Tuesday 29 October 2013

Droidcon 2013: Teaching Your Client Android Design; or, Ridding the World of iPhoneys

Kenton Price, Little Fluffy Toys http://www.littlefluffytoys.mobi

Presentation available online


  • Android has algorithm on client as Android screens come in different sizes
  • insisted that wanted back button in app
  • got google developer advocate support to say no
  • also added various improvements, several of which

BBC Weather

  • again received an iPhone design from the agency
  • identified areas that should be more Android-y
  • added additional Android features
    • NFC support — share locations over NFC
    • lock screen widget, daydream mode, dashclock integration
  • don’t need to shout about these integrations, as early adopters will do it for you
  • first release: got slated on play store as there was no landscape mode
    • tablet users will review you (no easy way to exclude…)
    • upset users are far more likely to leave reviews
    • designers hadn’t included landscape as it was not seen as a big use case
  • about > version code > tap 7 times > easter egg :-)
  • reviews: “BBC does it better on Android for once”
    • made design Android native
    • then added nice Android features
  • even the BBC were surprised about what could be done

Play Store beta management

  • assign a Google Plus community to different (alpha/beta/etc)
  • accept/reject membership
  • LFT used to use HockeyApp, but this is much better

how to

  • get the product manager on board
  • get graphic designers on board
  • compare to best-of-breed
  • get the ActionBar absolutely right


  • some designers feel that they haven’t designed it if there’s still native components visible
    • a lots of designers got burned by the change from iOS 6 to 7
    • maybe they’ve learned their lesson now!
  • supporting older Android
    • support 240x320 as the smallest, but was difficult to work around lack of bucket design sizes (3+)
    • couldn’t test across everything
    • used ActionBarSherlock
    • lots of graceful degradation

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