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#AndroidDesign   #ADiA

Android Design in Action returns next Tuesday! Here's a sneak peek :-)

Check http://developers.google.com/live next Monday for details (we haven't posted the episode details just yet), or keep your eyes out for the video on androiddesigninaction.com.
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27 comments
 
Do you think you could do a ADiA office hours with q and a? I like watching your show but it's not interactive enough. ;-)
Also the community should be better moderated. Like this it's not very useful...
Greetings.
 
What are your thoughts on the concept of Holo everywhere? It would seem like a jaring experience to use it on 2.3.x devices in the same way as making an app look like an iPhone would be out of place on Android. Discuss...
 
Custom fonts eh? Can't wait!
 
+Andrew Kelly +Jake Wharton 
Why on earth back porting Holo would be more annoying than backporting the ActionBar?
Sorry Jake, but I find this comment a little bit selfish.

Do you really want every 2.x application to be orange-clicked and 1990's greyed buttons in your app?

I strongly invite people using HoloEverywhere to put their own graphics in the library, that's just a starting point for theming.

HoloEverywhere is just the graphics (png) of Holo, and I do my best to remove all the behavior modifications that were introduced.

Why theming your application by changing a button in blue would be acceptable while changing it to the default holo png would be bad?

Do you think that all these grey buttons and orange clicked items are correct and people cannot have a blue clicked button instead?

Can you please explain why so much hate?
 
+Christophe Versieux I'm not saying using Holo on 2.3.x devices is bad, I just want to get the opinion of the community to see if I should put in extra effort to make my app look the same as other 2.3.x apps or if I should use a library like HoloEverywhere (in combination with ActionBarSherlock) and make my life easier in only have one look and feel.
 
+Andrew Kelly My comment was rathet a response to Jake's comment.

As I said, you can change all the png in the library to your needs in one single copy/paste, and create your own theme that is not Holo related.
You can also change the font in one click.

Doing it yourself will eat you dozens of hours copying xml files, extending classes (have you aver tried to theme a dialog???) etc... just compare these hours to 4 minutes of importing of the lib and 5 minutes of coopy/pasting your graphic files.
 
+Andrew Kelly Generally my feeling is that if you're going to let it fall back to the defaults, then you shouldn't make any extra effort to backport the widget styling from Holo (things like the EditText and Button backgrounds). If you're going for a more custom look, though, I would choose a Holo as a starting point for your customizations rather than splitting it for 2.x vs 3.x+.

That said, I think the Holo design methodology and concepts absolutely apply to 2.x and is even consistent with it. The design patterns for Holo like the ActionBar or swipable tabs fit right in with 2.x and improve the overall design.
 
This issue was discussed in one of the last ADiA episodes.

This is what I think. Yes Holo is our should be the stock experience, but let's be honest, only few people have really seen pure Android. Most of the people are used to Touchwiz and Sense and Moto... whatever it's called right now. Sure Holo is in pure form there from 4.0 and above but that doesn't mean people will feel that this should be the experience.

I think if you decide that you want to design your app a certain way, than let it look the same on every device.
If you don't want to design just rely on what ever the target device offers.
 
Man this is pretty hot.
 
It seems like the holo design from ICS is starting to be kinda phased out in favor of the lighter cards style in Chrome and Google Now. Are there plans to stick with one or the other going forward? 
 
+Brian Wenger  Cards seems to me like a specific design pattern whereas Holo refers to the overall theme. Plain old stock Holo has a light and a dark variant (and a Light.DarkActionBar).
 
+James Jun No custom fonts there. They're all normal Roboto variations :)
 
+Roman Nurik bacon is possibly the most UI embellishing stock art there is. Of course the design is good, there's bacon!
+Andrew Kelly not saying there's a simple right answer on Holo backport, but a 'pro' to throw into the equation is that Holo-esque apps on pre-Holo devices will prepare User expectations for the eventual move to Holo (i.e. getting them onto Holo early dampens the shell-shock of moving to Holo later and potentially blaming OS inexperience on your app).
Holo aside, having a universal theme is a way to defeat a lot of the problems caused by old manufacturer variations to stock theme (e.g. dark buttons on Sony devices, where they're mostly otherwise not so dark on other devices).
Outside of the knowledge-base of Android developers and Android designers, others (e.g. managers, non-Android-savvy designers) can have a hard time dealing with the concept of "the UI doesn't always look the one way it was designed to look".
 
+Christophe Versieux The action bar is a UI component. Holo is a theme.

If we've learned anything from these shows it's that you should provide a cohesive, branded, and unique look for your application within the design guidelines. Stock Holo on pre-HC fits in just about as well as emulating Metro or iOS.
 
+Jake Wharton so would you go for the default theme on each phone? I mean you can't know how your app will look like. Or would you do your own?
 
+Jake Wharton (I've sent you an email in order to continue the discussion and not to take control of Roman's post, please take a look)

The unique branded look can be achieved by replacing png's in the HE lib =  20 seconds.
Include it in all your apps = Unique branding in one line of code!

Doing it yourself without HE will need to open AOSP, pick xml files, extend classes and work 20 hours if you don't know where to look. ;-)
 
So reading the link that +Roman Nurik posted, it would seem that using Holo everywhere isn't as bad as I thought, and would provide a consistant UI across multiple versions of Android, which my clients will probably feel most comfortable with too.

Thanks everyone for chipping in your thoughts, sorry to hijack the post, although it was Android design related.
 
+Andrew Kelly Theming hasn't fundamentally changed since Android's inception. You've always been able to (relatively) easily provide consistency.

I find resources such as the action bar style generator and the holo colors websites which promote customization and differentiation within the bounds of Holo infinitely more useful.

Anyways, I'm done arguing since it's a subjective matter. Eager for the return of the only show to drag Android kicking and screaming from the depths of application design mediocrity.
 
+Jake Wharton I'm using the tools from the Android Asset Studio at the moment, I've always been able to style my apps as you mention, I was just looking for some kind of "confirmation" that using Holo on 2.3 won't be totally frowned upon (e.g. by the people who choose which apps to feature on Google Play).
 
+Andrew Kelly if you are (or make an app for) a carrier or other big business with plenty of money and sway then it doesn't matter how far from Android Design Guidelines you stray - you'll still likely have your apps promoted. I say this with jest, but it actually seems to be true :(
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