Exploring Android App Developers GUI Kits, Icons, Fonts and Tools

Android is an operating system, created by Google, that has taken over many mobile devices, such as cell phones, tablets, and netbooks. As mobile devices have become more popular, Android has become one of the leading players in the world of mobile development. In recent years, we've also seen a rise beyond cell phones, into even more advanced SmartPhones, reading tablets, and mini-computer tablets (such as the iPad).

All of these devices are leading more towards personal customization, and this customization is only possible through the world of developers that are ever-growing the list of Android apps. In this post we have a list of some very useful Android tools, templates, and tutorials. Any developer, beginner to advanced, can get started with Android development easily and in the right direction.

Exploring Android App Developers GUI Kits, Icons, Fonts and Tools

Main Android Websites

Main Android Websites

  • Android.com - The main website for Android that can tell you a bit more about the operating system, how to get involved as a developer, and what devices use Android. There are also technical updates and media coverage of the Android platform.
  • Android 2.2 Developer's Blog - Stay up to date with the official Android developer blog for Android's newest versions: 2.2.
  • Android Developers - The official Android developer site, created by Android.com. Here you can download the SDK and all other essential tools for Android development, plus check out some other cool resources, tutorials, and view the official documentation.
  • Android SDK - The SDK for Android development. Available for free off of the Android Developer's website.
  • Android Market - This is where you can find a list of popular apps, and either purchase them or find free alternatives. Even if you do not choose to buy apps, this website can be a great place to get ideas for Android apps, or to see the power of what Android can do.
  • Android Open-Source Project - A community of developers for open-source technology related to the Android. Again, there are resources, tutorials, and more for creating other applications that are compatible with the latest version of Android.

Android GUI Tools & Resources

Designing is just as important on a mobile device as it is on the web or even in print design. Fortunately, for the Android platform, there are a number of Graphical User Interface kits and tools available to help any designer or developer get the job done quickly and easily.

Android GUI Prototyping - v1.4
Creating the interface for any application can be a difficult process, but this tool is here to help. This is the Android GUI Prototyping tool for Microsoft Visio. If you use visio for wireframing, sitemaps, etc. then this tool can provide you with all the stencils needed to begin wireframing GUI's for an Android device.

Android GUI Prototyping - v1.4

Android Wireframe Templates
For the more creative type, or designers that require more control, here is a PDF version of an Android device for wireframing and GUI design. The PDF contains grids, guides, and how-to's on the alternate pages and in the margins.

Android Wireframe Templates

DroidDraw
This is an online interactive version for Android GUI prototyping. With a nice drag-n-drop functionality, interfaces can be created and organized with ease. There is also a downloadable version, and links to similar tools for other devices that may use Android.

DroidDraw

AnDroid Draw
AnDroid Draw is app for Android that is meant to be used with DroidDraw. Create in DroidDraw and preview your prototypes with this application on the actual device.

AnDroid Draw

Android GUI Kits

Along with the tools above, many premade designs and sketching tools are available for Android application wireframing. There are stencil sets and application files under a number of sofwares: Photoshop, Fireworks, Omnigraffle, etc.

Android GUI for Photoshop (PSD)
Photoshop file with elements of Android 1.5 GUI to help open-source community with application mock-ups.

Android GUI for Photoshop (PSD)

Google Android GUI (PSD)
Inspired by teehan+lax's iPhone PSD, here are the basic GUI elements, built using vectors to scale, for the Android.

Google Android GUI (PSD)

Android Phone GUI Kit (PSD)
Photoshop file featuring elements of the Android OS 1.5 GUI . Great for application mock-ups and concepting. However, the Android GUI PSD is not intended for final implementation.

Android Phone GUI Kit (PSD)

Fireworks Template for Andriod
Are you starting with interaction design for Android - like we are - then there are a number of useful resources to help you out. We couldn't yet find a Fireworks template, so we have made one ourselves and want to share it here. In this Fireworks template the Android user interface elements have been redrawn as vector images. In the folders the elements have been mostly labeled according to the Android vocabulary.

Fireworks Template for Andriod

Stencil for Omnigraffle
Stencil set for Google Android prototyping. This is the first version, more will be added later.

Stencil for Omnigraffle

Sketch Stencil for Omnigraffle
Sketch style Android OmniGraffle template. The purpose of the sketch style wireframe is to prevent the intended audience from thinking about visual design and encourages them to focus on the functionality and behavior being proposed. Experience has shown that the more polished something looks — the less likely you are to get feedback due to the fear that it's "too far down the line" to make changes.

Sketch Stencil for Omnigraffle

Google Nexus One V2 PSD
An updated icon set from this version with new buttons and wallpapers.

Google Nexus One V2 PSD

HTC Dream Template
PSD of the HTC Dream for development or designing purposes.

HTC Dream Template

HTC Dream PSD
HTC Dream Android Smartphone .PSD (Real .PSD, not rendered.)

HTC Dream PSD

HTC Hero PSD
This is a the HTC Dream (TMobile G1) that is going to be the first offering of the new Android OS. It may not look like much but this phone should be really cool. I have also included the slide out qwerty keyboard. It is not in the picture but it is in an underlying layer.

