While Android reigns supreme as the #1 mobile OS in the world, holding the majority of the marketshare beneath its green, stubby limbs… there is much to be said about the third party applications.  With the most recent revelation of “Roboto”, the default Android font that Google is supporting, it seems that taking a few pages from their competitors books about consistent design couldn’t hurt the platform.  It may even result in an improved experience and better curb appeal, because nothing says amateur like an app killer using Comic Sans.

To remedy this, Google is going to be building a site where Mountain View will be offering suggestions and guidelines to its app developers on how to create a more cohesive and unified experience for end users.  Hopefully OEM’s take a page out of this book and scale back their bloatware as well, but don’t hold your breath for that.

Android is often criticized for being uneven, visually and design-wise.  This could prove a happy medium between Apple’s iron-fisted lock on approving apps and their current laissez-faire methodology, using them as guidelines and not requirements.


  1. Finally. They should have done this long before. But the big question is can this really be valid after OEM and Carriers screwing Android to give birth to their own Androids with variety of User Experiences.

  2. I don’t think the OEM’s are going to abide by it. Much like the DOS days of the PC, all the manufacturers want their thumb in the UI pie. I think they should stick to making hardware and let the UI makers make the UI.

    (OPINION WARNING: I wouldn’t trust Google to be able to make a good UI, given the absolute mess their web apps are, but consistency would be a huge step forward regardless.)

  3. Its a good thing that there does exist design guidelines. Google does have to be careful as they trumpet Android as open source. I don’t see OEMs completely abiding by the design guidelines and even less so on tablets if tablets like the Kindle Fire keep selling very well.

    I think Android will come to be known as a brand and not necessarily an OS by the consumer. Kind of like how alot of people ask for a kleenex, which is a brand, when they want a tissue. Its the name taking on the role of category branding.

    I really enjoyed Joshua Topolosky’s interview with Matias Duarte at CES.

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