Techcrunch just published some tidbits about their recently held Mobile First CrunchUp. During the talks Matias Duarte (who switched from Palms webOS design lead to Google and became Director of User Experience for Android) was asked why iOS apps look better than most Android apps. His answer was: “Why are Sicilians more handsome than other gentleman?” followed by “The Android ecosystem is honestly just a little younger” meaning that it is just a matter of time until Android will catch up.
To me this is only partially true, because especially in the beginning days of the Android app market nobody could argue that interface design is just a matter of taste. The user interface for most Android apps was just plain ugly, mainly because most app developers aren’t designers and don’t have any feeling for a good UI. In this case the more restrictive app submission process of iOS was beneficial as Apple would impose specific design rules. While the whole standard iOS UI has become a little bit boring in my opinion, you can still see far more Android apps running astray on general UI guidelines than iOS apps.
Now everybody is waiting for Duarte to finally show us his magic with the upcoming Android icecream sandwich release. He was the design lead on webOS, which was incredible and shook up the competition design-wise when it was released, so i’m really curious to see what he will create for Android.