Google issues Ice Cream Sandwich style guide

At CES 2012, Google's director of Android user experience announced that the company has issued an Ice Cream Sandwich style guide for developers and device manufacturers.

LAS VEGAS--When Google first showed off Ice Cream Sandwich last year, the company promised that the update would unify the Android experience between tablets and smartphones.

And today at CES, Matias Duarte, Google's director of Android user experience, announced a further step in that direction.

While speaking with editors of The Verge, Duarte announced that Google has developed an Ice Cream Sandwich style guide for device manufactures and developers.

According to Android Developer Blog, the guide will be a place where developers can "learn about principles, building blocks, and patterns for creating world-class Android user interfaces." In addition to laying out the building blocks and design principles of ICS, the guide offers advice for buildings apps with details on suggested iconography, patterns, colors, typography, and writing styles.

Giving manufacturers the freedom to tinker with the Android interface has long been a hallmark of Google's OS, but that flexibility has resulted in an inconsistent user experience and app quality across devices.

Though it's clear that the style guide is designed to address that issue, Duarte said that Google will make the recommendations optional. He added, however, that apps built outside the guidelines will stand out.

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