Today, almost 64% market of touch screen mobile devices is ruled by android. Android, a Linux based operating system, is widely used in smart phones and tablets because of its cost effectiveness, easy customization, and light weight operating system.
The open source nature of android has further evolved android as an exemplary operating system to developing various mobile applications featuring an enhanced user interface. Android mobile design tips and tricks require the developers to have a clear understanding on various aspects related to style, pattern, building blocks, and android platforms which provide brilliance to the mobile designs and sublime the experience of the front end user.
Style & Components
Style describes or exhibits the visual properties of the components such as color, font size, shape, height etc. to form the interface on any of the mobile devices. To maintain the style to its excellence, developers need to be well aware of the latest layout themes, touch feedback, metrics and grids, typography of the interface, colors, iconography and writing style.
The android layout system is quite flexible, and settles in accord with the different sizes of touch screen devices either by combining with the compound view or with the multiple views, or by opting one of the views. However, screen densities vary in various sizes of screen that may affect the smoothness of images displayed on the screen. Developers, with the help of API, can control the user interface and adjust the size and density of the applications as per the various screens of the mobiles. Developers need to measure the pixels in dpi, henceforth; scale the density either from the base standard, or from the largest screen size.
To match the need and design of the applications and maintain its compatibility with the platform, Android has three system themes i.e. Halo Light, Halo Dark and Halo Light with dark action bar. These themes apply the style to entire application give them an aesthetic look.
Iconography as the name suggests, deals with icons. The icon of files related the camera, or calendar, on the smart phones represent the actual working of it. Developers have to keep in mind to develop these icons in multiple sizes which must to be efficient enough to supporting different densities as these applications can be installed on any size of the screens, so avilable.
Basics of Pattern
Pattern is the next key point that the developers should never forget while designing the mobile applications. Pattern is all about maintaining the consistency of the applications and its working. Gestures, app structure, navigation, multi pane layout, swipe views, and settings features, are used endlessly by the users on any touch screen phones. Making it complicated or inconsistent would simply make the applications futile for any mobile.
Developers have to intellectually design the applications and structure the same most carefully, as this is going to decide how the content and images are going to be displayed and navigated. The top view, detail/edit view and category views are categorized on the basis of data presentation, consumption, and location. An action bar is also added to the finalized view, for easy navigation. However, to ensure the multiple views, navigation uses the android view controls such as spinners, fixed tabs, or navigation drawers. Android 4.0 unique features of compatibility in comparison to older version of application, have given the developers a reason to smile. Most of the applications developed on android 4.0, can easily run on the older versions without any technical or functional glitch.
Overview of Building Blocks
Building blocks can also be entitled as ‘magical wands’ in the hands of the mobile designers. They are ready to use components, enabling mobile designer to implement them in the most creative way, in order to develop the best android mobile applications. Tabs, lists/grid lists, scrolling, spinners, buttons, text fields, and many more, when summed up and carefully implemented by developers into an application, result in developing the most advanced applications for smart phones.
The Soothing Platforms
Android being an open source operating system, has always been under tremendous modifications by the coders around the world making the platform more robust and agile in functionality. Android various versions of platforms such as Ginger Bread, Honey Comb, Ice cream Sandwich and the latest released Jelly Bean have revolutionized the users and developers featuring an upgraded platform with resourceful tools.
The presence of a unified user interface framework is loaded with advance user interface tools, simplified codes and resources, and advance designs. With help of various APIs such as social, calendar and visual voicemail, developers can develop the applications that can easily share the information on social networks. The optimized media streaming, enhanced camera features, and efficient transformation filters, assist developers to build the most sophisticated experience for multimedia sections. The improved grid layout, increases the performance of the applications while the new TextureView objects, offer an easy way to embed camera preview or Open GL rendering.
Imagine the latest version of android i.e. Jelly bean, which is a blast for the developers.
Above all, the developers need to have thorough understanding of each section so that they easily choose their platform; style; pattern, and building blocks, to create brilliant android based mobile designs and applications.