Matias Duarte and the rest of the Android UI designers got together to spend an hour or so to talk about how they went about changing elements for Honeycomb's "Holo" UI, and how developers should go about designing apps to keep things looking fresh and like they all belong together. It's the little things that make a big difference, like setting up your action bar elements in a sane order, and sticking things that look out of place in the secondary menu. Things are getting pretty geeky, with code snippets being tossed around, but for you and I, this all means apps that look as good as they run. This is why they gave all the developers a nice tablet, and are taking the time to give direction -- the folks at Google want nice looking apps as much as we do.
There was a lot of talk about the action bar, and how to use it effectively. Everything from how and where the icons should go, and a whole new api to go along with it. Finally, using the Google I/O app as an example (which has been open sourced just for this occasion), the crew showed us all how to translate tabs, the action bar and fragments so that an app only has to be written once to look (and work) well on both tablets and phones. I can't wait to see what Android developers come up with after this one.
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