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When it comes to mobile OSes, we’re seemingly stuck in the past. Smartisan wants to shake this all up, with a “more appealing look, enhanced icons, a smaller four-by-three grid and hundreds of other simple modifications,” according to Engadget. There’s a very in-depth look into Smartisan, a two-hour video in fact that can be viewed below:
An unhealthy obsession
We’re all used to a mobile OS by now. Home screens scroll, apps change colour as we poke at them, notifications, all the usual stuff. Do we ever question the square shapes of the app icons though? Yonghao calls OS makers obsession for square app icons “unhealthy”, and plans to revamp a thousand Android app icons. Smartisan users will then be able to toggle between enhanced and original apps. This is what Yonghao is aiming for. The 24-man team can’t accomplish this alone, and are asking for users of the Smartisan forum to submit redesigned apps for a hopeful 15 June launch.
Yonghao proposes a three-by-four grid of label-free icons (“everyone should know what their apps are”) as most people only user a maximum of twelve apps per according to the self-employed mobile OS design guru. Another very decisive feature is the excluding of a wallpaper background. Just a black or grey backing for the apps to rest on. Yonghao says that mobile makers who include backgrounds with their devices are “bumpkins”. It’s hard to not chuckle at that.
Dragging and dropping
The time-honoured tradition of dragging an app to the edge of the screen to move it to another homepage is over, for Smartisan at least. Users will now zoom out to an overall home screen display, and drag the app to a new page. This can be done with several apps at once. Smartisan will come bundled with a selection of top Chinese apps, including Youku, Sina Weibo and Momo (online dating and flirting app, says the description). Smartisan users will be able to hide, or “lock away” panels for safety and… other reasons.
The first public beta hits 15 June 2013, with Smartisan to follow-up with its own devices in 2014. Despite this being an exceptionally reworked version of Android, we feel that Smartisan bears enough tweaks to qualify as a mobile OS that stands alone. The full Smartisan launch event, plus details can be found here (Chinese text).
Images via Engadget.com