Image courtesy of The Verge
Following a slew of announcements from Google yesterday culminating with the unveiling of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the accompanying software development kit, Android Beam, the new People app, the panoramic camera feature and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone (among other things), The Verge has published an exclusive, lengthy interview with Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte. It’s a highly recommended read with revealing details and interesting insider perspective on Google’s arguably the most propulsive property.
Some of the more noteworthy highlights:
Android Honeycomb, which was Duarte’s first big Google project following his departure from Palm after the company was acquired by HP, was a lot like “emergency landing”, he said. It’s a platform which has “a flexibility designed into it that you don’t have to worry about when you’re doing a completely integrated device”. And why Google refused to open-source Honeycomb?
“On Honeycomb we cheated, we cut the corner of all that smaller device support”, adding this:
Honeycomb was like: we need to get tablet support out there. We need to build not just the product, but even more than the product, the building blocks so that people stop doing silly things like taking a phone UI and stretching it out to a 10-inch tablet.
People are fed up with “two decades of windows, and cursors, and little folder icons”, he says. The search company actually visited “shadow” users at their homes and workplaces to figure out how they interacted with mobile devices. What they found out was surprising: Android lacked emotional connection with its users who deemed the operating system overly complex. So they set out to build a wonderland of sorts, improving on Android’s typography by creating in-house a clean typeface for Ice Cream Sandwich dubbed Roboto. He then took a jab at Apple, calling the iOS design “juvenile” and likening it to web pages with “cartoony things hanging off a page”.
More tidbits below the fold.
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