Jelly Bean brings 3 different UIs for Android devices

Jelly Bean brings 3 different UIs for Android devices
The Android ecosystem isn't tightly controlled like Apple's, so the idea that 2 different UIs (one for phones, and one for tablets) would be enough to make all devices work to their fullest may not be correct. At least, that's Google's idea with the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, which reportedly has 3 different UIs to take advantage of each screen size. 

The different UIs are specifically for the Android system itself, of course, as apps will scale automatically to any size. Apps will all scale, but will only look good on larger screens assuming developers have bothered to use the Android SDK tools properly. Still, with Jelly Bean, Google has decided that the interaction metaphors used on phones or on 10" tablets may not be the best for use on a 7" tablet, and has added in an extra UI for that use case, which mixes together the best of both worlds. 

We've seen the evidence of this with the Nexus 7, which uses the pull-down notification shade that is seen in Android phones, but has the paneled app layouts that you'd expect from an Android tablet. At first, it was thought that the Nexus 7 was using the phone UI, but actually it is a new UI layout for 7" tablets. So phone, 7" tablet, and 10" tablet layouts are going to be the defaults for Android Jelly Bean and going forward. 

And, just to reiterate, because we know there will be those out there who want to scream the "f" word (which we no longer use around here): the addition of the 7" tablet layout will not cause any issues for developers, because as always any developer that actually cares about the user experience (read: not Twitter) will use the responsive design tools in the Android SDK to make an app that scales well no matter what the screen size of the device. 

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48 Comments

1. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

That's something unexpectedly good

14. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes this is GREAT. I love Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It's so smooth, super FAST & the Google Now is just plain genius. I can't WAIT until my Asus Transformer Prime gets some Android Jelly Bean action. I still can't wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which should run Android Jelly Bean when it comes out as per the rumors. WOW Android is where it's at. Innovation indeed.

42. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Yeah it's getting better, custom roms are also great and Jelly Bean is a big improvement

2. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

Now this, is innovation .

3. fur0n

Posts: 82; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

YAY more fragmentation!

4. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

It is not really fragmentation..Android has a built in PPI calculator and it correlates it to the screen size, to give the perfect text legibility and screen formating for software, movies and games....It is just a versatile OS unlike IOs**t.....(yay my first apple joke!)

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Felt good didn't it? :)

19. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Yep. lol

23. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

And that's how you bitch slap a troll Using that same argument the iPod iPhone iPad iPad mini iPhone 4" iPad with retina are and will all cause fragmentation

8. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Don't be jealous that your iPhone is getting stretched out and is going to look like s**t. Cheers to innovation....... not.

17. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

whut? you cannot read, dumbdumb? Android apps will scale out, so no matter which UI you are using, it will still be the same. You could make just one app and that will work with all UIs (phone, hybrid, tablet).. Unlike the fragmentation of iPhone and iPad apps.. get it? no? i'm not surprised, your brain is already fragmented by the different functionality iOS 6 will bring to different iOS devices..

18. SleepingOz unregistered

Please, do some research before posting sh*ts!

33. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I take it you didnt even bother reading the article....

38. mrbtree

Posts: 59; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

you call fragmentation when the full ios 6 experience will only be available to the iphone 4s and ipad 3, the iphone 4, 3gs and ipod 4th gen will be getting cut down versions without the new maps and SIRI (not sure about the ipod)

6. Elvis.

Posts: 25; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Intredasting...

7. KingShango

Posts: 89; Member since: May 16, 2012

Hasn't MS has already done this with Windows 8? A UI that works on laptops, tablets and phones (obviously modified).

25. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Not at all this occurred with 3.x-4.0 and is kinda different

10. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

What about 5.5" phones where is the special interface for that?

13. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I think those will just use the phone UI.

26. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Tablet 7" interfaces might do

30. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You can always just change the dpi :)

11. omacmagics

Posts: 42; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

Yay!! more trolls...

12. TMach unregistered

Makes perfect sense!

22. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i was hoping this was the case! thank goodness! it didn't make sense to me that Google would get rid of the Action Bar, it was real practical for larger Tablets. now i wonder where my Xyboard 8.2 will fit? i guess in the 7" department.

45. IamYourFather6657

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

Honestly I like the 10inch traditional tablet ui more , Wonder if you can change it in the nexus 7 ?

48. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i do too and i doubt it.

24. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

does the f-word now mean fragm*******n instead of F***?

29. Elvis.

Posts: 25; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Lol, yes, I think that's what Michael meant.

47. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Around here it does, because we would never use the word f*** anyway, so the banned f-word for us is f************. (that is a lot of f***ing asterisks...)

37. andyman_187

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

ICS is also capable of doing multiple UIs....here let me make this easy for googling....CM9 PARANOID ANDROID....this custom ROM (based on Cyanogenmod 9) has been ported on several devices already....allows you to switch between phone, tablet or hybrid UI modes. It even has per app UI settings (which let you choose how individual apps will display i.e. tablet or phone mode).

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