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Posts Tagged ‘Ui’

Nokia Creative Studio brings panorama capture to Lumia handsets (hands-on)

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Nokia Creative Studio brings panorama capture to Lumia handsets (hands-on)
Nokia recently launched a new photography app called Creative studio which is available in the Windows Phone Marketplace exclusively for its Lumia handsets. Part panorama stitcher, part photo filter and part image editor, the app lets you take new pictures or chose shots from existing albums and tweak them to your heart’s content. It features ten Instagram-like effects (including vignette and auto-enhance) plus seven common adjustments (such as crop and sharpness). We took the app for a spin and the UI is pretty slick, with an optional side-by-side before and after view of the photo you are currently editing. Once done, you have the option to continue applying additional effects and making further adjustments, save the image or share it. Twitter, Flickr and Facebook are supported, but sadly there’s no integration with Windows Phone’s People Hub — you’ll have to login to each service in the app itself. Check out the screen shots in the gallery below and hit the break for more impressions and some samples.

Gallery: Nokia Creative Studio screenshots

Continue reading Nokia Creative Studio brings panorama capture to Lumia handsets (hands-on)

Nokia Creative Studio brings panorama capture to Lumia handsets (hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 22 Mar 2012 00:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Techin5  |  sourceNokia Conversations  | Email this | Comments

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Sparrow launches email client for iOS with gorgeous UI, no push notifications [video]

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Sparrow’s desktop email client for OS X includes a great UI and a number of great features such as multiple accounts, a unified inbox and a user-friendly layout. The company on Thursday brought those same attributes to Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with the release of its much anticipated iOS app. Much like the desktop version, Sparrow’s mobile app features a simple, Facebook-like design that is light, responsive and easy on the eyes. The iOS app supports iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and other IMAP services, however it does not support POP accounts or push notifications. “If Sparrow was to do Push today, we would have to store your credentials (login/password) on our servers to frequently poll your accounts, and send you notifications,” the company said. “This is a responsibility we’re not ready to take. As a startup focused on iOS/OS X development, we do not have the skills to secure your data on our servers and we do not want to put sensitive information at risk. That’s why Sparrow iPhone 1.0 doesn’t do push.” Sparrow’s mobile app requires iOS 5 and can be had for $2.99 in Apple’s App Store. A video of Sparrow’s new iOS app follows below.

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Dear Microsoft: You’re doing it right

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Late last summer, I wrote an article titled Dear tablet makers: You’re doing it wrong in which I shared my view on what I believe to be one of the biggest problems currently facing tablet vendors. In this article, I postulated that most Android tablets failed to make a splash because, in a nutshell, they bring nothing new to the table. Of course Android offers a vastly different user interface and user experience as compared to Apple’s market-leading iPad, but in terms of true differentiation — unique and desirable features offered to tablet buyers that cannot be found on the iPad — Android tablets have historically been lacking.

This problem, I believe, stems from the early days of Android tablets. Everything has been rushed. The first round of Android tablets ran Gingerbread and, as far as user experience is concerned, it was a disaster. Hindsight is 20/20 and I have spoken off the record with executives at several consumer electronics companies who expressed remorse after having rushed these slates out the door. What’s done is done, however.

Unfortunately, the trend continued with early Honeycomb tablets. Android 3.0 offered the first Android experience that was created specifically for tablets. The UI was designed for larger displays and it was vastly improved compared to Gingerbread. But it still felt rushed.

BGR stated as much on a number of occasions, such as in our review of LG’s T-Mobile G-Slate. “Android 3.0, or ‘Honeycomb’ as Google affectionately calls it, is a stopgap build of the Android operating system,” I wrote at the time. “I am not implying that this version of the Android OS is a poor effort on Google’s part, I’m simply stating that it seems like a rushed effort intended to tide us over while Google prepares to put its best foot forward.”

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is still not the answer. While the UI has been further refined and new features have been added, ICS still fails to offer a truly differentiated experience. Of course Android affords a number of features iOS does not, and of course it provides flexibility that Apple’s closed platform never will, but true differentiation that appeals to the mass market is still not a part of the picture.

