Opinion: Android is messed up for app developers.

Android is, on some degree, easy for a programmer. When the Android 4.0 SDK released, I immediately downloaded it to test my app’s compatibility.  There are no much problems during the android app development process.

But for a designer, the situation is more complex. If you want to know what will your app looks like on Android 4.0, you have to test it on Android 4.0 phones, like Galaxy Nexus, as it may look different on different Android version.

In contract with programmers, designers puts most negative opinion on Android because they encounter many problems when developing Android Apps.

For example, in order to make sure the icons won’t looks ugly, all icons should be modified with 9-batch tool in SDK. But the situation is more complex than your expectation. The icon won’t display the same in different Android devices. And the problem also exist on the default animations, etc.

Google also holds a indifferent attitude. The most recent UI Guidelines have just 11 pages. In contract, iOS Human Interface Guidelines have 170 pages to tell you make apps step by step other than just told your some naming rule as Android do. This is not just about the official documents, it shows the attitude from the originator.

For a interface designer, Android is a big black hole. He can’t know what different will it show by just edit one little detail. So the best idea is to remain the former design. Even the basic ASCII can’t ensure the same interface effect on every Android. So, how dare a designer to make big change on their products?

So, the question is

Why so serious ?

Hope Google can change this situation by unify its definition on all Android version.