One of Android 4.0's less-publicized but no less appreciated features is its focus on a refined interface, and Google'staking that to heart by making parts of it required for access to the Android Market. Those restrictions are for manufacturers, not developers, but a good dev always strives to make his or her app seamlessly fit in with the target OS. To that end, the Android Developers team has released a new set of digital stencils for app developers. T Hey can use this series of buttons, icons, shapes, colors and gradients to make their apps seamlessly flow with Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android's latest (stock) interface is code-named Holo, and with the Tron-style series of glowing blue accents it's not hard to see why. Far more stylish and eye-pleasing than the functional but dull stuff seen in Android 2.2 and previous. Gingerbread brought a little refinement, and Honeycomb was in many ways the beta test for Android 4.0. Now that Android looks as good as it performs, it's more and more frustrating to see manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and Motorola continue to skin their devices with mostly useless interface overlays.
The stencils from the Android dev team were created with a definite slant towards Adobe's design programs. Adobe Fireworks is the intended recipient, though the files should also work in Photoshop, Illustrator and OmiGraffle. If you're not a developer but you've got a great idea for an app (and know your way around some basic graphic design programs) you can make some pretty great mock-ups with the tools provided. Download them here.