When Google started to bring its own services to the iPhone a few years ago, they tinkered with their own user interfaces, some of which still differ considerably from the standard user interface. They should look like Google apps.
But iOS (and iPadOS) has evolved and many elements that Google wanted to see in their own apps have also been implemented natively. In the last few months, Google has noticed that they want to go a new way.
Focus on native Apple UI elements
At the beginning of the year, the Google team decided that they would want to stick more to Apple’s UI recommendations. The Google apps should still look like Google apps, but feel more “native”. That also has an advantage.
Google apps for iOS are currently quite extensive and contain a lot of code that makes the apps complex. The less code the better. Therefore, Google wants to use more options that are included in Apple’s SDKs. This way you can react more quickly to innovations, such as the widgets.
Means: Google apps for the iPhone (and iPad) should continue to look like apps from Google in the future, but much more like iOS apps (or iPadOS apps). I think it’s good, because I use some apps from Google. For example, Gmail doesn’t feel like a good and native app on the iPhone. I use it because it’s the best Gmail app, but I hope the experience will get better soon.