As it turns out, the few Android tablets that do offer some differentiation, such as Asus’s Transformer, have been well received. Unlike many of its rivals, Asus took it upon itself to create unique features where there were none. Rather than simply build a shell for Google’s tablet OS, Asus built a convertible slate that docks with a keyboard to create a netbook of sorts. Asus may have jumped the shark with its new Padfone tablet/smartphone hybrid, but the company clearly recognizes that acting as nothing but a vessel for Google’s platform and slapping on a thin UI layer is, for the most part, and exercise in futility.

At its core however, the user experience afforded by Android tablets — the look, the features, the apps, the hardware — does not deviate enough in the eyes of the general consumer. And with a few exceptions, namely Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, Android tablets can’t beat the iPad in terms of pricing, either. Imagine the IWC Big Pilot and the Archimede Pilot XL were available at the same price. Which would you buy?

And so Microsoft is doing what Google and its Android partners have not: Microsoft is building a unique experience.

I spent about a week with Windows 8 on a reference tablet before Microsoft unveiled the Consumer Preview edition of its upcoming operating system at Mobile World Congress, and I was impressed. The Redmond-based software giant has plenty of work left to do, and I expect Windows 8 to still be a work in progress when it launches to the public later this year. Microsoft is doing a lot of things right with its next-generation OS though, and the unique Metro user interface is just one way Microsoft will distinguish its tablet experience from Apple’s.

In my earlier piece, Dear tablet makers: You’re doing it wrong, I noted that there are many ways tablet vendors might separate their slates from the iPad. I gave just one brief example, but it is one I feel could have a big impact on sales if positioned properly and marketed well: sharing.

Tablets are expensive, especially when one considers the fact that in most cases, they are a third wheel for the consumer. Today’s media tablets can’t replace a PC for many users, and they certainly can’t replace a smartphone or feature phone. For those without expendable income — most people fall into this category — a $400, $500 or $600+ tablet that can be shared between every member of a family might be far more appealing than a tablet that that can only be used by one person if privacy is at all a concern.

Personal computers support multiple user accounts. This is not a new concept. Each user can log in to a PC with a unique user name and password in order to be greeted by his or her own desktop configuration and programs. And unless there are some hackers in a household, personal files belonging to one user are not accessible to others.

This concept should have been carried over to tablets from the beginning, but Microsoft’s Windows 8 will be the first mass-market example of multi-user support. In fact, as Microsoft revealed on Monday, the company plans to take things a step further — apps purchased from Microsoft’s app store by one user on a Windows 8 machine can then be downloaded for free by other users.

Windows 8 is not a media tablet killer and it most certainly is not an iPad killer. It’s not supposed to be. Microsoft’s next-generation OS may be the first platform to approach the tablet market the right way, however. Start with a solid foundation, focus on the user experience and a wide range of capabilities, and differentiate. This is how a new platform might find success in the tablet market moving forward, and it is the road Microsoft appears to be taking.

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Microsoft Office 15 revealed, simpler UI with touch-friendly features

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
Microsoft Office 15 revealed, simpler UI with touch-friendly features

Microsoft started seeding its Office 15 technical preview to a select few partners earlier this year to get it ready for public consumption, and The Verge managed to get a sneak peek at some of the software’s new features. As you would expect, the newest Office version got a dose of Metro style, and now has a cleaner interface and touch mode to make browsing documents and presentations as easy on a tablet as it is on a desktop PC. Word also received improvements, like double-click to zoom, smoother scrolling, video embeds and the ability to share documents online through a browser. Excel received some formatting controls and chart animations, among other improvements, while PowerPoint has made it easier to drop Excel charts into presentations without futzing with formatting. Outlook now has weather forecasts built in, in-line replies, and greater multiple email account support, and OneNote received improved tables support. So, it looks like the gang in Redmond is trying to stay a step ahead of its open-source competition, but we won’t know for sure until Office 15 gets in the hands of the people this summer.

