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While I’ve taken a look at the language of the Android Design Guidelines already, today I want to think about how it will affect developers and users, if at all. It’s fine and dandy for Google to release these guidelines, but Android applications aren’t going to start following these rules overnight.

What stands in the way of these guidelines being adopted? Short answer: a lot. Long answer: well, read on and find out.


While every operating system has an over-arching look that developers will strive to adhere to, Android’s look and feel has evolved throughout the years without giving third-party developers the chance to catch up. With all of the different apps’ user interface styles, trying to corral everyone into an easy-to-understand place UI-wise can be difficult.

To combat this, Google recently released the Android Design guides for Ice Cream Sandwich. Today I’m going to take a look at the language used in these guidelines to see where Google’s intention lies.


We’ve reached a point in the evolution of computing technology where one can’t deny the impact of mobile devices – phones, tablets and everything else to come – in our personal and work lives. For designers, this domain is typically governed by Apple products, be it the Mac desktops and laptops, or the range of iOS devices like iPhones, iPads or even iPod Touches. With the huge surge in adoption of the Android platform though, a lot of designers have also come onboard and are probably wondering how they can use these devices in their work context.

Being a designer myself, I went through that struggle and scoured the Android market to find all the tools I could use and benefit from. And this roundup is a culmination of that search. Let’s take a look then, shall we? (more…)

Google and Samsung recently released their latest and greatest flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus, running Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich). I watched a video review of the device and I was very impressed with Google’s latest offering because it represented some big changes to Android that are going to be fantastic.

I took to my own site and penned an article praising the new phone and OS. Being an Apple-focused site, I threw a bit of iPhone discussion in there, looking at Apple’s ageing mobile interface compared to Google’s fresh, modern, almost Windows Phone-ish interface.

However, Ice Cream Sandwich is helping Google recognise some big improvements to Android that is going to edge them towards a level of customer satisfaction provided by companies like Apple and Amazon, with fully integrated devices and all-in-one solutions. (more…)

It seems like eons ago that I would start my work day with a cup of coffee and a newspaper to get my daily news fix. I still do it but with a slight difference: my Android phone has replaced the newspaper. So I thought, why not write about my experience in exploring all the amazing news Apps in the Android Market? I have compiled a list of news reader apps that have both minimal and elegant user interfaces, to share my views with you and some useful suggestions with App developers.


This is one of those arguments that keeps coming up: “Android is ugly”. Well, okay, it’s usually framed as, “Android is ugly compared to iOS“, as in Connor’s recent article.

But you know what? I don’t think that Android, as a platform, is so hideous that we should be embarrassed about getting a Desire out in the same room as an iPhone user.

Okay, vanilla Android is a little plain — so install a new launcher, get a decent wallpaper, and replace the stock apps.

I’ve seen a lot of comments about Android apps being less attractive than their iOS counterparts. On paper, I guess this is annoying, but to be honest, I don’t care. None of the big apps I use every day (like Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote) look ugly to me on their own; it’s only when I actually compare them to the iPhone versions that I see why people complain. I do consider some of the apps I use regularly to be unattractive, like iSyncr and Titanium Backup, but their features more than make up for this. Maybe I just have bad taste?

So my question to you is: do you think Android is so ugly that it’s actually a problem?

The Mac vs PC argument is long-standing and has evolved over the years. However, recent times have introduced a second major battle in the technology industry: Apple vs Google. The platform war has become mobile with most arguments coming down to Android vs iOS.

However, most of the core points on the Android side centre around the OS rather than the applications. Some argue that Android’s open nature is an advantage, while the iPhone defenders mainly look at apps, and how many there are. Both are valid arguments but in the average consumer’s mind, the need for quality applications is a big one. (more…)

The strict review guidelines followed in the Apple iOS App Store, in spite of all the flak it gets for being too strict or whimsical at times, ensures a certain quality for applications that get on the market. The Android Market’s open nature tends to work against it in some aspects, not the last of which is eye-candy. For those yearning for good, usable and contemporary UI design, trying to find the right applications in the Android Market can be quite a horrifying encounter.

Let us save you that hassle then. Presented here are 40+ Android applications that boast some of the best user interfaces and icons. Although most of these applications score high on usability and utility, those are not the primary criteria for selection in this list. What we were looking for — and hopefully succeeded in selecting — were applications that offer gorgeous interfaces and equally suitable icons.


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