Have you felt the draw to get into app development, but didn't really know how to get started? Google wants to make things a little easier with a brand new guidebook that's meant to get developers on the right path. The Secrets to App Success on Google Play is an 81-page eBook that outlines the process and best practices for developing and submitting your software to the Play Store, and hopefully make some money on it.
As with Holo before it, Material Design has triggered a deluge of app concepts, mockups, and fancy animations from various enthusiasts and designers in the community (myself included). A key factor that is often left out of these presentations, however, is a detailed and thoughtful explanation of design choices and UI considerations that went into the finished product.
As a designer, explanations of your design thinking are critical when presenting new designs, not just to those that would actually be building the app (they need to know the details), but to a broader audience of end users and even other designers.
While recently re-examining the Google Play Store policies, we took another look at the rules against keyword spam and what the company suggests for app descriptions. Developers are advised to stay away from classic spam techniques like repetitive keywords, exceedingly long descriptions, and unrelated keywords or references. Publishers will often use these tactics in an attempt to sneak their apps into unrelated search results. One of the most interesting of these recommendations comes at the tail end of the page where Google advises against referencing other apps you've published.
Google has really been on a roll this week with exciting news for developers, such as a pair of new game-related libraries and enhancements to Google+ Sign-in. This time around, Chromecast is getting its turn with a brand new User Experience Guide. Coming just 2 days after some new apps were added to the whitelist, this 4000-word document details the recommended design patterns developers should follow while implementing their own Android, iOS, and web applications.
If you can't get enough information about Android 4.4 KitKat but you're tired of reading and want something easier - say, a video - you're in luck. Today, new episodes of DevBytes and Android Design In Action were released specifically to give developers and designers alike a brief, informative, easy-to-digest look at what's new.
Today's Android Design In Action covers a lot. Everything from the Nexus 5's display (640x360dp) to the Design Guide's new branding section is covered, along with plenty of other topics.
Google has been pushing developers to build tablet-optimized UIs for their apps since the Xoom was the hot new challenger to the iPad (haha). Okay, so that didn't work out very well, but with the release of devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, devs are finally starting to see the value of building a great tablet experience. Of course, it's not like you'd know. The Play Store is terrible at showing off tablet UIs, but that's about to change.
Quora, the popular question-and-answer website, found its way to Android today, releasing an official app that not only brings to the table great features like voice search and a handy widget, but also a user interface specifically designed for Android "from the ground up." Indeed, the app follows Android's design guidelines to the proverbial "T," right down to the app's launcher icon with its ever so slight downward perspective.
Citing the fact that 25% of its traffic comes from mobile usage, Quora's blog post today enthusiastically announces the Android client, describing a few of the features that "really make Quora shine on Android." Among them are integrated search with voice recognition, optional push notifications, a convenient home screen widget, and an adaptable interface that supports both landscape and portrait mode.
BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit-browsing clients available for Android, has just received a major update to version 2.1. Among other things, the update brings a new "Welcome Guide" for new users, access to subreddit sidebars, subscription functionality, support for spoiler alerts, a dark theme for the app's "large" widget, and a few minor fixes.
Of course the real story in this update is the app's UI overhaul. BaconReader has finally crossed over to a new design, which ostensibly follows the highly-exalted Android Design Guidelines.