Saturday, March 27, 2010

Top 5 Home Screen Features For Android Developers

Android has several very intriguing components that add many dynamic capabilities to your home screen. The trend is slowly migrating towards dynamic home screens. The static screens you have been accustomed to are over. Users want access to information faster and with fewer clicks. Patent filings are a very good barometer for the future direction of mobile operating systems and home screen patents are one of them. Dynamic home screens are definitely a trend. In fact, Android provides many intriguing home screen components that you can leverage right now to create a more efficient and dramatic user experience:

App Widgets

App Widgets are small application components that you can embed on your home screen. If you need instant access to important data, these compact portlet-like components are an ideal choice.
  • Compact design
  • Provides portlet-like capabilities for your home screen
  • Quick and simple to access
  • Refresh frequency is configurable

Quick Search Box

Quick search boxThe Quick Search Box is an extremely powerful feature. It is the ubiquitous Google search function available directly on your Android device. In addition to its Google Web search capabilities, users can also search their local device and applications too. The only caveat with Quick Search is that users must opt-in to search their applications.
  • The only search function your device will ever need
  • Leverages the power of Google Search
  • Displays results in a consistent framework
  • Available directly from your home screen

Live Wallpapers

Live Wallpapers are interactive backgrounds that are available on your home screen. Most of the current Live Wallpaper apps in this space are of the fun and whimsical type. However, if you wanted your calendar, appointments, or stock streamer available here it can be accomplished.
  • Quick and simple to access
  • Refresh frequency can be customized
  • These are simply apps exposed to the background

Live Folders

A Live Folder is a real-time view of data. Live Folders can be launched from your home screen via a shortcut.
  • Quick and simple to access
  • Data is refreshed in real-time

Status Bar Notifications

Status Bar Notifications conveniently alert the user from the home screen. In addition to an icon or text notification you can also be notified via sound, vibration, or flashing lights.
  • Quick and simple to access
  • Alerts can notify users in real-time

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