GET THE APP:  CURRENTLY HOT:   Android Fire TV Fire TV Forums HTC One M8 Moto 360

[Developer] What are the best UI resources out there?

Ever since the launch of ICS, we’ve seen a greater deal of UI resources made for Android developers by various members of the community. I’ve decided to list a few that I know of, and would love to hear from you which are your favorites, and why.

 

ActionBarSherlock

Created by Jake Wharton, ActionBarSherlock brings the ActionBar capabilities back to all devices running on Android 2.x. The ActionBar is of vital importance to ICS phones and tablets, yet its lack of backward compatibility meant that it isn’t available natively to a huge majority of the devices in the market currently. Google needs to add this to the support library, and every developer needs to get some experience with it.

Link: http://actionbarsherlock.com/

 

Action Bar Style Generator

I’ve highlighted the importance of the ActionBar above, which needs to be themed to suit the look of an app. While the process itself isn’t that complicated, you can save yourself some time using Jeff Gilfelt’s neat little tool. It creates all the required resources, including drawables, the colors and the style files.

Link: http://jgilfelt.github.com/android-actionbarstylegenerator

 

Pull-to-Refresh

Not everyone is a fan of the pull-to-refresh concept, and I can understand why: the capability simply not that obvious to the common user. However, if you do wish to add the functionality, have a look at Chris Banes library. Additionally, note his blog post regarding adding an indicator to point out the feature to the user.

Link: http://www.senab.co.uk/category/android-2/pull-to-refresh-android-2/

 

Android Ribbon Menu and Android Delicious

These two are based on the new trend towards a side navigation menu (like what we’ve seen in the Facebook and the new Google+ app). I haven’t had a chance to test run either, simply spotted them on my Google+ feed, but they look interesting and are definitely the way to go as we shift from the dashboard UI system.

Links: https://github.com/lexs/android-delicious, https://github.com/darvds/RibbonMenu

 

Google+ profiles to follow

Android UI Patterns

Android Niceties




  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

    “yet it’s”
    >Yet its

    • Tommy Thompson

      picky, picky!

  • ericl5112

    Great article. However, anyone considering pull to refresh, look here please.
    http://android.cyrilmottier.com/?p=598 I like the paradigm for tablets, where your finger has a lot more space to move to hit a refresh button. For phones, it’s not good.

    • ericl5112

      Sorry, double post. Got an internal server error message, posted again, got two posts. Please delete.

  • ericl5112

    Great article. However, anyone considering pull to refresh, look here please.
    http://android.cyrilmottier.com/?p=598 I like the paradigm for tablets, where your finger has a lot more space to move to hit a refresh button. For phones, it’s not good.

  • Pkmmte

    I personally use the ActionBarSherlock and HoloEverywhere libraries together to get a full ICS experience on 1.x and 2.x devices.

    the HoloEverywhere project basically backports the Holo theme to older devices. (down to 1.6)

    • samuelmaskell

      Does this also allow me to use the new UI widgets like a switch button(http://developer.android.com/reference/android/widget/Switch.html) in older versions of android? that would be awesome.

      • Pkmmte

        Sadly, no. I was wondering the same thing at first. The developer said that he will be adding the switch component in a later version, though.

        • samuelmaskell

          well that’s too bad. still a great resource though. thanks for the info!

    • http://stevealbright.com Steve Albright

      I feel that HoloEverywhere is a great idea but adds a lot of extra resources that bulk up your project. I think ICS UI is great but leaving the stock UI on older phones makes sense.

  • samuelmaskell

    actionbar sherlock is essentially necessary to android development at the moment. Everyone should be using it. I’m definitely going to try holoeverywhere when I get to work on monday. that looks spectacular. also, another good resource is http://code.google.com/p/android-ui-utils/

  • http://www.facebook.com/markwei Mark Wei

    StandOut enables developers to make floating windowed apps http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1688531

    Full disclosure: recently created by me

  • http://stevealbright.com Steve Albright

    When I started the Phandroid News app I did not use ActionBarSherlock but before public release converted it over. this allowed me to prevent some bugs I am sure I would have found that the community (and Jake) have already addressed.

    This article reminds me that I should create a valid about screen and give some credits ;)