Camera Awesome, a famous camera app in iOS has finally arrived at Play Store for Android users after 20 months of hard work — and it has made a lot of disappointed people, especially those who cares about Android Design (1, 2). I appreciate the hard work that the development team poured into the app, but with 20 months of development time (which they have blamed the fragmentation in Android), I would really expect something meant for Android users. The app itself is almost completely made with skeuomorphic design (I do not against skeuomorphism, but I personally think that flat (or almost flat) design are better one in digital world), which is a completely port from the iOS version in terms of UI and functionalities.

It wasn’t just us Android Designers reject about this, but look at the comments/reviews from the users — they are just going to further strengthen something we are always talked about — users are rejecting Android app with iOS porting, especially when the UI/UX is almost a blatant copy of the iOS version. Further more with this UI, it doesn’t looks too fitting on the iOS 7 which has been refreshed with flat UI design too — probably the designers in the team doesn’t work hard enough.

I understand that this is a 1.0 release, but with 20 months of development, I really expect an almost-polished app. Besides the skeuomorphic design, there are a few things that I really hate:

  • Complete (old) iOS design in Edit screen and Settings screen
  • Used elastic feedback for overscroll together with overscroll edge effect (I don’t think they understand what’s that for)
  • Switching between screens have no hierarchical transition effect (feels like I am using some mock ups)
  • Used the (old) iOS style Share button (I am not really sure when this can be stopped)
  • Strange Share intent

My Redesign

Below are some redesigned screens showing that the functionalities and the layout doesn’t need to be changed, as long as it is designed for Android (ideally with flatter design) and using the right UI patterns. Sure, I must admit it does looks a little bit similar to iOS 7 stock camera, but even with this design, I will already be a happy man using this ‘awesome’ camera app.



What do you think? Do you like the iOS UI porting or you would prefer a design meant for Android users? I hope you would say the latter.

Sure, Camera Awesome team, I know it wasn’t easy, but I don’t think it’s that hard either.


10 thoughts on “How I Would Further Improve Camera Awesome for Android

  1. Spot on!

    Off topic: You really need to embrace G+ commenting for better notification, SSO, reduced duplication and tighter integration.

  2. I don’t think there is anything wrong with deviating from the Android framework when creating an App, as long as it is for very good reasons, such as the following:
    * Your App works better with the custom framework you designed, and for a good reason.
    * You have a strong visual image for your brand, and your Product is part of that.

    I have not downloaded the App, but from one look at the screenshots in Google Play, I think their UI looks good, is understandable and is actually pleasing. They have a much more organic look than stock Android (e.g. curves, not sharp rectangles).

    I have liked every single one of your designs so far, but this time I personally find your UI a little boring compared to theirs.

    1. Hey Jamie,

      Fair enough. I absolutely agree that the strong branding should be part of the design, but I do think that they can come out with better app than this. True that my design could be boring (hey, it’s a good thing sometimes, user doesn’t need to learn thing to use the app), but my point is that they don’t put enough attention to details when you come to designing for Android. You have to use the app itself to know my frustration, screenshots/mockup can only tell that much of a story.

      But good critics 🙂

      Taylor Ling

  3. Great design ideas here, really appreciate this level of constructive criticism of our app! Also, FWIW, the comments about development difficulty were related to camera device hardware and API inconsistencies not really problems with implementing UI 🙂

    1. Hey Shizam,

      Thank you for appreciating my suggestions. Sure, I can understand that the long development time is due to the API etc., but I still think that with 20 months of development time, there are sufficient time to come up with an app that is meant and designed for Android users.

      Taylor Ling

  4. It’s really an awesome design. If you know coding then you must go for this great design of improved camera, it will be the best. By the way there are many great camera out there, which provides some of the best features!

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