Google targets Android inconsistency with Android Design
Google has launched a new site called Android Design, which aims to guide Android developers in their creation of apps to bring consistency to an OS that some have criticised for its inconsistency.
Ice Cream Sandwich introduces a new uniform style across Android tablets and smartphones and the new Android Design website aims to teach you the "principles, building blocks, and patterns for creating world-class Android user interfaces".
And Google, or rather the Android User Experience Team, says that this is just the beginning, that it will be adding content to Android Design in future months, as well as blogging on design specifically.
Android Design itself is live and open to everyone to browse and there is a great deal of information already on the site. It introduces and explains many of the elements that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich features and what the design was intended to do, before breaking down into Android Style, Patterns and Building Blocks.
In each of these subsequent sections you'll find details on things like buttons, lists, as well as detailing how developers should avoid approaches like "design once, ship anywhere", and basically tells you what you should be doing to make your app fit in. The Building Blocks section is interesting as it shows the styles of all sorts of elements of Android in the Holo Dark and Holo Light themes.
Designed as a tool for developers to either refer to or just read through and digest, it shows that Google is taking some of the feedback seriously. It's true too, that apps are inconsistent and some developers do just stick to an existing design when they move an app to Android.
Some might think it's a bit rich that Google is politely telling developers what to do, when consistency across Google's own apps isn't exactly a shining example of cohesive design, but it's interesting none the less.
If you're just a Android fan then it does make for some geeky reading: at least there is one simple site to visit to let you know exactly which is your status bar and which is your system bar.
Check it out at Android Design.