HTC Hero PSD

Android: Search Toolbar
Search bar template for Google Android. Available in PSD and PNG.

Android: Search Toolbar

Further Resources

Android Icons

There are a number of high-quality icons made for Android already, some free and some premium. Below are a few featured icons, otherwise, anyone can design their own icons for applications under the Android 2.0 Icon Design Guidelines.

30 Free Android Menu Icons
The package includes 30 PNG menu icons in 3 sizes plus the additional source files for further customization.

30 Free Android Menu Icons

Free Android 2.x Monster Icons
The package includes 8 PNG launcher monsters, Android 2.x style. Beware, some are hiding behind popular apps.

Free Android 2.x Monster Icons

The Android Developer Common Icon Set
We've based the style of our icons on some of the icons that are contained within the Android SDK as well as screenshots and videos. If you'd like more icons in this style, please feel free to contact us for custom work in this style.

The Android Developer Common Icon Set

The Android Developer Common Icon Set II
The icon set contains icons setup for use in the Menu, Lists, Tabs (selected & unselected) or Dialogs, with the correct sizing sorted into appropriately labeled folders.

The Android Developer Common Icon Set II

iDroid Icons for Android
iDroid is a fresh and elegant replacement icon set for the Android OS in use on many modern handsets, such as the HTC Hero. The icons found on this page are 48x48 png images, ready to be used by certain Home Replacement applications like PandaHome, OpenHome or dxTop. They can also be used with Bettercut.

iDroid Icons for Android

Icons for iPhone & iPad apps (Good for Android as Well)
Designed and carefully optimized for use on toolbars and tab bars in iPhone & iPad apps, they're also perfect for Android apps, websites, t-shirts, tattoos and more.

Icons for iPhone & iPad apps (Good for Android as Well)

Android Application Icons Set
A free icon set consisting of 15 PNG's and a preview banner.

Android Application Icons Set

Android Icons Set 2 Templates
PSD set of 30 icons in various forms for almost any icon need.

Android Icons Set 2 Templates

Useful Switcher Icon Set
PSD icon set for an Android application available for re-use.

Useful Switcher Icon Set

:icons: Breathe
Breathe is a new replacement icon set for the Android OS, inspired by iPhone styled rounded icons.

:icons: Breathe

Gesture Icons
Our way of thinking as web/application/software designers is about to be turned upside down. No longer will we design around a mouse/cursor, but will have to think about fingers and gestures when we design the next generation of interface. Gesturecons are here to aid you in that process.

Gesture Icons

Further Resources

Android Fonts

There is a way to use any font you choose on an Android platform, beyond the three basic fonts an Android comes pre-installed with. To do so, check out this tutorial: Android Development - Using Custom Fonts (Also listed under further resources). However, below are some premade fonts available and formatted for Android.

@font-face Package for the Droid

Copies of the default fonts from the Android project. Available on GitHub.

Droid Sans Pro Regular
Droid Sans Regular and Bold are humanist sans serif typefaces designed by Steve Matteson, Type Director of Ascender Corp. Droid Sans was designed with an upright stress, open forms and a neutral, yet friendly appearance. Droid Sans was optimized for user interfaces and to be comfortable for reading on a mobile handset in menus, web browser and other screen text.

Droid Sans Pro Regular

Droid Serif Pro Regular
Droid Serif Regular, Italic, Bold & Bold Italic feature a contemporary appearance and were designed for comfortable reading on screen. They feature slightly condensed letterforms to maximize the amount of text displayed on small screens. Vertical stress, sturdy serifs and open forms contribute to the readability of Droid Serif while its proportion and overall design complement its companion Droid Sans.

Droid Serif Pro Regular

Handset Condensed Family
Handset is a humanist sans serif typeface designed for user interfaces, web sites and on-screen display. Handset Condensed was designed by Ascender Corp's Steve Matteson to be compatible with the Droid family of fonts.

Handset Condensed Family

Droid Sans
Sans-serif version of an Android device font. Droid is a font family created by Ascender Corporation for use by the Open Handset Alliance platform, Android.

Droid Sans

Droid Serif
Serif version of an Android device font. Droid is a font family created by Ascender Corporation for use by the Open Handset Alliance platform, Android.

Droid Serif

Droid Sans Mono
The Droid Sans Mono typefaces were designed by designed by Steve Matteson. These fonts feature non-proportional spacing for displaying text in a tabular setting and other uses where a monospaced font is desired. Droid Sans Mono has excellent legibility characteristics in its letterforms.

Droid Sans Mono

Further Resources

Conclusion

As mobile devices continue to flourish, the Android platform and its development possibilities also expand. Android is among the biggest operating systems for small mobile devices, including phones, tablet devices, and more. It is important for web designers and developers today to begin learning the best practices for mobile interface design and coding methods, so we can be prepared for the future.

Android development can include anything from custom application development, to designing slick user interfaces. There is an area for any kind of technical professional when it comes to the Android. Please feel free to share further resources or experiences when working with the Android platform.