Via Daring Fireball, a couple of app galleries: Android niceties and My Favorite Metro Apps. Android has a reputation for poor, ugly design when it comes to apps, but that’s clearly not the case with these examples, and Metro showcases its slick, modern aesthetic. But one thing struck me about these designs: they all look rather similar, polished, shiny and slick, but they lack character, heart and soul.

I’m a fan of minimal design, and so these information-rich, no-nonsense designs do appeal to me. However, on seeing these apps as a gallery, it makes sense why Apple continues to take a very different route when it comes to interface design, regularly aping real-world items or, at the very least, adding some visual texture to apps. I don’t really like it—iCal on the Mac is, for example, horribly ugly, especially when sat next to the simpler, sleeker Mail—but there’s a certain familiarity and warmth generated by more texture-oriented design that no amount of flat colours, subtle gradients and considered typography will ever bring, no matter how often graphic designers cross their fingers and pray to the god of Pantones.