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Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Daniel McKenzie is a digital product designer helping startups and companies strategize and design products that matter. He also likes to write and tweet (@danielmckenzie) on various design and innovation topics.
More than ever, designers are being asked to create experiences for a variety of mobile devices. As tablet adoption increases and we move into the post-PC world, companies will compete for users’ attention with the quality of their experience. Designing successful apps for Android tablets requires not only a great concept that will encourage downloads, usage and retention, but also an experience that Android users will find intuitive and native to the environment.
The following will help designers become familiar with Android tablet app design by understanding the differences between the iPad iOS user interface and Android 3.x “Honeycomb” UI conventions and elements. We will also look at Honeycomb design patterns and layout strategies, and then review some of the best Android tablet apps out there.
For designers, Android is the elephant in the room when it comes to app design. As much as designers would like to think it’s an iOS world in which all anyones cares about are iPhones, iPads and the App Store, nobody can ignore that Android currently has the majority of smartphone market share and that it is being used on everything from tablets to e-readers. In short, the Google Android platform is quickly becoming ubiquitous, and brands are starting to notice.
But let’s face it. Android’s multiple devices and form factors make it feel like designing for it is an uphill battle. And its cryptic documentation is hardly a starting point for designing and producing great apps. Surf the Web for resources on Android design and you’ll find little there to guide you.