Share this Story

Holofication Nation Looks to Remodel Popular Android Apps Under the Android Design Guidelines

Android has come a long way over the years, but unfortunately for users, just because an application is released on Android at the same time as iOS, doesn’t mean that it will use all that the open platform has to offer. Google has published an Android Design Guideline as a start for developers who want to make their apps look good and handle well, but a few major developers choose to not follow the guides. The XDA group Holofication Nation is looking to change that. 

Big name apps like Instagram, Snapchat, GrooveShark and Steam are all in the sights of Holo Nation. Their mission is a simple one: “Our goal is simple, to do what those big companies can’t do, make a decent UI.” The team currently consists of two developers that are re-tooling these applications to look more like they belong on Android. The list of features they would like to bring to the apps contains adding action bars across the top and bottom, hamburger menus when necessary, and cleaning up color schemes.

To install these modded apps, you have to uninstall the official ones, but early reports of the developer’s work are promising.

Facebook is not on the list of apps to be worked on due to server-side control over the user interface. In the future, Holo Nation hopes to have an central hub-like application that keeps all of their other modded apps updated.

For now, head over to their XDA thread and check out these re-styled apps.

Via: XDA
  • When is the Hangouts app going to have the awesome gradients for KitKat folk???

    • arthuruscg

      I just want Hangouts to have a dark theme. They bright white screen hurts my eyes at night and drains battery life.

  • Elliot Kotis

    Facebook please….

  • joseph barrientos

    hell yes

  • Matthew Rebmann

    I actually don’t like the look of that instagram app… not everything has to be Holo UI to look good :/

  • mrjayviper

    and I suppose they need to “patch” latter versions all the time?

    • Andy Stetson

      Yes, just like the blackout apps. Luckily, Instagram hardly updates their app, and Facebook is pretty slow too with their official builds.

  • miri

    This isn’t adapting the apps to suit the guidelines but rather stripping them of their branding/personality and, in the case of Instagram, making a mess.

    • Chris

      Most (not me) android users don’t give a s h i t. they just want holo plastered everywhere

      • Justin W

        I think you mean most Android enthusiasts don’t care as much about that, but they do want Holo in every app.

        Unless you actually meant it how you typed it, in which case, most users really don’t care (or know about) the Holo design guidelines – they see apps that look good, and whether they follow Holo or not, they like those apps.

  • Guy Meatdrapes

    my instagram isnt giving me the transparent status and nav bar after using the modded app

    • oboefiend

      They took it out of the latest version due to bugs. You’ll have to download one of the earlier versions of you want transparent notification bar and status bar.

  • Chris

    The guidelines are not requirements. If they were Google wouldn’t allow them in the play store till they had the “holo look”

    Down vote me if you want. Its the truth.

    • Austin

      I agree with you, but it would be nice for developers to add a nicer look. You can’t deny that the Holo looks and feels a lot nicer.

      • Chris

        I agree. It’s just people act like holo is a requirement when it’s not. It’s just a interface that Google has guidelines for in case developers want to adopt the look. Forcing everyone to use holo is very much an apple move and most of the apps on the iPhone all have the same general look. (tabs on bottom. Back button on top left corner etc)

        • TylerCameron

          Well, Google should make holo a requirement. Who cares if it’d be an “apple move”. There’s a good reason Apple has UI requirements. Ugly apps make iOS look bad.
          Ugly apps make Android look bad, and there’s enough people out there who have a negative opinion on Android. This is a massive one.

    • Daniel Renfroe

      Agree 100% also just wait… Android will change in another year to a new look. Then the devs will be behind again.

  • Stevedub40

    Great idea. I really hate these crappy iphone looking apps on Android

  • panicswhenubered

    I like the fact that Kooqie was playing Team Fortress 2 during that screen grab.

  • Daniel Renfroe

    So they are stealing apps and modifying them? Not cool…

    • Nate

      Stealing free apps.

      • Daniel Renfroe

        doesn’t matter it’s still wrong to steal somebody’s app unless they specifically open source it and then modify it. If I was the developer I’d be kinda pissed.

        • Grizzy

          Instead of the developer being pissed, they should be ashamed that they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it themselves. Android is all about open source and customization. It’s not like they’re making money off of “stealing” these apps. They’re spending a lot of time and effort to try to give users a better experience.

          • Daniel Renfroe

            This is one problem I have with android and open sourcesource in general: They don’t respect otherother closed source licenses, then get really upset when someone uses open source code with out proper attribution. Respect needs to go both ways.

          • Grizzy

            I agree about the respect, but I think they’re just trying to give these developers a wake-up call. They bend over backwards for iOS and leave Android hanging. That needs to stop.

          • Daniel Renfroe

            Facebook app def needs a wake up call.

          • Grizzy

            It’s a start.

          • Andy Stetson

            Also, this is along the lines of what TeamBlackOut or the other app inverters/modders do. They take no credit for creating the app, they just redesign it to give us options. And [the vast majority of] developers respect C&D orders, or even just requests from original devs to stop development. This is coming from someone who has inverted apps.

