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Google Launches Android Design, Teaches Users To Create Visually Stunning Apps For Ice Cream Sandwich And Beyond

We fully enjoy Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich. It looks super sexy and is way more than just minor UI tweaks. For those that realize this, Google has created Android Design, for developers and enthusiasts alike. It gives you the info and tools needed to create visually stunning pieces of work that are optimized for Android 4.0+.

A blurb from Google’s explanation on the creation of Android Design:

To help you in that mission, we’re introducing Android Design: the place to learn about principles, building blocks, and patterns for creating world-class Android user interfaces. Whether you’re a UI professional or a developer playing that role, these docs show you how to make good design decisions, big and small.

On the site you will see how Google redesigned the OS to make the experience more streamlined and pleasing. So, are you ready to learn all about ICS and then pump out the world’s most beautiful app?  Then start right here at Android Design.

Via: Android Developers Blog

  • http://www.bootyvote.com/ Dr. Booty

    I’m loving ICS on my new Nexus.  So smooth, fast, responsive.  (Coming from the OG) – I wonder if it’s really the new OS, better hardware, or combo of the two? Looking forward to some optimized apps now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/VladWeber Vlad Weber

    Apps are what is needed to make your smartphone smart and unique.Im fond of app creating and find it really helpful to use site like snappii.com where i can build apps in minutes.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, the latest twitter app fails at almost all of these.

  • Kat Selezneva

    The site itself looks great and is very useful. It is a real guide for developing Android applications. I wish I could develop apps just to use this site! A dessert for developers: Some Ice Cream Sandwich, please!http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/2011/10/dessert-for-developers-some-ice-cream.html

  • Anonymous

    this is a step in the right direction, but frankly, until Google either improves the UI design tools in the SDK for Eclipse, or they develop their own IDE, Android apps will ever look stunning.

    The fact that you can (but thankfully no longer required) to create the UIs in XML files is telling that Android was built for code first, aesthetics second. ICS is very nice but this needs to change. 

    Again, I hate to compare Android to iOS but Eclipse can’t hold a candle to XCode – or even Visual Studio for that matter (Windows Phone 7).

    • Anonymous

      What (I think) they should do is for apps that gets placed in the marketplace that abide by these guidelines Google places them in a “Google Recommended” section – or something to that effect.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree with this and your post below about the recommended section.  A style guide was certainly necessary, and I’m glad Google took this step; but, Android needs better UI design tools.  When I hang out with the devs at work and see the difference between XCode and Eclipse, it’s night and day.  Eclipse is a great tool, and we use it for a number of projects, but it doesn’t offer much for UI development regardless of the target platform. 

  • Prime7

    Finally. I’m tired of my apps looking like crummy iOS ports with Android features shoehorned into wherever they fit. One thing that kind of sucks about ICS is the inconsistent placement of the “…” menu button in various apps; sometimes it’s on top, and sometimes it’s on the bottom (the latter being in the actual software buttons, which is where it should always be, in my opinion). Sometimes it isn’t even there or is buried in a bunch of other menus.

  • Anonymous

    We need a Nexus Tab, that picture gives me hope.

    • Anonymous

      there is a Nexus tab it’s called the Motorola Xoom…

      • Anonymous

        If the Xoom was a nexus, it would have ICS by now, just saying.

        • Anonymous

          Its a pure google developer device. It is the Nexus of tablets. 

        • http://twitter.com/strifejester Justin Ellenbecker

          Really because the Nexus S 4G doesn’t have it yet, just sayin

        • Anonymous

          It’s got it now….4.0.3 out in a soak test!

  • Anonymous

    You know what’s REALLY awesome about the above photo?

    Alot of people are looking at it in sheer amazement and bewilderment. Why? Because they all know about the Galaxy Nexus AKA “G-Nex”-as the hipsters call it-but haven’t the slightest clue as to the other phone in the photo….or how it can possibly run ICS with soft keys.

    I had to explain to another person on Gizmodo last night that on screen key’s isn’t a requirement for ICS. Hell I remember being flamed right here on DL because I knew that and tried to explain it here. Nopes the iNexus idiots wouldn’t listen.

    Even the hard button Droid X has a ICS ROM out(well a couple really).

    IF you’re still wondering what that little squirt in the photo is, it’s the Samsung Nexus S.

    • Heisenberg82

      My co-worker just got the ICS update on his Galaxy S..Not too shabby!

      • madera15

        I doubt that. Samsung has said many times in the past that the Galaxy S won’t be getting ICS.

        • Anonymous

          I assume it’s a custom ROM, but I can understand the confusion since he did say “just got the ICS update”.

        • Anonymous

          I updated my classmate’s locked unrooted t-mobile Nexus S to ICS myself, downloading the zip straight from google.

    • Anonymous

      That’s pretty clearly a Nexus S.

      Sent from my G-Nex

    • Anonymous

      Of course on-screen keys aren’t a requirement for ICS – if it was then 95% of Android phones on the market today wouldn’t be able to get the upgrade.

