App design on Android has long been a sore spot for many, who are quick to point out how much nicer iOS apps look than their Android counterparts. Google has been working very hard lately to improve that image, by developing more detailed guidelines and heavily encouraging new app developers to follow them. They also do a lot to promote apps with good design, and rewarding developers who strive to create a beautiful app.
One such way they do this, is with their Beautiful Design Collection. Google introduced this collection of apps earlier this year and it highlighted apps that simply looked good and were fun to use. Google says the app collection exists to "highlight beautiful apps with masterfully crafted design details."
Today they have updated their list with some new apps, and they're calling it the Beautiful Design Winter 2013 collection. In their blog post, Google not only calls attention to the beautiful design of the apps, but even encourages developers to use the apps as inspiration to create their own highly designed apps.
"If you're an Android developer, make sure to play with some of these apps to get a sense for the types of design details that can separate good apps from great ones. And remember to review the Android Design guidelines and the Android Design in Action video series for more ideas on how to design your next beautiful Android app."
This new updated collection includes a few new apps including Timely, a very highly regarded alarm app, Circa, a beautiful news reader and Etsy, the popular online marketplace. The apps in the new collection range in price from free to 2.99 and all of them have very positive reviews in the Play Store.
If you haven't checked out any of these apps yet, you definitely should take a look. The full list includes 11 apps that Google thinks are worth highlighting for their beautiful design. It's also worth pointing out that not a single Google app made it onto the list, which shows that Google isn't doing this to promote their own products, but seems genuinely interested in showcasing what they believe good app design to be.
Check out the full list on the Play Store. If you're a developer looking for inspiration, did any of these apps stand out to you? Did you find some new apps to try from this list? Which were your favorites?