With the Android 1.5 SDK update not only came feature changes, API updates and bug fixes but also a lot of cosmetic UI polishing and improvements. An example provided on the Android Developers Blog shows the “Creating A New Contact” Screen in the current Android version (on left) and then the new Android 1.5 version (on right):
That’s all fine and dandy – the UI was in need of some updating and from what I’ve heard of 1.5, it makes the whole platform look and feel a lot more top of the line. However, a minor change in the minimum button size might throw a wrench into some developer’s existing applications. Below, see how the exact same code would be rendered differently when moving between Android 1.1 (on the left) and Android 1.5 (on the right):
Previously, the minimum button size was 44×48 pixels. Now, the minimum button size is 24×48 pixels. Some developers could have used the default minimum button size within their application framework without coding/planning for potential changes in this feature. That means when Android 1.5 hits phones as a firmware update, their buttons defaulting to the min size will now be smaller and the entire layout could, potentially, be mixed up.
It isn’t a HUGE problem and it won’t likely affect that many applications – just a warning to developers and Android users alike that this could be going on. Perhaps the slow roll out of new devices is a blessing in disguise – if there were already a truckload of different hardware options the vision and progression of Android may have gotten a bit convuluted and murky.
Either way, everyone will most likely find the UI updates more than worth it.