Microsoft Office 15 revealed, simpler UI with touch-friendly features originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Mar 2012 20:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceThe Verge  | Email this | Comments

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New Android Market stats make it easier to obsess over your app’s performance

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Hey publishers, need more ways to breathlessly track just how well your app is doing on the Android Market? Fear not, the store is getting a number of new observable metrics. Publishers can now track their app’s performance by unique users and unique devices and break things down by mobile carrier and app updates. The UI has been redesigned as well, making it faster and more compact, while adding a timeline that gives users a quick view of their app’s performance. For more information and other changes, click on the Source link below.

New Android Market stats make it easier to obsess over your app’s performance originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceAndroid Developers  | Email this | Comments

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Hands on with the HTC One S

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

The chaos of day 0 at Mobile World Congress is finally winding down, and HTC’s action-packed press conference is now behind us. The obvious star of the show was the HTC One X, but there’s no denying that its mid-range counterpart packs a massive punch as well. We just spent some time putting the HTC One S through the paces and first things first: this smartphone is amazingly thin. At 7.9 millimeters, it’s the thinnest smartphone HTC has ever built and it really is amazing that the company managed to pack such high-end specs into a device this slim. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below and hit the break for the rest of our initial impressions.

Several ulta-thin smartphones on the market right now feel a bit flimsy and “plasticky,” but that is anything but true with the HTC One S. The case is made of unibody aluminum that has been treated with a plasma coating at extremely high temperatures. The result is a finish that is soft and rubbery, but it’s also light and beyond sturdy. It’s probably one of the best feeling smartphones we’ve ever held, in fact.

While the high-end One X is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the One S features a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset. While the difference between the two is big on paper, you wouldn’t know it to handle the phones. Moving around HTC’s Sense 4.0 UI on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is lightning fast even with a number of apps running in the background, and switching apps in the vendor’s new 3D task manager is almost instant.

Sense 4.0 is a bit toned down compared to earlier versions of the interface, which a number of Android fans will certainly appreciate. There are some elements from stock Ice Cream Sandwich that we still wish HTC would have retained, however, such as the menu items across the bottom of the home screens. Overall though, Sense 4.0 is very cohesive and the free 25GB of cloud storage courtesy of Dropbox with deep Sense integration is a nice touch.

The 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED display on this phone is very impressive, but even more impressive is the overall size of the handset — it is much more compact than other phones with the same size screen. The 8-megapixel camera is also a huge draw for the One S. It features the same camera as the One X complete with dedicated HTC ImageChip, f2.0 aperture and 1080p HD video recording capability.

The HTC One S is set to launch on T-Mobile in April, and we can’t wait to get our hands on this gorgeous smartphone. In the meantime, be sure to check out the hands-on images in our photo gallery linked above.

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Hands on with the HTC One S

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

The chaos of day 0 at Mobile World Congress is finally winding down, and HTC’s action-packed press conference is now behind us. The obvious star of the show was the HTC One X, but there’s no denying that its mid-range counterpart packs a massive punch as well. We just spent some time putting the HTC One S through the paces and first things first: this smartphone is amazingly thin. At 7.9 millimeters, it’s the thinnest smartphone HTC has ever built and it really is amazing that the company managed to pack such high-end specs into a device this slim. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below and hit the break for the rest of our initial impressions.

Several ulta-thin smartphones on the market right now feel a bit flimsy and “plasticky,” but that is anything but true with the HTC One S. The case is made of unibody aluminum that has been treated with a plasma coating at extremely high temperatures. The result is a finish that is soft and rubbery, but it’s also light and beyond sturdy. It’s probably one of the best feeling smartphones we’ve ever held, in fact.

While the high-end One X is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the One S features a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset. While the difference between the two is big on paper, you wouldn’t know it to handle the phones. Moving around HTC’s Sense 4.0 UI on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is lightning fast even with a number of apps running in the background, and switching apps in the vendor’s new 3D task manager is almost instant.

