Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Google I|O 2012 App Defines Design to Come

Google I|O developer conference is almost here. Tomorrow we will see Android 4.1 Jelly Bean announcement and what Nexus devices come with it.

As every year Google has released an official Google I|O app for the conference visitors and everyone else who wants to follow the upcoming sessions. The app is a well designed example of Google's talented app design and developer team. Unlike many other apps the IO app is going to be open source soon after the conference. It is going to be the example app for the coming year. Let's take a quick look what the app holds in it.

Dashboard is gone

The first thing you'll notice is that the dashboard is gone from the app. However, contrary to my expectation the app does not have the side navigation we've seen in the Google+ app. The app launches directly to a screen listing the sessions and event calendar. Note that the tab navigation turns into dropdown navigation when in horizontal mode.

The gorgeous tablet landing screen combines all the three screens into one. My 7" tablet is broken so I cannot check how it looks on a smaller tab. It would be interesting to see if there's something different on a smaller tab.

[EDIT] Here's a screenshot from a 7" tablet thanks to +Nathan Gould.

Session screens

Session screens follow the same design.

The tablet design is brilliant also on the session screens. Note the nice graphic as empty selection state.

Contextual Action Bar / Action Mode

Contextual action bar is triggered with long press.

Google TV

As a great surprise the IO app actually works on Google TV. You can install it from the market. interestingly the app is very different from the phone and tablet version. This is what I talked in my blog post about Google TV and the use case of Google TV. The IO app opens directly to video stream and there's no session information pages, calendar stuff etc. One can expect the left side to be populated by alternative sessions once the sessions are online. The black part is populated by the player which seems to be using the same player controls as the Youtube app on Google TV. I hope this part is going to be included in the open source release as well.


The IO app is again a great example for us. I hope we see the source code soon so we can start using this as an example in our own products.


  1. Thanks for the great review Juhani! We're hard at work on open sourcing the app :)

    1. @roman.nurik in android 3.2 the search function something glitch :(. when i tap the search icon it goes some other place then i tap second time the icon it display search bar. please fix this.

  2. Can't wait for the source of this app :D

  3. The portait mode on tablets is good too.

    1. Thanks Arthur, that's a good point. I didn't try portrait mode. I'll add a screenshot.

  4. Great review. It will be interesting to see how the 3-pane layout is implemented. I mean, there's a lot of permutations and combinations of the panes. I can't wait to lay my hands on the source and see for myself how these Fragments are combined into Activities with various number of panes in them.

  5. I wonder if they used ActionbarSherlock to get the ICS look and feel on older devices :-)

  6. Some (pretty obvious) bugs:

  7. I am using the actionbar tabs and viewpager in my apps. Changing to a spinner when in landscape mode is good but there is a problem. When we have changed the page with swiping in the viewpager the tabs are changing automatically but the spinner is not.

    1. That's a known issue in the Android framework. I hope it will get fixed in the next release.