No ad to show here.

China to launch ‘Smartisan’ a new and heavily revamped Android OS

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:

No ad to show here.

A brief history: Smartisan was developed by Luo Yonghao, a well-known Chinese blogger, entrepreneur and consumer advocate. Yonghao said that Smartisan would “shame all manufacturers with its revolutionary user experience”. Let’s see if his prediction came true. As for the name, Yonghao changed it from “Artisan” after he learned that ARM had already trademarked the moniker.

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.

The OS will look like this, as pictured on the Galaxy S II
A smaller grid, and no wallpaper

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

No ad to show here.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.

Exit mobile version