Android Overscroll: What?

With Android 2.3 Gingerbread being released last month there was a lot of talk (well not really "a lot" but I like that way it sounds) about a new feature called Overscrolling. Some people seem to think that this directly translates to what is known as bounce on iOS. From a UX perspective it serves the same purpose, it gives some kind of visual feedback to the user that they have reached the end of a scrollable area. However the visual feedback on Android is quite different to that on iOS.

Lets partake in an exciting round of compare / contrast… Firstly lets take a look at iOS' behaviour for pulling down the top of a list:

And now Android's

As you can see, on iOS the view seems to follow the finger down and then bounce back up on release, on Android you just seem to get a glowing graphic behind the view.

We can also look at what happens if we fling a list on both platforms.

Again, in iOS the view seems to scroll beyond where it should and then bounce back to indicate you're at the top. With Android you get a very small bounce or springback, and a glow.

Hopefully this should clear up any misunderstandings out there.

You can however hack some bits together and recreate bounce in Android without too much trouble. This shall be the topic of my next blog post… (coming soon)