This week, the Android Developers site got an impressive update with a stylish new look and a reorganized layout to display their new guide on how to design, developer and distribute Android apps. The site now supports developers a lot better and goes into even further detail on the different aspects of app development.
I think the new look definitely gives away some signs of what Google believes to be most important. Upon first visiting the site you see a very striking image accompanied by the text, Make your Android apps look great.
I’m really happy that Google is pushing for great design in Android, as better designed apps with a more consistent interface is something many of us here at Android.AppStorm would like to see.
The main menu
The site is broken into Design, Development, and Distribution, and then split into smaller subsections. In each section Google outlines what should be present in every Android app. Google seems to be providing this extra support with the requirement that, with this added help, developers build apps that are better in every way.
…your app should strive to combine beauty, simplicity and purpose to create a magical experience that is effortless and powerful.
That’s just one of the many statements on the new site that mentions what developers should do. I for one get excited when reading these, as they’ll hopefully lead to some amazing improvements in our favourite Android apps.
The image you'll see after first visiting the site
The Design section begins by talking about the new changes brought to the design of Android with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Google gives developers three goals to consider when designing apps for Android: Enchant me, Simplify my life and Make me amazing.
The main page for the Develop section
As you’d expect, the Develop section uses more advanced terminology and features fewer images. Despite this, Google has done a great job at keeping the guide relatively simple and easy to understand.
It is definitely aimed at developers, but for the technical-minded I think this new guide could really simplify developing Android apps; it’s really lowering the necessary skill level required to at least start developing a simple app.
The distribution section of the site
Distribute, the third section of this guide, helps developers to promote and monetize their finished apps. It spends a lot of time explaining how the Play Store works, covering visibility, monetization and distribution.
The guide continues to go through the Developer Console, and covers important items such as a great publishing checklist.
There’s a great piece discussing what Android is and outlining some of Android’s greatest accomplishments, like how over 900,000 phones are activated every day and how a billion apps are downloaded every month. Google does a brilliant job selling Android to developers, which again will hopefully build its reputation among those developers who have yet to start developing for the platform.
There’s also a section called Developer Story, which uses an embedded YouTube video to tell the story of Robot Invader and the development of their first game Wind-up Knight.
The design has some core elements that can be seen through Google’s other online products, like Search, Google+, and Maps. These have also received the major overhauls that Google has deployed over the past few months.
It’s great to see Google giving developers more attention, and as this is right before their I/O event who know what other goodies developers will get their hands on? With this added support for developers it’ll be interesting to see how it affects Android apps.
I’m sure that this can only be good for Android users, as we’ll hopefully see a better and more consistent experience across all our apps.