Roboto font

At the heart of Android 4.0 is the Roboto font. More important than even hardware -- which as we all know too well iterates every few months or so -- this is the building block for Ice Cream Sandwich. And whether you're a flourishing font nerd or just have a casual interest in what goes into the best mobile operating system in the world, it'd behoove you to give Matias Duarte's excellent explanation of why Android moved from the Droid font, how they designed it, and how it's going to impact you on a daily basis. It's a fascinating look into the design evolution of Android.

Read: Hello Roboto on Google+

There are 27 comments

emaddox84 says:

I think it's safe to say that for myself, and maybe many others, stock Android will be the only way to go once ICS arrives.

KleenDroid says:

Stock Android will be fine, but from that there will always be awesome roms to choose from.

bkj216 says:

Awesome ROMs based on ICS Stock that is

icebike says:

Stock Android is the only way to go for the overwhelmingly vast majority of android users. I'd bet well in excess of 97% run their phones as stock as they came from the carriers/manufacturers.

Now if we could just get the manufacturers to agree.....

mech1164 says:

To paraphrase Styx, Domo Arigato, Roboto. So is the next OS update going to be Kilroy?:D

blyan says:

*Steals this font for my iPhone*

Stupid Android, getting all the cool stuff. Haha. Am I really jealous over a font? Yes. /geek

raazman says:

Doesn't jailbreaking give you the choice to change fonts?

blyan says:

Jailbreaking lets you do pretty much anything, but I don't want to have to jailbreak to have cool features.

icebike says:

Reading Duarte's story reminded me of a wine enthusiast waxing eloquent about subtle hints of mint, blackberries and rose petals with a finish like finely brushed wet cement from the volcanic soils of cliff-side vineyards.

I suspect the reason for building this font was as much to avoid a royalty payment as anything else.

wpavlik2 says:

You know, I never did taste those, mint or blackberries in wine made from, oddly enough GRAPES.

ErebosGR says:

Roboto is a mishmash of 4 fonts, nothing new here.

But still, it's nice to look at. :P

Teovald says:

Isn't it normal that it looks like other fonts ? I mean, you can't create new letters for a new font, and there are only a really limited choice of options that work well, so you are bound to look like another good font.

billmoseley says:

There's a difference between looks like and exactly the same. This font flat out copies several existing fonts in many places. Still, at least they stole from good fonts.

Teovald says:

For what i know from friends that are typographers it is totally legitimate to take parts of others fonts to create a new one. And the flat out copy argument is mainly used by fanboys that dont get fonts : there are many subtle differences between roboto and helvetica for exemple. And subtle differences are the one that you are the more likely to see : you can't make a good font without being close to another good one.
If you REALLY study roboto (and not just read some article trying to generate clics or make fanboys happy), you realize that there is one font from which roboto seems to have initiated, and that is droid sans.

frmorrison says:

Nice that Google really wants ICS to look good.

hmmm says:

I am using roboto on my phone now. It looks nice but when i flash a new ROM i don't miss it enough to need too flash it again right away. Sometimes i forget for awhile. I care more about the hardware acceleration coming. I am skeptical it it's really going to smooth Android out to ios levels but am hopeful.

eahinrichsen says:

It is kind of reminiscent of the WinMo/Zune font. I like it a lot.

cashxx says:

Who'd they steal that from?

ScottColbert says:

Always nice to see the bitter, jealous trolls come out.

cashxx says:

No just speaking the truth!

El Jefe says:

What is a good app that allows someone to change the default font? Does it change the font within all other apps too?

hmmm says:

Font Changer in the market. You have to provide you own fonts which are really easy to find just using google search. You have to be rooted too. It changes the font in things like tapatalk, the news and weather app or google reader. I am not sure about games though.

frozencloud says:

unless u have a galaxy s II, that is. U can change the font under display > screen display > font style.

El Jefe says:

Thanks, but I don't have a Galaxy S II.

The only way I will touch a Samsung is if it is a Nexus.

El Jefe says:

Thanks. I found that but chose Font Installer because I have used other apps by 'Jrummy16' & really trust his stuff.

I downloaded it from the XDA forums and installed it on my Nexus S a few weeks ago. It's pretty amazing how just changing the font makes everything appear more pleasant.

Eerth says:

It looks even great on my HTC Legend :)