Google releases style guide for Android applications
Google has announced the publication of a style guide for Android applications on a new site – Android Design. The Android design site focuses on the design principles in Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), described by Google as the biggest redesign yet of the Android user interface, with an enhanced UI framework and new interactions. Google says it wants developers to be able to create Android apps that are "simpler and more beautiful than ever before"; the site explains the vision and principles behind the new design, the building blocks that the operating system supplies, and a set of patterns for creating consistent Android user interfaces.
Google has, in the past, provided sample applications which allowed Android developers to infer how Android apps should be constructed and how they should behave, but it did not give any official guidance on application design to developers. In the early years of Android, this led to many unsightly Android applications, or applications that did not work correctly on all devices. Many developers have, though, got better at creating more consistent and portable applications, and the enhancements in Android 4.0 in conjunction with the design guide should make it easier for all developers. Google plans to expand the design guide over the coming months with more in-depth content.
The launch of Android 4.0 has given Google an opportunity to try and create a more unified look and feel. Earlier this month Google announced that for Android tablet and smartphone makers to get access to the Android market, they must make custom user interfaces more transparent and include an unmodified standard theme.