iOS7 is launching on the 18th September. This version is a complete overhaul of the system in terms of design and Apple has clearly focused on flat design and matching hardware with software.

Android made a conscious effort with Jelly Bean to focus more on slick graphics and a fast and smooth appearance. On Android’s website it claims that for its next iteration:

It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.

Clearly it is important for the two biggest mobile operating systems in the world to look good as well as provide the performance benchmarks we expect.

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Introducing: A Consistent Android Design Scheme Concept

This made me think. What would I want to see in the next version of Android? As a designer I want to see a consistent design scheme. Software that works well and that is intuitive. There are a lot of great widgets out there but because the design is not controlled by one source, getting a homescreen looking perfect is one of the hardest tasks for me.

Android’s killer feature is Google Now. My concept brings it out from behind the search bar and onto the homescreen. The homescreens would scroll vertically to reveal more information or cards like Google Now’s current hierachy. Using Google+, users could add more cards based on their interests. The better you fill out your profile the more personal the service gets.

The default homescreen would show: Weather, Navigation and News. A swipe right would reveal social screens for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as standard with the ability to add more as required.

The wallpaper would change based on the weather updates much like Yahoo’s Weather app, making the phone look different every time the weather changes.

This concept is gesture heavy, but I feel it would give the OS a very fluid feel.

Key Features

  • Vertically Scrolling homescreen
  • Wallpaper changes based on live weather information
  • Live travel updates
  • News section based on users interests from G+ profile and other social accounts
  • Live social screen widgets
  • Redesigned Notification bar
  • Quick notification access from app icons (Pop out windows)
  • Hidden dock

HomescreenThe default screen is minimal, with current weather information and location.

Weather

Scrolling Vertically reveals more cards.

Navigation

Live navigation updates keep traffic information on the homescreen.

News

Latest news grabbed from selected sources by the user aswell as suggested sources based on Google+ information.

Social Media

Swiping horizontally reveals social streams from Facebook & Twitter.

Notification Drawer

Swipe down from the top reveals the notification drawer, at the bottom is a dedicated media player which remembers your last played song. Swiping left at the top of the drawer reveals the quick settings menu, with toggles for WiFi, cell data, camera, brightness, sounds etc.

Dock

Long pressing the home button would reveal the dock, with your most used applications as default.

Dock Notification

Icon notifications are handled with a pop out window, long pressing the icon reveals the window, single press opens the app in fullscreen mode

Settings

Swipe up from the dock and access the settings menu.

Final Words

In my opinion (as a designer) it is important to have a consistent design going forward. A stronger stock Google experience like my concept can only strengthen brand recognition and loyalty. Android is known for its high customizability but having a strong base to start from is something that will attract users from iOS to Android.

What do you think of this concept? Is there a killer feature you’d like to see in the next version of Android? Does design really matter? I would love to read your comments!