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+


Reader comments

Google's Matias Duarte details Android's new 'Roboto' font


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.

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.....

*Steals this font for my iPhone*

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.