Timer, Tweet Lanes, and the Importance of Holo

Timer, Tweet Lanes, and the Importance of Holo

Aug 27, 2012

I recently found out about an app called Timer, which is extremely simple: it’s a timer app, restoring some functionality that isn’t present in the stock Jelly Bean clock, and also featuring expanded notifiaction support for start/stop and restarting the timer. It’s a simple app, yet it feels like a great fit with Android 4.x devices.

However, we’re seeing a few more apps taking advantage of the Holo theme and Android 4.x design themes. Tweet Lanes is probably the most popular example, having seen a great number of downloads for 4.x phones and even for the Nexus 7. Flipster integrates some Holo theme and 4.x design elements in it as well.

Android needs apps like these, with consistent design themes. Apps that have a distinct look and feel to them that screams Android, that represent the platform and look good while running smoothly, they will strengthen the platform. When users can expect some apps to have familiar looks and feels, then the platform feels more legitimate.

The problem is that thanks to all the Android variants out there, there’s no consistent look to the platform. Phone manufacturers have generally tried to prevent this for their own benefit by applying their own look to the platform. Google is trying their best to keep the stock look, though. The Galaxy Nexus may be the most widely-spread Nexus phone yet thanks to it being on multiple carriers, and as one of the best values as an unlocked phone. The Nexus 7 is estimated to sell 8 million units this year. There’s plenty of value to Holo.

So, while there’s the challenge of getting developers to accept this style for their apps, especially when iOS and its design principles are still dominant, the rise of Android devices out there leads to the hope that developers for the platform will accept it and adopt it. The apps that are using Holo themes and Android design standards are impressively smooth. They are great examples of how Android apps should be working. More developers that take advantage of this, the more likely that Android can develop that consistent look and feel that it needs.

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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