Coda Hits Android & Instantly Scraps Our App UIs; Says They're Terrible

Three months following its debut on the iOS App Store, Coda is making the jump from the iPhone and iPad to a wide variety of Android devices, Coda Project announced Thursday.

The mobile tool that's available for download from the Google Play Store as of right now has been primarily designed for the purpose of turning ordinary documents into extraordinary - apps. Confused? So were we but it makes perfect sense once you give it a go.

While one can't deny that Coda is an innovative solution, there's also no denying its creators are using some marketing buzzwords to mystify the service, if only by a little bit. We can hardly blame them given how they're facing the very definition of an uphill battle by trying to penetrate a seemingly impregnable market but honestly - Coda doesn't need to be oversold - it's pretty amazing on its own.

On its most fundamental level, Coda is meant to be a replacement for traditional digital documents; it's a file format devised to work great on desktops and work great on mobile. No, its creators did not, in fact, discover the Holy Grail of scalable UI design; or that's precisely what they did, depending on how you look at it. Namely, Coda uses different interfaces for different platforms and switches between them as needed, depending on your device of choice. If that sounds similar to something like Google Docs, give it a try and see how wrong you are.

Coda is also much more than simply a pair of interlinked used interfaces for desktops and smartphones; it's also an intelligent organizer an initiative that discards some deeply entrenched app design principles in an effort to create something that's better without feeling alien to newcomers. Perhaps the most straightforward example of that design philosophy is the default user interface mobile users will see when they open a Coda document on their handsets or tablets, both Android and iOS ones. Or, better said, the lack thereof. That's right, Coda doesn't have a default interface layout in a traditional sense; instead, it simply analyses the type of data contained within any particular document and then renders a full-fledged UI around it.

As a result, you can see your tables turn into cards, your buttons into swiping actions or triggers, your scheduled desktop alarms into timed push notifications for both Android and iOS... the possibilities are endless and best of all, it's all automated out of the box. Sure, you can customize Coda's behavior but after about half a day of using the app, we found little reasons to do so seeing how the service always managed to deliver UIs that are both extremely accessible and clean. So, so clean.

If that sounds like science-fiction straight out of Google's moonshot basement, it's actually even better than that by virtue of the fact it manages to be amazingly powerful, ridiculously convenient, and astonishingly versatile without so much as mentioning "AI," "machine learning," "revolutionary," and other empty terms ingrained into Google's playbook. Yes, it has a few buzzwords of its own but it's still allowed direct access to users without many introductions or diversions. That's precisely what you should take advantage of right now - give it a go and see how you feel about the concept of entirely fluid UIs that are essentially apps of their own.

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About the Author

Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]