Feeds

Android devs get schooled on style

Polish that UI to an Apple-crushing shine

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Android's latest incarnation has come with an unexpected bonus, a design guide to help developers polish their apps, and add some much-needed consistency to the platform.

The guide comes in the form of a website. Matias Duarte, head of user experience at Android, talking to Wired, describes it as "the second part of Ice Cream Sandwich".

The site aims to help developers with designing their applications, rather than coding them, in the hope of making the whole platform easier to use.

Google has been very good at providing technical support to Android developers; the tools and documentation for Android development are superb with step-by-step guides to development and publication of apps. What that means is that anyone who can instantiate an object or two can spit out an Android application, and sadly many of them have.

But programmers are notoriously bad at design. The lack of social skills which makes one so good at working with computers often renders one equivalently incapable of designing competent user interfaces, a failing which is very much in evidence in the deeper recesses of the Android Marketplace.

Apple has, unsurprisingly, always been more design focused, with consistency of experience being central to application development from the very start. iPhone applications might be just as pointless, irrelevant and/or overpriced, but they do, on the whole, look better.

Which is what the new style guide is trying to address. It includes basics such as using lots of images, and suggests making assumptions on which users can backtrack rather than asking for confirmations every step of the way. Entreaties to "make me amazing" or "enchant me" might irritate, but get past that and there's a lot of sensible advice included.

All this really should have been there earlier, before developers were let loose on the platform, but with Ice Cream Sandwich Google is trying to reboot Android as a slick and stylish competitor to iOS, so will be hoping lots of developers take note. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.