In an attempt to provide some unification to the cornucopia of ass that the apps in the Android Market resemble, Google announced a framework of design principles for the latest version of the Android operating system. “Design principles” are a lot like “Mission Statements”: pretty words intended to signal some sort of unification, but really only as consequential as the means of enforcing them. And Google doesn’t really have the means. Samsung is going to continue with TouchWiz and HTC will keep slapping Sense over the base Android UI/UX. In terms of app developers, they fall into 3 camps. The vast majority produce cut-and-paste and/or knock-off shit and don’t give a whit about Android’s design principles. The ones who currently employ good design and make good apps for Android (both of them) are probably insulted by the principles’ obviousness, so it won’t effect them either. I suppose there is a small group of earnest developers seeking some direction that stand to benefit, so congrats to Google and artisan Matt Duarte on reaching those souls who are artistically gifted, yet in need of guidance.
This is Google’s latest attempt to address the rampant fragmentation that is encouraged on a Wild West platform like Android. If the mandated inclusion of the Holo theme on all ICS handsets is a stick, this is its analogous – and equally inconsequential – carrot. But I do hear ICS comes with some sweet new wallpapers.