Beautiful and simple. This is how every mobile operating system should be. For some, having a bright mind was enough to create beautiful and simple things like Apple does. In Google’s case it took years to find a person capable to raise the bar and finally create something simple and attractive as a mobile operating system. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, it is about the latest version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the one that was announced last year at the same time with Galaxy Nexus phone.
Ice Cream Sandwich is the first Android version that is capable to run on both mobile phones and tablets and also the first one that completely changes the UI, design, style and so on. When Apple released the iPhone they introduced a whole new way of interacting with the phone and later with the tablet. This experience was simple, fast and beautiful.
When Google announced Android mobile operating system and Open Handset Alliance, we expected to see a real competitor for Apple, but we end up with some disappointment. It took 4 full years for Google to understand the real meaning of keeping things simple and only a person was necessary to completely change Android from top to bottom.
This article is not made for that person, but still we have to congratulate Matias Duarte for what he had done at Google since its arrival in May 2010. If Android Honeycomb 3.0 was already developed when he first started to work for Google and was called like an emergency arrival, with Ice Cream Sandwich update we can discover the brilliant mind of Matias Duarte.
Talking about Android and things related, let’s look a little inside Marketplace. It’s a mess!!! Till now every Android app developer used his own hands to design an app and that’s why there are a lot of apps that try to copy the ones from AppStore.
The good news came just few hours ago at CES 2012, where Matias Duarte announced that Android will introduce a style guide website to guide app developers on how they should design an Android app to keep up with the trend. I used the word guide, because according to Matias, this is not something Google will try to enforce, so anyone can use what style and UI they want. The website is available now and app developers or Android users can visit to discover it: Android Design Guide
On a first view of the website I discovered that Android can indeed compete iOS in the future. It’s because now everyone has a start point, a guide that they can follow and discover the design principles, user interface, typography and the pure specifications of the Android. It’s great because there are a lot of “don’t do that”, or “keep in simple” so expect the best from Android in the next months of years.
Overall, this is good for Android, as I said before, because it gives them the change to finally admit that what they were doing was completely wrong and to raise the bar for the future by introducing these guidelines. If this works or not we will probably see in the next months/years, but till Matias Duarte, the brain behind WebOS is in charge, I thing we can expect to see simple and nice things.