I'm trying to figure out what the preferred stock Android style is for Switches.

The design guidelines show a screenshot with flat on/off buttons: http://developer.android.com/design/building-blocks/switches.html

Similarly, the Android settings menu don't use the slants.

However, as of 4.0+, these slanted Switches keep popping up: http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/controls/togglebutton.html

So which one is it?


I don't think you should worry too much about the terminology, because it is the purpose and behaviour that you need to be looking at. I think the way you label the switches will have a lot to do with it, because sometimes it is confusing to show the state and the action on the same part of the interface (there are plenty of discussions about this elsewhere). If you are looking for familiarity then stick with the old set, and if you are just starting to build a new app, then go with the latest.


Both switches are meant to be used in the same scenario. Slanted switches were used in the early release of Android 4.0 but with 4.1.2 upgrade they are back to Square On/Off switches.

Slanted buttons are misleading in a sense that when user wants to switch between the states, the Active State is wider and inactive part of the button is smaller which the user tries to click. This makes the user unnecessarily conscious and rather slow at clicking them.

  • Is there any research to back up the "users are slower because it's slanted" claim, or is that just heresay/intuition? – Bradley Orego Jul 25 '13 at 5:39
  • I don't have a research to back it up but its simple extract that smaller buttons when placed very near to the large ones cause the user to slow down in an attempt to be precise. In slanted toggle-buttons, the active areas was always bigger and inactive on and to make an active button inactive, you tend to click on inactive part. Also slanted buttons don't appear "toggle-able" and it was an experiment by Android which they did n stopped. If slanted ones were doing the job, Android must had loved to keep them and inspire competitors and follows to do the same and this didn't happen either. – Salman Ehsan Jul 25 '13 at 5:46

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