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Favorite Android app designs?

5 years ago from , Product Designer

I'm currently researching Material design and the world of Android. I'm going to be translating an iOS app to Andoid and I'm curious what yr favorite Android apps are!

Thanks*~

27 comments

  • Rob SilveriiRob Silverii, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Sounds like you're not currently an Android user. I'd highly recommend switching to an Android phone as your primary device, even if temporarily. As you start to use Android, you'll realize there's a lot more below the surface that makes it very different from iOS.

    As a far as specifics apps go, start with Google's apps and then check out:

    5 points
    • Jocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Hey Rob,

      You're right I'm not an Android user but I'm using one now to understand the differences in patterns/experiences from iOS.

      Thanks for yr app suggestions!

      1 point
  • Alec LomasAlec Lomas, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    You'd probably be very interested in this article Trello wrote about updating their app to Material. It's very in-depth.

    I definitely second Rob & Gabe's suggestions, especially regarding Google's first-party apps. I'd also recommend Reddit Sync, and take a look at how Tumblr, Twitter, and IFTTT have updated their apps to feel at home in Lollipop while retaining their brand feel (though I suspect bigger, better redesigns are happening at those companies).

    2 points
    • Jocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Hey Alec,

      That's a great article! Thanks for sharing that and yr recommendations.

      0 points
  • Gabe WillGabe Will, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    I agree with Rob Silverii in that you should carry around an Android device in preparation for designing for the platform.

    As far as apps go, Google's own are obviously some of the best at conveying what you should strive for. Calendar, Messenger, Inbox, Newsstand, Music, etc. are all pretty faithful to the guidelines.

    Outside of 1st-party apps, check out Pushbullet, Weather Timeline, Today Calendar, and Cabinet.

    Final recommendation: When you find inconsistencies in the execution of these apps—and you will—adhere to the guidelines.

    1 point
    • Jocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Gabe,

      Yep I'm totally using an Android phone (though can't support lollipop) to get a feel for the OS.

      About the inconsistencies, do you mean avoid those by following the MD guidelines?

      Thanks for yr suggestions!

      0 points
      • Gabe WillGabe Will, 5 years ago

        Yep, you'll find that Google's developers follow the guidelines only as long as they suit them. (The surprisingly bad Hangouts app is an example of this.)

        Since the documentation represents the vision for the platform, I think that's what designers and devs should ultimately aspire to.

        1 point
        • Jocelyn LJocelyn L, 5 years ago

          Yeah, I agree. I'm trying to figure out balancing our brand as well as following material design. Which makes it weird that some native android apps don't follow the guidelines hah. Thanks for the heads up!

          0 points
      • Wade Garrett, 5 years ago

        What Android device are you using, if you don't mind me asking?

        0 points
        • Jocelyn LJocelyn L, 5 years ago

          It's the Moto G

          0 points
          • Wade Garrett, 5 years ago

            If you were wanting/would like to install Lollipop on your device I could help you out if needed. Just let me know if you're interested.

            0 points
  • David KeeganDavid Keegan, 5 years ago

    I'm biased of course :) but I do think the Acorns Android app is fantastic! Definitely gets the same amount of love as our iOS app.

    1 point
    • Jocelyn LJocelyn L, 5 years ago

      David,

      Thanks for yr suggestion! Everyone's answers will be biased, so no worries ha.

      0 points
  • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Unsurprisingly, I've been most impressed with how Google has implemented Material with a solid set of use cases in their own apps: Music, Maps, Calendar, Docs/Sheets, and even their simple Messenger app to name a few.

    For third parties: Photo Gallery + Management: QuickPic Project Management / Todos: Trello / Asana Notification Sync / SMS on PC: PushBullet

    0 points
    • Jocelyn LJocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Hey Andy,

      Yeah I've checked out Maps and Hangouts and Inbox and they've all been consistent. I'm curious how it will translate to the rest of their apps.

      Thanks for yr suggestions!

      0 points
  • Theus FalcãoTheus Falcão, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Link manager: Raindrop.io

    Recover files: Dumbster

    0 points
  • Jake Lazaroff, 5 years ago

    Facebook Messenger for Android is my favorite app on any mobile platform. Definitely the thing I miss most about switching back to iOS :(

    0 points
    • Jocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Cool, I'll check it out! What made you switch back to iOS?

      0 points
      • Jake Lazaroff, 5 years ago

        I think the UX in general is better (being able to touch the status bar to scroll to the top of a list, etc) as well as the quality of third-party apps. That said, there are some cool things that Android apps can do iOS ones can't: the Facebook Messenger chat heads can appear over other apps, for example, and if you use Last.fm it can scrobble music played in other apps.

        0 points
  • Nemanja NenadicNemanja Nenadic, 5 years ago

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/22/7871293/best-material-design-android-apps

    0 points
  • Alyssa Pelletier, 5 years ago

    What the heck is up with your use of "yr"? Your spelling and grammar are great except for this one recurring instance. Are you unsure of the difference between your and you're? Is this a hip new thing the kids are doing? Yr driving me crazy!

    0 points
    • Jocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Hah! It's a carried-over shorthand. I'm very familiar with the difference between both "you're" and "your"

      0 points
  • Wade Garrett, 5 years ago
    • Falcon Pro 3 (but I'm biased)

    • QuickPic

    • Reddit Sync Pro

    • IFTTT

    • CloudMagic

    • Inbox by Google

    • Google Keep

    • Google Calendar

    0 points
  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, 5 years ago

    I learned a ton about the thinking behind how Android works and believe I can make strong decisions for Android users thanks to this section of the guidelines: https://developer.android.com/design/patterns/index.html

    One exercise that I have found really useful is to sketch out your whole app's functionality while following the google patterns guidelines entirely. Then, work backwards from there to make the app work better for your users. I don't mean make it a big project and say "this is how I'm going to design it for production", but rather as a learning exercise you can do in an evening.

    Once I had the patterns understood, I found the material design guidelines really inspiring for coming up with visual metaphors that make sense for the data I am trying to communicate, and how users will interact with that data.

    Good luck! As an iOS user I really enjoyed learning all about Android. It's also nice to know the pros and cons (both on UX and tech) of both platforms.

    0 points
    • Jocelyn L, 5 years ago

      Hi Spencer,

      I've actually just started mapping out the app's user flow/functionality, so that's great you suggested that exercise. It's definitely been fun picking out the differences between the two OSs.

      Thanks for the help!

      1 point