hello roboto

Despite the platforms present, past or doomed future, there’s no denying how gorgeous webOS is. Since first introduced in 2009, webOS has been praised time and time again for how intuitive, slick and well designed the OS is. And not only webOS, but the hardware it ran on. The Palm Pre. Quality wise, the hardware was lacking. But in design? It was a step forward. Of course, webOS and the Palm Pre aren’t what this post is all about. It’s about the man (or one of the men) behind webOS and the Pre, Matias Duarte, and how lucky Google is to have him on board.

Back in 2009, when the Pre was first launched, Matias described the physical design of the device as “a stone at the bottom of a riverbed, rubbed smooth over thousands of years.” Matias has a passion for design, and a way with words, that not many people possess. This couldn’t be more clear in a recent Google+ post of his detailing Android’s new font, Roboto. From that post, you can see just the kind of commitment and attention to detail Matias is bringing to Android.

If you’re a design buff, then you’ll love the way Matias talks about typography along with readability, word flow and page layout. But even if you aren’t obsessed with every line and curve that goes into a lower case “e”, you can appreciate the thought that goes into every ounce of design Matias oversees, and the vision he has for Android. In his post on Google+, he says, “emotionally we wanted Ice Cream Sandwich to enchant you.” And that he wants to make Android “a little bit more human.” But in an interview with Josh Topolsky from the Verge, he goes much more in-depth than that, commenting on why he came to work for Google in the first place,

I came here because they’re winning, but also because I could not stand the thought of there being another decade of being trapped in one paradigm, of being trapped in the past just because somebody manages to grab maximum marketshare, and then that’s the thing everybody uses with incremental evolution.Matias DuarteGoogle

That quote alone may be the best reason to get excited over Matias’ involvement at Google. He’s played a huge role in revolutionary products and platforms in the past. He’s brining his passion for design and attention to detail to Android now. And he’s not going to stand for another stale period in innovation and form like the one were just headed out of, courtesy of Microsoft and Windows. It’s a great time to be an Android user.

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