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New focus on UI with Ice Cream Sandwich is made complete with the first written style guide for the mobile OS.

Google launches new ‘Android design’ site

Google has unveiled a new design ‘style guide’ website for Android developers which aims to help developers in the creation of Android apps for the new Ice Cream Sandwich.

Android 4.0 offered a major update for the UI in Google’s popular mobile OS with the firm saying the updated had "e touched nearly every pixel of the system as we expanded the new design approaches introduced in Honeycomb tablets to all types of mobile devices."

The new design web site offers tips on how to design an effective UI as well as improve usability through features such as multitasking, notifications and sharing across applications.

The company hasn’t offered anything like this in the past with developers largely being left on their own to figure out how to make good looking applications. The result is that there’s a much great variety of app UI ‘quality’ across Android applications than under the one-UI-to-rule-them-all approach of iOS.

Lots of the advice appears to be general guidelines on usability and interface design such as "Pictures are faster than words – Consider using pictures to explain ideas. They get people’s attention and can be much more efficient than words."

In an interview with Wired, Google’s Android ‘usability’ chief Matias Duarte said: "As this site goes up, I can feel like it’s finished. Like ICS is truly complete."

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