Sense 4.0 is a bit toned down compared to earlier versions of the interface, which a number of Android fans will certainly appreciate. There are some elements from stock Ice Cream Sandwich that we still wish HTC would have retained, however, such as the menu items across the bottom of the home screens. Overall though, Sense 4.0 is very cohesive and the free 25GB of cloud storage courtesy of Dropbox with deep Sense integration is a nice touch.

The 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED display on this phone is very impressive, but even more impressive is the overall size of the handset — it is much more compact than other phones with the same size screen. The 8-megapixel camera is also a huge draw for the One S. It features the same camera as the One X complete with dedicated HTC ImageChip, f2.0 aperture and 1080p HD video recording capability.

The HTC One S is set to launch on T-Mobile in April, and we can’t wait to get our hands on this gorgeous smartphone. In the meantime, be sure to check out the hands-on images in our photo gallery linked above.

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Nova Launcher hits Android Market, custom grid and scrolling effects in tow

Friday, February 24th, 2012
Nova Launcher hits Android Market, custom grid and scrolling effects in tow
We know how much you love tweaking that Android handset, so we figured we’d let you know about a fresh 4.0-friendly UI customizer. The Nova Launcher, which has dubbed itself “everyone’s favorite Ice Cream Sandwich launcher,” just hit the Android Market in free and paid flavors. Those looking to take the freeloadin’ road will get tidbits like a customizable homescreen grid, scrolling effects (pictured above), as well as custom folders and icons. If you do, however, decide to unleash the four bucks for premium status, you’ll get extra features, including personalized gestures and dock “swipe-actions.” Tickle your fancy enough to take it for a spin on that shiny new G-Nex? Both variants are up for grabs from the source links below.

Nova Launcher hits Android Market, custom grid and scrolling effects in tow originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 18:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Android Central  |  sourceAndroid Market (1), (2)  | Email this | Comments

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Spark pre-orders delayed, but here’s a video instead (video)

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

We had hoped that the Linux-based open-source Spark tablet would be up for pre-order already, but the logistics gods have decreed it not to be. Order registrations are now simply said to go online “ASAP”. In the meantime, the developers hope to whet your appetite with this video of the 7-inch budget-slab in action. So it looks a little bit laggy right now, but the team behind it says there’s plenty of performance to be squeezed out of it yet. Likewise the UI you see above is optimized for a larger screen, meaning thumbnails and margins should be sharper once those kinks have been ironed out. Hit the source below to get the full update on the pre-order setbacks.

Spark pre-orders delayed, but here’s a video instead (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 12 Feb 2012 04:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink SlashGear  |  sourceAseigo  | Email this | Comments

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Spark Linux tablet specs updated, going up for pre-order next week

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

We already got a brief introduction to the Spark Linux-based tablet, but details were a little sparse. Since then, a few more key bits of info have been added to its Q&A page, which might help sway your purchasing decision. That KDE Plasma Active UI we knew it’d be sporting will stare out at you via a modest 800 x 480 screen, and there’s a 1.3 megapixel snapper tucked in alongside for video calling. The 1GHz / 512 MB internals we initially reported remain unchanged and the two USB ports and 3.5mm audio jack we saw in the pre-release picture above also get the official seal. There’s talk of GPS making it into the next iteration, but for now you’ll have to find your own way. The main news, however, is that pre-orders are pegged for next week, and shipping set for May. The initial focus is on Europe, but plans for it to arrive in US retailers are apparently underway. If that’s suitably tickled your fancy, head on over the break and tap the source for more info.

Spark Linux tablet specs updated, going up for pre-order next week originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 05:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Netbook News  |  sourceAseigo  | Email this | Comments

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Hands on with Cablevision’s upcoming Optimum App for Laptops

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Last summer, Cablevision was one of the first cable providers to release an app for watching live TV on mobile devices. The Optimum App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch allows Optimum subscribers to watch live television when connected to their home networks. Cablevision is now testing the Optimum App for Laptops, which transforms a user’s laptop into an additional TV when connected to a home network. A beta version of the application is currently available to select customers for a limited time and we managed to put it through the paces on Thursday. Check out our hand-on photo gallery below and hit the break for some quick impressions.

