24
Mar
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This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see What Do You Primarily Use Your Tablet For?

A few days ago, a popular reddit post (heads up, NSFW language) drew attention to the fact that the Play Store looks like an absolute mess these days. And it's true - just about everyone on the team agreed with the statement. Liam (our resident designer) agreed so strongly he even went ahead and wrote a post about it, and even went a step further and by creating some renders of how he'd do things.

23
Mar
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Last Updated: March 24th, 2012

It's no secret – the mobile interface for Google's Play Store could use some help. A recent comment thread on Reddit points to the fact that many users feel that the Play Store's interface is just a mess. Others suggest that its level of finesse just doesn't jive with Google's overall habits of design. While Google's recent "toolbar" overhaul resulted in a pleasing, easy-to-use interface which successfully unified navigation between all of the search giant's services, the Play Store (at least on phones and tablets) is messy, jumbled, and just feels disorganized.

01
Mar
htc_one_sense4

Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.

25
Feb
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My favorite gallery replacement app QuickPic, which is notorious for its speed and simplicity, just got updated with a brand new spiffy UI based on the new Android design guidelines that were published at the time of the Ice Cream Sandwich release.

The new UI in v2.0 is now much cleaner and more fluid, with action buttons at the top right and context buttons showing up dynamically on the bottom when they're needed.

23
Feb
astridtiny

Astrid has been one of the most popular To-Do list apps for Android for years. Today it's getting a facelift and a few extra features. Most notably, Astrid now has a spiffy tablet UI. Making use of the Fragments API, Astrid lays out your Lists panel, your individual tasks, and details on each individual task for easy access. Like so:

astrid tablet

Simple, straightforward, and easy. The new UI is being added to more than just tablets, though.

16
Feb
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Bump, a wildly popular wireless transfer app for Android and iOS, got an update to version 3.0 today, bringing several enhancements to the table. Perhaps the most notable among these is the completely redesigned interface, which Bump Technologies Inc. describes as both simple and beautiful. The UI appears to have been updated to a more ICS-cohesive design, bringing a tabbed interface and "action overflow" button to enhance functionality.

Besides the new UI, Bump has made contact transfer touch-free, enabled the transfer of "as many photos as you want" in one bump, and added an interesting feature that allows users to discover mutual friends by scanning through both parties' phonebooks.

07
Feb
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Google Voice received its first major update in some time earlier today, undergoing a major UI refresh for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices (Gingerbread devices only see minor changes, such as the app icon), as well as new interface for Honeycomb and ICS tablets. Under the hood, SMS offline message queuing is now supported and works for multiple recipients.

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Screenshot_2012-02-07-15-26-07

Unfortunately, it still is ungodly slow to load on my Gingerbread phone, and scrolls like something from Android 1.6.

01
Feb
vomit

Yesterday, we saw the first glimpse of Sense 4 on Android 4.0 on the HTC Ville. While watching the video, I assumed that the handset was running Gingerbread since it looked just like previous versions of Sense (save for the updated launcher). The only thing that even slightly resembled ICS is the Roboto font in the clock.

Then it showed the version information, which made me feel physically ill. This is Sense 4 on ICS?

26
Jan
minimenu

We can't say we didn't see this coming. Google just announced on the Android Developer blog that the Menu button is well and truly dead, in case you hadn't gotten the memo. The post has relevant information on how to update your apps to accommodate the new changes without breaking support for devices running software older than Honeycomb (which are the overwhelming majority at the moment).

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Left: Glorious new Action Bar.

08
Jan
ics

Update: I had the wrong poll displayed for about an hour after posting. Sorry everyone - correct poll is live!

Let's face it: when Android first officially dropped, it was ugly as hell and not exactly designed with non-techies in mind. But as we've seen in the past 3 years (and a few months) since then, things have come a long way (albeit gradually at first) - the look, feel, and usability of vanilla Android became a major focus in the last year or so, especially with Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb(3.0), and Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0).