Android add-ons are Android apps that can be called from the Google Docs or Google Sheets editor apps on a mobile device. Since they are Android apps that can be used on a wide variety of devices, extra care is needed to provide the best possible experience for your users.
For the most part, this means that you should design your Android add-on to follow the design and quality guidelines recommended for all Android apps. In addition, there are a few additional guidelines presented here that are specific to the Android add-on experience. Even if you are simply converting an existing Android app into an Android add-on, you should still review these guidelines and apply them to improve the user experience.
Be aware that every Android add-on, prior to being published for general use, must pass a Android add-on review process. The purpose of the review is to ensure the Android add-on is designed well, provides a good user experience, and does not include or produce any spam, malware, or unacceptable content. If you do not follow the recommended guidelines presented here it may cause the review process to take longer and delay the publication of your add-on.
Android design guidelines
These pages describe guidelines for designing high-quality Android applications:
- Android Design — General design guidelines for Android apps.
- Material Design — Recommended for all Android apps: Material Design is Google's own visual design language that helps to create a powerful visual style and user flow.
- Core app quality guidelines — Quality checklists that can help ensure your add-on provides a solid user experience.
- Tablet app quality guidelines — Quality checklists specific to tablet devices (common for Android add-ons).
In addition, you may wish to review the following checklists:
- Building for Billions — Guidelines for building apps to work well with variety of connection speeds and devices, as well as conserve and share information about battery and data consumption.
- Localization checklist — Tips for localizing your app to different regions and languages.
Android add-on guidelines
The following guidelines are specific to Android add-on development. Be sure to adhere to these recommendations to create a seamless experience for your users.
- Provide appropriate and accurate labels for actions.
- Provide “help” info if the functionality needs to be explained.
- Be sure to provide clear instructions where needed to help users understand exactly what to do next.
If you are creating an Android add-on from an existing add-on, you shouldn't need to change the app's name. If building the add-on from scratch, adhere to the following guidelines:
- Use title case.
- Avoid punctuation, especially parentheses, unless part of your brand.
- Keep it short — 30 or fewer characters is best. Long names may be automatically truncated.
- Don’t include the name of the Google product the add-on is for (or use the word Google).
- Leave out version information.
You shouldn’t need to write much. Most actions should be made clear through iconography, layout, and short labels. When writing UI text:
- Use sentence case (especially for buttons, labels, and menu items).
- Prefer short, simple text without jargon or acronyms.
- Avoid long blocks of descriptive text.
Your Android add-on can be accessed through the editor's overflow menu. Optionally, you can also configure your add-on to be accessed through the editor's context menus. When defining the menu text, adhere to the following rules:
- Add-ons may define several overflow menu items and assign each a launch Activity.
- Overflow menus will show the icon associated with the add-on; context menus will not.
- Menu item text should start with an action verb such as "Create", "Share" or "Adjust".
- Both overflow and context menu item text is limited to 50 characters in all languages. When menu item text is translated from English it can become significantly longer, so it is recommended that English menu item text be under 25 characters to prevent truncation.
- Use sentence case.
When defining the buttons and other controls in your add-on, adhere to the following:
- Actions should have clear and explicit confirmation and cancel buttons.
- Cancel buttons should halt the add-on action and return the user to the editor.
- After performing an action, present the user with a button (with a label such as "Done", "Return to Sheets") to allow them to return to the editor.
- Actions may automatically return the user to the editor when complete if appropriate.
- Use a title and button labels that stand on their own.
If you’d like to include branding, keep it brief and light. This will help people focus on your add-on functionality.
- All aspects of your add-on must follow the branding guidelines.
- Don’t include the word “Google” or use Google product icons.
Accessible design allows users of all abilities to use your Android add-on effectively. To provide good accessible design, consider the following:
- Review the Accessibility documentation for Android.
- Don't rely solely on color to indicate state — use text and icons as well.