SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has released a style guide for Android developers to try to tidy up the user interfaces of applications.
Google late last year launched its fourth and arguably most important version of Android to date, seeking to harmonise Android on both smartphones and tablets with a major redesign. According to Christian Robertson, leader of Google's Android visual design group, the visual changes affect both users and developers.
Although Google might have put significant effort in redesigning its operating system and some of its core applications, it knows that third party developers need to follow a style guide to avoid a mish-mash of styles.
Google's Android Design web site gives developers tips on user interface design, even down to the way user notification messages should be worded.
Google didn't go so far as to prescribe specific guidelines on how the user interfaces of applications should be displayed, however it repeatedly urged developers to make designs flexible due to the wide range of Android devices.
Google's Android Design web site mainly provides usable guidance for Android 4.0 applications. Given the majority of Android device owners don't know if or when they will receive an update to the latest version of Android, it could be a while before this style guide has any effect.
The problem for Google is that unless application developers are somehow forced to follow a style guide, it is unlikely that much of its advice will be heeded. µ