Google has launched the Android Design site, a page of guidelines, design principles, UI best-practice and style shortcuts for developers working with Ice Cream Sandwich. Made up both of guiding principles for apps and interfaces, such as "delight me in surprising ways" and "let me make it mine", as well as the actual building blocks of an Android UI, including tabs, seek bars, switches and spinners, the site marks Googlemost obvious attempt to-date to get all Android coders on the same style-sheet.
Much of what we saw and praised in Ice Cream Sandwich is being put forward as best-practice by Google today. The People hub, new in Android 4.0, is used as an example of using pictures instead of words, while the shift from physical buttons to virtual and the changing context menu is used to push the idea of not overwhelming people with too much at any one time.
When Google launched the Galaxy Nexus along with Ice Cream Sandwich, they removed the ubiquitous menu button that was found on all the previous Android devices. Instead, they incorporated the functionality of the menu button inside an action bar that appeared on top of the screen. If there were additional options that need not be immediately shown to the user, they were hidden inside a drop down menu signified by a Windows Phone-style vertical ellipsis.
However, this change was only visible inside the native apps in Ice Cream Sandwich whereas the third party apps continued to use a standard menu button functionality, which was replicated on the Galaxy Nexus by displaying the vertical ellipsis in the bar at the bottom of the screen.
The expected Nokia N9 PR 1.2 update has completed yet another stage of its evolution and has now started seeding.
Unfortunately, it is still only a developer-preview version, so you would need to be a registered MeeGo developer who owns the N950 developer platform to get it, but the final release should not be too far away now. Normally, it takes a month or a month and a half of testing, before such beta versions graduate.
The changelog for PR1.2 includes app folders, video calling support, better camera and gallery and improved copy/paste functionality with brackets.