I used the original Motorola Droid for almost two years and I loved it. Unfortunately, the original Droid is stuck on Android 2.2, which is now quite outdated. When shopping for a new phone, I was drawn to the Droid 3 because of its physical keyboard, but was disappointed after trying it at the store. My disappointment was due in part to the lack of 4G, but was mostly because of the ugly style that Motorola decided to use for list views on their Android 2.3.x devices.
The list view style on Motorola Android 2.3.x devices looks something like this:
There is a big grey space underneath items in a list. This can look okay for apps with a light background, but with a dark background, it’s not so attractive.
Each manufacturer of Android devices can make changes to Android and alter the styles and themes before releasing their devices. This results in an inconsistent experience between the numerous Android devices, or “fragmentation” as it’s called in development circles. Manufacturers try to customize Android in order to set their devices apart from the rest. While some people are fans of the HTC skin, for example, I feel that Motorola’s MotoBlur skin got it very wrong with their list view style. As a developer, you have to jump through hoops to make your apps look the way you want across different devices, and as a user, you have to use apps where the developers don’t care to jump through those hoops. This can create unpleasant experiences for users!
After purchasing a Droid 4 I was determined to override Motorola’s list view style. I tried changing background colors, cache color hints, wrapping of the layout, and many other tricks—nothing seemed to work to remove the grey block. Finally, I found this post from Motorola’s developer blog on how to use styles and themes to override their custom list views in Android 2.3 and remain compatible with older versions of Android.
After applying the correct styles and themes, the list view style in your app on Motorola Android 2.3.x devices is back to normal:
We hope you enjoy the updated list views in our latest version of Alarm Clock Xtreme! Let us know how it looks on your phone or device, whether it’s from Motorola or another manufacturer.