Google is a fantastic company. Its Android operating system is among the most popular mobile platforms in the world and the word Google is interchangeable with the word search.

However, I've always had a bit of a problem with Google's Android partners when it comes to updates and support. I love Android itself, but the problem I have with it is the updating process and the UI irregularities, which are starting to transfer to iOS in a big way as well. Thankfully, Google has taken notice of this and has issued new guidelines for app development.

Google's design team (led by Matias Duarte) has three key design points that every app should follow. Obviously, not all developers will care or even read these, but it's nice that Google is trying to combat the problem. The three points are:

  • Enchant me
  • Simplify my life
  • Make me amazing

These all tie in to one overall concept of app design: make the apps useful and elegant. It seems like it's a pretty obvious requirement of any app, but the truth is that sometimes apps are just pure crap . . . on any platform.

Now, these guidelines are just for apps for the time being. I do think, though, that Google may start to crack down on manufacturer skins, too, so the entire Android ecosystem is close to 100% consistency. While that doesn't matter for the majority of users at this point in time, it will matter when they go to pick up another Android phone when either 1) their current phones break or 2) their contracts run out and it's time to buy another phone. 

[Android Design via Android Developers Blog]