It's 2018. Long gone are the days where Holo UI is the current design language for Android apps, Material Design is everywhere since 2015. But one of my favorite and most used apps still uses Holo UI…
It's almost 4 years since Google introduced Material Design at the Google I/O 2014 and I still remember it being a revolution. After some years of Holo UI everywhere Material Design came with a new and more modern design approach of simple but more realistic user interfaces focused on differentiating UI elements with shadows etc. (I'm a total design noop, so excuse me, if I get this details wrong 😉)
Material Design was the latest shit and every app developer tried implementing this new design language into their apps. Just one app stayed untouched and is still today… K-9 Mail.
K-9 Mail is in my opinion one of the best email clients for Android - not because of the design obviously, but due to it's enormous amount of features. For a beginner this app is so overwhelming, but once you find out how to use it, it becomes your best friend handling emails from your phone. Especially if you need advanced features like email-aliases and so on.
I still remember when WhatsApp first introduced their updated design, transitioning from the pre-Holo to Holo UI. It felt amazing. Apple's design was really superior to the pre-Holo design, but with Holo UI Android finally had a more unique design and app developers got guidelines of how to design their apps to be more consistent. Android was finally not the ugly phone OS anymore.
Today it's really hard to spot apps under active development, that still don't use Material Design or any proprietary design language in the wild, but Holo. But in my honest opinion great functionality is way more important than a polished and up-to-date interface. Sure, beginners probably prefer better looking apps, but when you are a little bit more “geeky”, you'll take an app, which does more things better, than one that has a nicer UI, but is the worst of it's kind. Aren't you?
Feel free to tell your point of view! 😉