Feeds

Android devs get schooled on style

Polish that UI to an Apple-crushing shine

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.