Ice Cream Sandwich designs on Android

The biggest critique for Android (besides software update uncertainties) for the longest time has been the poor design of most Android apps. While some app developers did do a good job with their apps, the lack of any kind of design guidelines for developers meant everyone was finding his own way to create a good experience on the platform. This also meant that apps tended to look very different from each other.

The introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich design guidelines at the beginning of this year seemed to be a step in the right direction, but in the back of my head I was worried it could be a little too late. Fast forward merely 3 months and things are very different. More and more applications are conforming to the new guidelines and they look GREAT. The great thing is that with frameworks and libraries like the Android Compatibility Library,  ActionbarSherlock, ViewPagerIndicator and HoloEverywhere, the design guidelines can be used for pre-ICS apps as well.

Roman Nurik seemed to have the same thoughts in his mind so he started a Google+ thread on it . I wanted to take a few screenshots and share them here but as I started saving the images, there just seemed too many to list. So instead I just saved a bunch of apps to a Tumblr account. Check it out and follow it if you’d like to track updates. While I’ll keep adding to that as I find more, if you see and app that you’d like to see there, drop me a comment here or message me on Twitter or Google Plus

Author: Arpit Mathur

Arpit Mathur is a Principal Engineer at Comcast Labs where he is currently working on a variety of topics including Machine Learning, Affective Computing, and Blockchain applications. Arpit has also worked extensively on Android and iOS applications, Virtual Reality apps as well as with web technologies like JavaScript, HTML and Ruby on Rails. He also spent a couple of years in the User Experience team as a Creative Technologist.

8 thoughts on “Ice Cream Sandwich designs on Android”

  1. Design standards are indeed a big win for the platform and were sorely needed. I just wish the google design esthetic had a little more too punch to it. Everything comes off a bit too flat for my tastes and hardly feels textile.


    1. I actually really like em, you have to use an ICS phone/ROM and give them a chance. When I saw the original video for HoneyComb when they were introducing some of the new UX direction, I wasn’t convinced, but the designs do work pretty well. The challenge will probably be how different apps distinguish themselves from each other given the new guidelines.


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