Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Google engineer's comments on Honeycomb action bar at stackoverflow

Google's framework engineer Adam Powell added some good notes to a question in stackoverflow.

Can i hide the App Icon from the Action Bar in Honeycomb? 
I am currently planning the honeycomb update for my app and i am wondering how to use the Action Bar correctly. My first question is if it is possible to hide the App-Icon and Title from the Action Bar. And is there any kind of Design guidline for the Honeycomb-UI yet?


Yes, you can hide the app icon and title. You can also replace the app icon with a wider logo image for your activity.
The app icon/logo at the left is collectively treated as a "home" affordance. You can optionally ask the system to display it as "up." When tapped, this should take the user either to a home/landing page for your app or one level up in the app's navigation hierarchy, respectively.
This complements the system back button by providing a consistent way for the user to move around your app when the history associated with the back button might be complex. (For example, the user might have been deep-linked into your app through a notification or an intent from another application.) By using this pattern your app won't need to hijack the normal behavior of the back button in special cases for convenience.
The action bar does double duty in the form of action modes. The two APIs are orthogonal but the resulting UI occupies the same screen real estate. An action mode presents a set of contextually relevant options to the user as a customized action bar. For example, a user might select several items from a list at a time. The app might present an action mode to let the user take a bulk action on the set of all selected items such as delete or share.
Action modes are a great way to present contextual actions that doesn't stop the user from interacting with the rest of the UI the way that popup menus do.

Design guidelines will hopefully be published "soon." :)