Google makes Android 4.0 Holo UI requirement on new handsets
Google asks Android device manufacturers for UI consistency
It looks as though the wheels of change are slowly starting to turn for the Android platform, with Google announcing on its developer blog that it will require manufacturers to include Holo user interface (UI) elements into their own interfaces for any device running Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.
To clarify, the Holo UI is the native theme for Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The requirement is that the Holo files are there on the phone and embedded into the software, Google aren’t saying that Holo elements need to be present in a manufacturer’s custom UI on the surface – so there’ll still be plenty of room for manufacturers to distinguish their handsets with flashy overlays.
The point of this though, is so that apps and widgets developed for the platform can have some consistency in being able to use the default Android theme for their menus and the like, regardless of whether you’re running a Motorola interface or an HTC one, for example.
For the end user that means menu colours, icons and fonts should be consistent between apps and that you should see all your apps as the developer intended them.
It’s not exactly revolutionary, but it’s at least a gesture that Google is moving towards a more unified system rather than the wildly varied iterations of Android we’re used to seeing between devices currently.
It’s one of the chief complaints of many would-be Android users that, compared to the likes of Apple’s iOS, a new Android phone from a different manufacturer means you have to pretty much re-learn the interface all over again.