Android 4.5 - Part 1

Hey Internets! How’s it going? Ready for more design love?

This time I’m taking on stock Android itself. 

I really like stock Android, however, there’s definitely still more than a few inconsistencies. My goal with this post was not to rethink Android, but rather update the parts that haven’t seen any work done on them for years. Hence why I’m titling this Android 4.5 and not 5.0.

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First up, the settings. I’m pretty certain that it is universally accepted that the stock Android settings app is hideous, especially with that blue-black gradient that has awful banding. I didn’t so much change the layout as I did change the color theme. The settings app is now bright and crisp (with proper XXHDPI icons. KitKat has lower resolution icons, even on the Nexus 5). Android is also moving towards a more friendly, softer style so I rounded out the toggle switches and updated the blue coloring.image

Continuing with my softening of Android, I elected to have the volume adjustment be rounded, with a lighter gray color and transparency. I hate how the current volume popup blocks what’s underneath.image

Tablets let you adjust all the volumes anywhere in the system, why can’t it be the same on phones? Also, the transparency is much more noticeable in this image.image You know another app that’s ugly and hasn’t seen any major design changes in years? The calculator. I mean, c’mon, the buttons on the existing app aren’t even evenly sized or spaced!

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With the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat, easily the most criticized part of the OS is the camera app. I will make no claim to my own version being the best, however it is better. 

My update would call for the app to show the true aspect ratio of the photo being taken. No more annoying zoom-cropping. Let’s also ditch the troublesome “arc” controls, instead opting for a clean and simple slide-out strip of icons. Finally, to achieve a true aspect ratio viewfinder in video mode, I have the app taking advantage of the entire display and using the new transparent system navigation bar.

That’s Android 4.5 - Part 1. Again, I’m planning on a second part to release shortly after the holidays.

As usual, I welcome feedback, and you can find me on the various networks linked below. Happy Holidays everyone!

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