Good news to all Android developers—Google has just launched a style guide for you! You can now visit Android Design, a website designed specifically to give help to its developers who are creating ICS applications. Upon visiting the site, third-party app developers gain access to a comprehensive guide that will give them complete instructions on implementing different visual elements as well as the overall back-end patterns for the latest OS.
“Designing an open mobile operating system — and doing it really well — that’s never happened before in human history,” says Matias Duarte, Head of User Experience for Android. “I’ve done the closed thing before,” he says, referring to his days at Palm working on the webOS operating system. “And I’d like to think I did it well.”
The website serves as help to developers who need a better understanding on both the layout and implementation of the Android system. At the same time, the website gives interaction designers suggestions on how they can maintain their app’s visual integrity. As a result, both first-time and expert Android developers can make their apps look better.
With the absence of a style guide in the previous years, developers were unable to get an official guide on how they could migrate their app from a smartphone to a tablet. This has been the biggest complaint several Android developers have made every time Google releases a new OS. Without a style guide, developers are tasked to reverse engineer and translate their code to that of the new version. To think that Google releases a new version around twice a year (on average), it is about time that the style guide is released.
Moreover, the style guide will have continuous updates including a running list of suggestions, features and development methods.
“Android has had a lot of terrific developer API level documentation,” Duarte shares on the topic of how developers understand Android’s operation and how apps are created. “But within our style guide we have things [where] we think, unequivocally, this is the way to make it Android.”
With over 700,000 new devices being activated every day (last count), it’s only fitting that developers will get to have a standardized way to make their apps look better. The style guide serves as the latest OS’s coming out party.
“This is the second part of our Ice Cream Sandwich launch. As this site goes up, I can feel like it’s finished. Like ICS is truly complete.”