Google has launched Android Design, a site dedicated to Ice Cream Sandwich best-practice in style, UI and behavior. Apparently intended to teach developers some of the justifications behind design decisions made in Android 4.0, and convince them to adopt them when they're coding for the platform, the new site could help Google achieve some of the consistency in third-party software iOS is renowned for.
Android Design is split into three main sections, opening with Google's "Creative Vision", "Design Principles" and "UI Overvice" and then launching into detailed tutorials on Style, Patterns and Building Blocks. Some of the more noticeable aspects of ICS are name-checked, such as the emphasis on photos rather than text, the virtual buttons and pared-down contextual menus, and the ease and consistency of finding your way back out through an app.
There's also a section on how Google's iconography, controls and UI style in Android differs from that of iOS and Windows Phone, as a caution to those developers hoping to use relatively universal apps across all three platforms.
"Deviate with purpose" Google says, suggesting that developers are free to change things up but only if there's particularly good reason for it. With the risk of fragmentation a well-worn theme about Android, this could be Google's opportunity to herd its coders into a more iOS-like equilibrium.