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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Google+ profiles to follow