforms, I would review the reasons behind that. Just like on any other platform, users on iOS are accustomed to specific interactions. Unless the interface brings some unique value to the product, it's generally better to stick to the design principles of the platform you are releasing on, because:

  • Users are used to certain interface and interaction principles
  • Changes to iOS might impact your interface if Google is slow to update MDC for iOS

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