The new Google Android interface

Google released a new version of the SDK of its Android mobile platform today. News that this release would introduce a new interface has been going around and in fact the new interface has appeared.

Being a sucker for this kind of thing (and having some work for university to put off...), I installed the new SDK and prepared a few screenshots of the new interface for your viewing pleasure.

Keep in mind that Google still calls this interface a work in progress.

home screen

During boot Android shows a Cylon eye. After its done booting up it shows this new home screen, which gives a first impression of the new softer appearance of the interface. After you have used it for a bit it collects the most recently used applications in a list on the home screen.

Making calls

The contact list and dialer are layed out much more generously than in previous versions. You can already see that the interface has a unified look.


Maps has gained features in this release. The basic interface hasn't changed much, but you can now find a place to eat in Sweden and get driving directions in Australia.


The browser is based on webkit like the one in the iphone. As such its capable of rendering real web pages. Here two we find the familiar playful Android interface.

3D and advanced eye candy

Android has some graphics niftiness up its sleeves, which has not been put to very extensive use in the current SDK yet. There are some transparency effects, the dialog and user interface elements animate into view and there is even the occasional trace of 3D rendering. The most impressive looking effects are still only visible in developer demos though.


While the user interface has seen a major revamp in this release, this is still an early look for developers and will likely still receive more work.
The user interface was just one change in this release. Many interesting things were added under the hood. For example two interesting non-GUI additions are geo-coding (making the map searches pictured above possible) and more media codecs (among many others there is now support for ogg vorbis (yay for free codecs)).

The Android team is clearly making progress and have created a much more unified looking interface. For my taste they have overdone the playfulness just a little bit though.

No comments: