There’s no arguing that Google, over the past couple of years, have really pushed their Android developers to make more and more beautiful applications. When it comes to imaginative and varied design with beautiful animations, colour palettes and layouts, Android has really overtaken iOS. iOS apps may feel a little more synergised but there’s no doubting that, currently, Android is the place for beautiful app design.
Google asks developers to work hard and therefore, rewards them with awards once a year to highlight the truly beautiful designs that can be found on Android. This year, Google has picked out six applications that it believes to have utilised design so well that it’s worthy of being the ‘Best-In-Class’ for doing design that way. These six apps may not look the most beautiful but they all offer up beautiful design that lends a hand to the user experience and makes the application a joy to use. So let’s get into the 6 apps Google decided to award ‘Best In Class’ on Android.
B&H Photo Video Audio Pro – for Immersive Imagery
B&H Photo Video Audio Pro isn’t a massive application in terms of either branding or recognition, but it’s an application that has clearly won over the hearts of the Google team and has been awarded an award as a result. B&H Photo Video Audio Pro (too long of a title) is an application that lets you browse through the B&H catalogue using material design, card design and incredibly large high-resolution imagery for every product.
B&H Photo Video Audio Pro was awarded ‘Immersive Imagery’. B&H (shortened the name now) offers up a catalogue for its shop that uses really high-resolution images on a white background that take up 90% of the display. They pride themselves on quality of their products and such want their buyers to be able to see them in every detail.
New York Times for Elegant Typography
The New York Times is one of the leading publishers in America and offers those that use their service a truly great experience no matter how they wish to read their content. The New York Times have always worked hard their website and applications to keep their designs modern and fresh so their users don’t ever feel left behind by other publications.
New York Times won an award for ‘Elegant Typography’. As aforementioned, the New York Times definitely likes to keep things fresh and therefore they actually spend a lot of time researching typography and what makes it easier and more comfortable to read for the user. Therefore, Google has awarded them the typography award.
Pocket – for Adaptive Layouts
Pocket is an application that only grown and grown since its arrival as a mobile app years ago. Pocket, for those of you who don’t know, essentially allows you to save articles and web pages from any of your devices and store them within this application for viewing offline at a later date. Over the years Pocket has made it easier and easier to sort your saved articles, to view your saved articles and to actually save your articles. There’s a chrome extension and an application for Windows, iOS, Android, Mac and Chrome.
When it comes to design, the Pocket app has won the award for ‘Adaptive Layouts’. Pocket uses a card-based system that changes how much content it shows on your display based on the size of your screen. This is great if you’ve got a 4″ phone and great if you’ve got a 5.9″ phone.
Pocket Casts – for Seamless Browsing
Pocket Casts is arguably the best application on Android for streaming podcasts to your ears. Pocket Casts has offered up an application that suited Android’s guidelines no matter what they were. It brought out a Material Design offering not too long ago and as a result, has earned itself a place on Google’s Best In Class apps.
Pocket Casts actually won the award for “Seamless Browsing” however. By this we assume it means how easy it is to find new podcasts to follow. The experience of finding a new podcast is incredibly simple. You can either search for the most popular podcasts in differents genres or you can search via name or direct URL/RSS if you so wish.
Tumblr – for Delightful Animation
Tumblr is actually one of Google’s favoured applications, merely because it was one of the first to use the hovering interaction button from Material Design. In fact, it was implemented into the application before there was even any announcement about Material Design. The Tumblr app has been updated quite a few times to keep its design modern and offer up some great animations.
Google award it a Best In Class award for its ‘Delightful Animation’. As aforementioned, whenever you tap on something on Tumblr you’ll get to see a great and smooth 60fps animation happen that will transition to whatever content you requested.
Weather Timeline – for Crafted Simplicity
Weather Timeline is becoming one of the favourite weather applications on Android and for good reasons. Weather Timeline highlights it’s prowess, not on offering you hundreds of different stats about the weather, but how the weather is going to be at a very specific time, whether that’s in the future or in the past.
Weather timeline has won its Best In Class award for ‘Craft Simplicity’. Weather Timeline uses a very minimal and flat design that utilises a few animations and transitions to get you around but mainly tries to keep your content on one page. You merely have a page for locations and then you tap on one and in one stream you can view current weather condition, weather conditions for the next 24 hours and weather conditions for the coming week.