          • Chris

            right…. but no where does it say apps MUST use holo… if they did 95% of the apps on the play store would have been removed.

          • Grizzy

            I never said they had to. Hence why I like the freedom of choice.

        • TylerCameron

          It’s the developer’s fault then. Holo has been around since 2011. This is unacceptable.

    • sirmeili

      I would agree only if they are somehow messing with the revenue stream for these companies.

      Are they taking a paid app and making it free?
      Are they removing any ad revenue from the apps?

      I’m not sure if they are doing any of the above, but as long as they are not doing either of the things above, what’s the big deal?

  • Mariano Corzo

    It’s like Holo Everywhere going a step further

  • Cool but then every update you will have to uninstall and wait for them to update to the latest version.

    • Andy Stetson

      Good part is since they are not signed by instagram, you won’t know the updates are available unless you use Changelog Droid or something to that effect. 😉 I know what you mean though, updates can take a while, or be virtually impossible (like when TBO was trying to invert GMail 4.6).

  • ratnok

    Everyone should go to the Google Play Store pages of Instagram, Snapchat, etc. and shoot them an email saying “SHAME ON YOU!!! Signed, Holofication Nation.”

  • b00sted

    I love you for the grooveshark one.. their official app was awful!!

  • Tony G.

    we all love apps, we all want our apps on par with ios. just tired of non android devs treating android like the middle child.

  • Cesar

    It’s a shame they can’t do this for the Facebook app. Hopefully the devs get their stuff together and work on the UI themselves.

    • Cesar

      I am giving the Snapchat version a try though. I like the looks of it, but I’m a bit disappointed that they aren’t utilizing the transparent navbar the same way the official version of the app does.

      Edit: Nevermind. I could have sworn the official version was using the transparent bars before… I guess I’m just seeing what I want to see.

    • Andy Stetson

      Just use Klyph, can’t do everything the official app does due to Facebook restrictions, but an awesome alternative.

  • sc0rch3d

    hate that the setting button is tiny and upper left while slide out standard is from the right. very annoying for one handed use.

  • Kevin

    How do we know our emails and passwords are safe with these guys?

    • John Legere

      How do you know it’s safe with anybody? Take the risk. Carpe diem

      • ratnok

        More like “buyer beware” Caveat emptor

        • John Legere

          It’s not like a Nigerian prince contacted him to download it.

          • ratnok

            No, but depending on what happens with his data AFTER he downloads it, a “Nigerian prince” could contact him.

      • GoAwayBionic

        Companies are liable, douches who try to mess with Valve trying to have a consistent experience throughout every OS are not.

    • Frettfreak

      lol. your passwords arent safe with anyone. Welcome to the digital age.

      • Kevin

        Oh, okay. So then give me your password for Instagram or whatever social accounts you use. Your passwords aren’t safe with anyone right? Might as well just give it away.

  • chris kilps

    good now do facebook, please!

    • Frisi

      It says it cannot be done…

    • Someone can’t read

    • chris kilps

      Ok, I did not click the link, sorry.but I can’t see why that can’t create something from the ground up, like friendcaster did

      • Derp

        Can’t really complain when they’re doing these makeovers for free

        • chris kilps

          I gladly pay for any these apps if I used them on a daily basis

      • Frettfreak

        doesnt look like they are trying to reinvent the wheel here. just put some 20’s on and low-profile tires. lol

        But if you want an AWESOME facebook app that looks a lot like google plus, try klyph. cant do everything you can on the actual facebook app due to restrictions from facebook, but for a basic user its awesome!

        • chris kilps

          this is what I have been looking for thanks

        • John Motschenbacher

          20s and low pros……ick

  • Ethan Besbris
  • Droid Ronin

    This. Can’t stand how some of the big apps are just straight ports of the iOS version.

    • Chris

      Instagram was a complete iOS port. We have Jellybean and ICS and they never changed the design forever. Then iOS7 comes out and within a week they change it. Fing stupid.

  • Kofi Williams

    I started using the Instagram version yesterday. Very nice, it’s a shame that others have to do it though.

  • Shane Redman

    Kind of want that IG mod

    • Cesar

      Head over to XDA and download it. It’s just an APK, like any other app.

      • Shane Redman

        Thanks, I did. Looks great.

        Sidenote: Did anyone else notice that GMaps has updated to incorporate Waze more? Gives you a “faster route around traffic”

  • John Legere

    Good job. That instagram app looks wayyyyy better than the original.

    • JBartcaps

      Instagram looks so good, these guys are doing something really promising.

      • Frettfreak

        this is such an awesome idea. Just wonder how long til they get a cease and desist. wish these bigger companies would fall in line. They do on Apple systems mostly… they should have to for Android too.

  • Mike B


    • picaso86

      3 things I hate the most in one word – applaud.