      I’m sure Google wants on-screen buttons but wouldn’t be a good business decision. It would lead to permanent “differentiation”. 

    • Anonymous

      Nah, what’s funny about the picture is that the Xoom doesn’t have an official ICS build, and yet they are taunting me with it. Granted, I have an unofficial build of it running, but still. Come on Google. At least show things that exist officially!

      • Anonymous

        Im not allowed to confirm that ICS is currently being soak tested…..got it?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I don’t understand the fascination with having on screen keys. Yeah, you may be able to change them to app-specific needs, but then you’d probably be violating these guidelines. 
      The biggest thing is they get out of the way for video playback.  But non on-screen buttons are already out of the way.

  • Anonymous

    oh thank god.  now they just need to remove the “optional” part..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=797475274 Nadeem Najib Kizi

    Aha! Now I see why when Eric Schmidt was asked why many developers choose iOS over Android, his answer was that developers will tend to develop for Android rather than iOS in 6 months.

  • Emeraldjun

    I wonder if its possible to port these design elements to 2.3 and before?

    • PSU_DI

      Yes you can it explains how thing will look on older devices the contxt menus are a little different looking but over all they will still look great

  • Sporttster

    Yep…the more I see coming out for the GNex, the more pissed I get about the Razr and its locked bootloader bs. I’m thisclose to pulling the trigger and dumping MOTO and going with the Gnex…I’ve got a couple days yet….

    • Anonymous

      If you need the latest OS first, and/or you want to customise like crazy, get the GNex. I love my RAZR, but I know what it’s not and I know I’ll have to be far more patient and perform less customisation than on my OG Droid. Sounds to me like you’d be less frustrated with a GNex.

  • http://twitter.com/superchachi Charles Rutherford

    Does anyone wish this wasn’t the case relative to all the Google apps that have the main function buttons on the top of the screen – out of reach of the thumbs? Gmail does a great job of having them thumb-ready, but Maps, Reader, Market and other non-Google apps are a little unwieldy when main functions are at the top of the big GNex screen.

    • Anonymous

      Well, Gmail requires those functions a lot more. Stuff like maps, not as much. Most of the important actions are on the bottom. I don’t really feel like they’re out of reach anyway, though. Guess it’s at least partly personal preference.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, I wish the primary and second action bars were flipped. It’s really difficult to reach the top of the screen on the Galaxy Nexus with one hand, due to the sheer size of the device.

  • IceBergLettuce

    I have no experience with developing an app but i have always wanted to produce a simple medical app that is mostly text. Is this where i should start or does anyone have another recommendation? Thanks everyone the help.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nadeemqasem Nadeem Qasem

      me too. i want to start developing. 

    • http://twitter.com/EricErk Eric

      Simple text is easy, download the sdk, jdk, and eclipse and make it all in xml!

    • Anonymous

      Try http://www.vogella.de

      This guy is awesome. Start by learning Java, then move on to Android

      • IceBergLettuce

        Thanks buddy, i appreciate the tip.

  • Granted

    I’ve been meaning to check this out after my friend told me about it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Nick V.

    What are the two phones? Nexus and ?

    • Thedigitaljedi1

      Nexus S and a Galaxy Nexus

      • Nick V.

        Thanks for just simply answering the question.

    • Anonymous

      I wondered the same thing, and was thinking it was some mini-GNex, haha, until i noticed the capacitive buttons

    • Anonymous

      Are you freaking kidding me?

      • Eazy

        U r an a-hole the guy asked a simple question u need to get laid seriously

        • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      I really hope your joking and not that stupid.

      • Eazy

        Seriously the guy asks a question n u answer like this *luck u n ur worthless mother u a-hole its douche bags like u that have turned this once awesome website into a hub for the geeky never get laid losers

        • Eazy

          *uck…damn auto correct… so yeah *uck you

    • Anonymous

      Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lwvyruz luke woodruff

    Is that a xoom i see? ICS coming soon?

    • Anonymous

      Looks like a XOOM like device.  This is probably the only way it will get ICS anytime soon.

      • Anonymous

        I’m running ICS on my Xoom right now…….have been for a couple weeks now.

        Where have you been?

        • Anonymous

          waiting on someone to have the camera and 3G/4G working.

        • http://profiles.google.com/lwvyruz luke woodruff

          I haven’t even rerooted mine yet :/ havent seen much of a reason. How is it working? I didnt want to wipe everything to just rewipe when ICS gets officially released.

  • eddieruko

    man. roboto looks terrible in my firefox. i love it on gnex.

    • Anonymous

      Yep. The middle lines in capital H and R are screwy in Chrome Win7, too. Disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    I hope the Blur devs take note, or a permanent vacation.

  • JP

    What are the chances OEMs abide by this . . .

    • Anonymous

      I really care more about devs abiding by this.

      I’m getting ready to start developing android apps (simple things first, to wet my feet) and I for one will be following this guide closely.

    • Anonymous

      yeah I think this is a *hint* to OEMs for sure.

  • jason6g


    pretty cool thing for them to do!