Good Looking Applications on the Android Platform
The Android platform is by default not necessarily associated with good-looking applications, which is regarded as a draw of the iPhone. Therefore it is interesting to take a look at some applications that do carry good looks and make your Android cell phone more appealing. If you dig deep enough you’ll find there surely are a few gorgeous Android apps worth mentioning. Here is a top 10 of the best looking ones.
There are many applications on Android that measure your exercise. Runstar is definitely one of the best looking ones available in this genre. The application is a full time workout ‘coach’ that tracks all kinds of interesting things about your exercise. It uses the various sensors of your Android phone to measure time spent, distance covered, speed, elevation and route taken. While doing so, it packs all data in a nice package and projects it for the user via graphs and maps. Users have the chance to set goals, which theoretically should help weight-loss or other exercise aims.
The application looks very neat and uses a nice color scheme while menu transitions are nicely worked out as well. This app would definitely not stand out on the iPhone and is one of the nicer looking Android apps available in the Android Market.
Official Twitter for Android App
The official Twitter App for Android is not only a good mobile Twitter client; it is a sexy looking Android app as well. Although I would like to discuss a few more ‘Indie’ apps here, it has to be said that the ‘big guys’ really know how to appeal to their audience. Twitter on the web is a pretty good-looking graphical environment to begin with and the Android application does well to extend this feel.
Although functionality of Twitter is not something that needs too much explaining, it is good to know that the official Twitter app has all the necessary features you might come to expect. The app is also regularly updated and adding nifty, fun, features on a regular basis. Therefore, the official Twitter for Android app cannot be left out of this list of gorgeous Android apps.
Official Facebook for Android App
Although the two are technically rivals, both Twitter and Facebook follow a similar concept. ‘Coincidently’ both have excellent Android apps as well, as the official Facebook for Android application is a good showcase of graphical appeal on your Android handset. Although you might expect these official apps to be good, the Facebook for Android app may have not made onto this list of beautiful Android apps. Until recently the application wasn’t very good or very appealing at all. Luckily with Facebook’s new focus on mobile development the Android app has gotten an overhaul as well, resulting in a more than decent looking Android app that you shouldn’t leave off your phone.
Tweetdeck for Android
Tweetdeck for Android is the third social network application is this list but cannot possibly left out. Not only is it the slickest looking alternative social networking app, it is definitely one of the most beautiful apps on Android in general. The application was built with a sleek design as a starting point at all times, which resulted in one of the prettiest Android apps in the market.
Tweetdeck combines a variety of social network services in one app where all can be centrally managed. Although many apps have this approach, Tweetdeck is one of the most popular ones in the genre. Complemented by a variety of equally gorgeous widgets, Tweetdeck is an excellent example to show that Android applications don’t have to be only functional to be good.
Layar Reality Browser
Layar Reality Browser is an innovative and surprisingly functional application that is covered in many Android app related lists. Besides all of its praised features, the application also shines in its looks. The coloring scheme and clear menu/tab structure make Layar quite pleasant on the eyes. The aim of Layar is to put an augmented reality layer over the image the phone camera is showing. As the entire aim of the application is based on a visual experience it would be rather odd if the application itself didn’t live up to a high standard. However, Layar looks so good that it is a proud entry in this list of good-looking Android apps.
DoubleTwist Android Music Player
Where many music applications in the Android Market are trying to trump the Android default music player by adding heaps of features, DoubleTwist is trying to provide users with a more visually appealing alternative. Although the feature package of the application is far from unimpressive, with Internet radio and Air syncing as their main competitive advantage.
The DoubleTwist Android Music Player differentiates itself by being very clean and slick looking making a nice contrast with the big artwork visible in the now-playing screen. The app uses big buttons that almost seem fit to be a sort of panel for in-car usage. Navigation is also well done and intuitive, making the application functionality nicely complement the excellent design. Although I cannot say here that DoubleTwist is the best music player on Android, it is certainly one of the better-looking ones.
The IMDb mobile application is a nice mobile extension to the world famous web portal. Although the website has a mobile version it is always good to have a standalone app available. The IMDb mobile app packs most of the web features into the application and is especially handy as a quick movie reference on the go. Luckily the app is not constrained by bad looks and even goes beyond the visual style of the website. The app nicely portrays all the features with interactive elements built into many of its pages. There is even a great-looking photo gallery built in with gesture support to flick through the pictures. All these features make IMDb one of the great looking Android apps in the market.
Gallery3D is the native Google Android gallery application for photos and videos, originally shipped with the Nexus One phone. The application is made by Cooliris, which is know for developing browser plugins allowing 3D gallery effects. Gallery3D might just be the most attractive application in Android in terms of visual effects. The overall feel goes beyond the ‘classic app format’ and even seems like a photo platform by itself. Everything about the application is just gorgeous, from the 3D effect when scrolling through the photo list, to the transitions when rearranging the view. If all applications on Android had the same level of visual sophistication, the platform would have definitely made a bigger impact.
Another often mentioned app on Android is Angry Birds. This seemingly simple game has a lot more to offer than any castle crusher type of game. As this article is all about visuals it must be said that in terms of (3D) graphics there are other games that would outperform Angry Birds. However, the overall design of the game makes it worth mentioning and featuring in this list of gorgeous Android apps. The overall cartoony feel of the game and the smooth, colorful level designs make the game extremely appealing on the eyes.
It is the little things that set this game apart in its genre. An example would be the background image which subtlety moves around when playing the game, giving a sense of depth. It’s all about subtleties with Angry Birds, which in combination with an excellent concept and game design make this app one of the beautiful ones on Android.
3 (Cubed) Music Player
The application that calls itself ‘3’, but is often referred to as ‘Cubed’, is probably the most visually innovative music player on Android. The song browsing mechanism resolves around a big centered cube that is made up with album art of music present on the device. The user will interact with the cube to get to the desired album and song. Flicking the cube up or down will scroll through the album art list and left or right for alphabetic search. There isn’t too much more to the app besides the usual features and controls, so its appeal is about the cube effect. The visual attractiveness of the app makes it at least worth a try and a good example of clever design on Android.
Gorgeous Android Apps: The Future of the Platform
Many people like the iPhone for its easy navigation and good-looking apps. Developers know this and try to cater for the audience. Android users are usually a bit more tech savvy and literate and might prefer function to looks. This is not entirely true as Google is now trying to visually enhance the system, a clue that developers should pick up on. Although the best looking app discussed here, Gallery3D, would rival the cream of the crop on iPhone, there are just too few of those to go round, leaving Android trailing behind a bit. Hopefully this will change for the better in future.
Note to Readers: Are there any other Android apps that you think deserve a spot in this Top 10 of Great Looking Android Apps? If so feel free to post in the comments and I will see if it is worth replacing any of the apps currently in the list.
- Runstar, https://runstar.se/
- Twitter, https://market.android.com/details?id=com.twitter.android
- Facebook, https://market.android.com/details?id=com.facebook.katana
- Tweetdeck, https://www.tweetdeck.com/android/
- Layar, https://www.layar.com/
- DoubleTwist, https://www.doubletwist.com/
- iMDB, https://market.android.com/details?id=com.imdb.mobile
- Gallery3D, https://market.android.com/details?id=com.cooliris.media
- Angry Birds, https://www.rovio.com/
- 3 (Cubed), https://abrantix.org/3.php
- All Screenshots by the Author