Google has opened a new website dedicated to educating Android developers design more aesthetically pleasing apps.
Dubbed simply Android Design, the site provides several sections of useful information, including a style guide on designing interfaces for different devices and displays, tips and good practices typography and writing, plus an introduction to the latest UI enhancements in Android Ice Cream Sandwich to help devs better understand their potential uses.
Because let’s face it, Android apps in general aren’t very nice to look at. The vast majority look quite third-rate and even some of the more acclaimed titles are usually better on the iPhone.
By last count, there are some 340,000 approved apps on the Android Market, of which 31 per cent are deemed ‘low quality’ by online app repository, AppBrain based on user ratings, downloads and other metrics.
With competition intensifying faster than ever, it makes sense that standards need to be raised to grab users’ attention.
None of these are compulsory, though, so a developer can very well choose to carry on as they are at their own risk.
Explaining the need for change, Matias Duarte, head of user experience at Android, told Wired: “We haven’t really had a style guide. We haven’t really given you a lot of guidance on how to migrate your application from a phone, perhaps, to a tablet. We’ve done so only by example.”
Duarte, who previously worked on Palm’s webOS, however, praised Google’s success in creating an open ecosystem with its platform.
“Designing an open mobile operating system and doing it really well - that’s never happened before in human history,” he said.