After installing Microsoft Silverlight, we were able to jump right into the application. The program features a clean and simple UI, giving users the ability to quickly access the TV guide and jump between various channels. Available channels are dependent on a user’s plan, thus ensuring that users only have access to the channels included in their standard cable subscriptions. The program also allows users to enable closed captioning and various parental controls.

The app is still a beta, and unfortunately there are definitely some issues to be worked out. Changing channels was sluggish, buffering was very slow and on numerous occasions the application completely froze. By no means was it unwatchable, however the user experience clearly has plenty of room for improvement. Picture quality was decent though, and all in all, the app is a welcomed addition to Cablevision’s Optimum portfolio and we can’t wait to get our hands on the finished product.

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The New Windows 8 First Touch: This Is Windows? [Video]

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
It doesn’t sound like particularly shimmery compliment, but the best thing that I can say about Microsoft’s Metro UI is that after over a year of using it in various iterations, it still feels new. Not like never-breached-my-eyeballs-before new, but new as in the promise of something better, something from the future. But it’s here, and I’m touching it with Windows 8. And it’s going to redefine how like a bajillion people are going to use their computer over the next couple of years. More »


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Tizen OS exposed, apparently running on an unknown Samsung ‘I9500′

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

An outfit called Realnorth, which claims to be frustrated by the lack of openness around the Tizen OS, has gotten its hands on the SDK and released some screenshots to prove it. If legit, they reveal a basic UI that seems to be inspired by a range of other OSs — in addition to Tizen’s progenitor, MeeGo — while also managing to look a bit uninspired. It’s hard to know whether the absence of frills like widgets is due to this being an early build, or whether it’s because Tizen is intended as a lower-end OS, but either way it’s too early to make any harsh judgement. Curiously, the user-agent used to grab the screenshots is listed as a “Samsung GT-I9500,” which at the very least reminds us that there’s a Tizen-running Sammyphone somewhere on the horizon. In fact, this could even become Bada 3.0.

Continue reading Tizen OS exposed, apparently running on an unknown Samsung ‘I9500′

Tizen OS exposed, apparently running on an unknown Samsung ‘I9500′ originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 Jan 2012 05:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink GSMArena, SamMobile  |  sourceRealnorth  | Email this | Comments

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Kindle for iOS updated with PDF, newspaper and magazine support

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Amazon updated its Kindle application for iOS devices on Wednesday with support for PDF files as well as newspaper and magazine subscriptions. A Kindle user can now email a file to his or her Send-to-Kindle address and then access it from within the application, and the app will open Adobe PDF files sent to a computer through iTunes, from Safari or directly from an email account. Amazon also added support for viewing more than 400 newspaper and magazine subscriptions inside the application. The UI for reading periodicals was completely redesigned for the iPad, and it allows users to read newspapers, magazines and print replica text books the way they were meant to be read. The iPhone and iPod touch app also features a redesigned library for quick access to the Newsstand, Kindle Books and Docs. Ars Technica noticed however, that The New York Times currently limits its subscriptions to hardware Kindle devices only, which means anyone who pays for a subscription to that newspaper may have trouble loading it on an iOS device. The update is live now and is available for free from the iTunes App Store.

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HTC responds to ITC ruling, says it has a solution ready to address Apple patent violations

Monday, December 19th, 2011

HTC on Monday responded to a ruling from the United States International Trade Commission that will ban the import of several HTC devices beginning April 19th, 2012. “We are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent,” HTC said in a statement sent to BGR via email. “We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.” Monday’s ruling follows the ITC’s initial decision on July 16th that found HTC guilty of violating two Apple-owned patents. It is not immediately clear when HTC will implement the required changes, though it appears that the vendor will be able to push updates out soon enough to circumvent the ITC’s ban.

HTC amended its initial statement shortly before 6:20 p.m. Eastern Time to clarify the technology covered by the ’647 patent. The updated statement is now reflected above.

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Netflix 2.0 for iPad Goes Beautifully Clutter-Free [NetFlix]

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

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