I needed a reasonable representation of the Google Nexus S for my site and some client proposal work. There are some stunning examples out there already, but those I found were generally in PSD or non-scalable PNG formats.
Being a long-time Ubuntu convert, I needed something that was scalable and worked nicely with Inkscape and GIMP – so I set about drawing my own.
The graphic is far from pixel-perfect, but gives a good representation of an Android device for proposals and mock-ups, etc. The XCF is sized so the screen area is 480×800; the SVG is of course scalable.
This is my first release. The source files in SVG and XCF format are included in the download, and licensed under MIT. Free to use and improve however you wish.
I noticed today that Google has finally launched an API for its contacts application. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to easily and properly synchronise contact data amongst Gmail, Address Book, mobile, etc. and use Gmail contacts as a single repository.
The API uses Google’s GData format, which is something I’m yet to look into. It would seem to be a
I’ve been a long-time fan of Google Calendar, mainly because I can see where I need to be from any web connection. But probably its most useful feature is the thought that has obviously gone into the interaction design.
When using calendar software, it is painful to have to click between each field, setting hours and minutes, locations etc. then confirming with an OK. I have been known (more often than not) to forego any form of calendar, instead relying on scrawl left on scraps of paper around the office. Whilst less organised than a calendar, this said scrawl is a lot easier to jot down. Needless to say, though, it is also a lot easier to lose.
In Google Calendar, the designers have captured my need to quickly jot down when, where and who. No longer do I need to tab between fields, carefully tapping out 24-hour clocks (or 12-hours, depending the software’s mood). Instead, events can be entered as simply as:
meet joe at company friday 11am
Google Calendar will then automatically pick out the important information and add the appropriate event. No fussing around with mini-calendars or remembering to use mm/dd instead of dd/mm – the app just works. This is, for me at least, near-perfection user design – and I hope more software begins to take note (Apple’s new iCal 3.0 does not).
Google Calendar’s ‘Quick Add’ is an example of removing layers of abstraction (or barriers) between the user and the system, and quite correctly why should the user conform to the system? It should surely be the other way round. Mobile phone OS designers should note, why should it take 4 menu items to get to a message inbox? Perhaps Google’s new Android will help to iron that one out…
Like quite a few others, I was pleased to hear thatÂ GoogleÂ has finally got round toÂ adding IMAP to its GMailÂ service. IMAP means checking and dealing with emails from multiple sources is a lot simpler, as any changes are synchronised back to the server. I patiently waited for the IMAP tab to appear in my settings panel, as Google had announced it would take a few days to activate. After a couple of days, though, I began to wonder if they had forgotten about my one lonely GMail account, and starting browsing theÂ help pages for any hint of what might be happening. By sheer luck,Â I happened upon this little nugget of info:
To use IMAP, you must have yourÂ interface languageÂ set to ‘English (US)’.Â
Just in case, I thought, I’d check my language settings. Lo and behold, my GMail account was set to use English-UK. I flicked the language back to English-US, and the IMAP option dutifully popped up in my settings panel.So, if you’re still waiting for IMAP to appear, it might pay to check that your account language settings.