Material Design is an alternative to flat design that brings back some nice graphical elements. It’s a set of Google design standards that separates elements using the layers concept found in image editing software. It can stack and remove elements as needed. It even has built-in animations that would normally need to be created manually.
It’s a design language with a specific set of guidelines which takes out the guesswork. The results look the same from one platform to another. Since these standards are established by Google they’re sure to have widespread support.
It is possible, however, that adhering to strict guidelines will hamper creativity. I see this as a challenge to improve creativity within the guidelines.