Posts tagged with: UI
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    I've had some wonderful experiences with Android tablets. Loading CyanogenMod on the HP TouchPad, an activity I documented in my first-ever video for Pocketnow, filled in some crucial capability gaps left open by the TouchPad's native OS. Carrying a first-gen Nexus 7 for a week in 2012 taught me just how compelling Jelly Bean in the 7-inch form factor could be. And spending some time last year with the Sony Xperia Tablet Z convinced me that "elegance" and "Android tablet" were no longer mutually-exclusive terms. We've come a long way from the days of Honeycomb and the XYBOARD. But five ...

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    I've been playing with a lot of Samsung devices recently. That should come as no surprise, given the sheer volume of smartphones and tablets on the market bearing the brand of the world's leading handset manufacturer. The company is, if nothing else, prolific. But the abundance of Samsung hardware across the landscape makes it more impressive that some of the company's products still manage to stand out. I'm not referring to the new Galaxy Tab 3 devices we recently unboxed (check for reviews next week on each of those), but rather to a sub-brand that transitioned from punchline to paragon ...

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    I like Windows Phone. No, really. I do. Most of you jump to conclusions and call me a hater because I can see flaws in products and tell it like it is. At the end of the day, I love all mobile platforms – maybe not as equally as I should sometimes. But I definitely love mobile software, and I'm a sucker for an underdog. So, yes, I like Windows Phone. I tried the first few Windows Phone 7 handsets, I owned the Lumia 900 on launch day, and I drooled over the 920 at the press event. However, I haven't been able to take the platform for more than a few days at a time since the beginning … ...

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    Yesterday, I recounted my experience re-adopting stock Android after an extended period using skinned builds of the platform. Since the vehicle for my reintroduction to the stock lifestyle was the Google-Edition HTC One, I spent the majority of my time in that editorial comparing the device with its skinned sibling, running the third-party UI called HTC Sense. But Sense isn't the only Android layer of note in the marketplace; quite the contrary, in fact. As of February, almost half of all Android smartphones shipped came from Samsung, and almost all of those ran a version of Samsung's ...

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    On a recent episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, Brandon Miniman gave us a first-person account of what it's like to use Apple's new platform for the iPhone and the iPad, iOS 7. This was exciting not just because of the dearth of Apple news in the weeks leading up to the episode, but because it was our first glimpse (outside of the announcement Hangout, anyway) at the refreshed user-interface paradigms Apple is bringing to the table with its revised platform. Specifically, the new suite of iOS 7 gestures. Well, maybe "suite" is being a little generous. We're not talking about a whole ...

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    We recently had the opportunity to review the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, an experience we enjoyed primarily because of the device's innovative hardware: a 6.9mm-thick, 495g chassis that manages to squeeze water- and dust-resistance onto its list of features. Pocketnow is currently in the midst of reviewing the BlackBerry Q10, a peculiar blend of yesterday's design cues with a modern OS - and we're enjoying the feeling of real physical keys under our thumbs again. The third-generation Apple iPad and Microsoft's Surface RT also share space in our office, and we love the sturdy (if heavy) hardware ...

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    Interface design on mobile platforms has undergone some massive improvements and countless changes since the beginning of smartphones. Mobile operating systems in the BlackBerry era were heavily engineered and barely had the warm touch of a designer well-versed in user experience, if at all. It had a hint of an "Oh, that looks good … let's use that!" feel. Icons weren't a uniform size, nor did they have any sort of theme. The BlackBerry Settings app was nothing but a stark, bare text list of settings that stretched several pages deep. To say it was convoluted is putting it lightly. In ...

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    If I were prone to beating dead horses, I'm sure I could hammer out a handful of wordy editorials about how iOS is boring, dated, and in dire need of a face-lift. But I don't like beating anything, especially not something as futile and helpless as a horse that's already dead. Let's look at the situation from another perspective for a minute, shall we? It's no secret. The interface has grown very long in the tooth and reeks of UI design of years past. In regards to iOS, there's little to get excited over anymore. That's evidenced by the fact that despite nearing one million applications in ...

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    Sometimes ya ain't got time for dilly-dallyin', spit-swappin', or tall-tale-tellin'. Sometimes even dropping in a few time codes is too much to ask. Because sometimes the meat just needs to get out to the masses. This is one of those special times, and the meat we're putting on the market is our jawing. Our opinions. Our stories. And the subject this week is the two biggest Android smartphone launches of the year, coming from the two biggest sworn enemies of the entire Android landscape. That's right: this is the episode where we talk HTC One vs Galaxy S IV. We've had the One for just a ...

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    One of the things we do pretty often on the Pocketnow Weekly podcast is speculate -sometimes wildly-on what combination of factors might effect change in the wireless world. Sometimes that's doom-and-gloom discussion -"what perfect storm of failures could take down Apple?"- but more often we focus on the positive. Because as vibrant and ebullient the tech world usually appears, the fact is that a lot of companies aren't doing well. These are companies we like; many of them helped shape the smartphone revolution, and others were there before it even got rolling. Some of them, like ...

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    When Microsoft's revamped smartphone OS -then called Windows Phone 7 Series- hit the market a little over two years ago, the mobile landscape was quite different than the one we know today. People were still bullish on new platforms; while iOS had long since found its feet, Android wasn't yet the juggernaut we know today. The market was also more diverse, with BlackBerry and Symbian fading but still important players, and webOS still a contender for "next big thing." The frontier was vibrant and alive with possibilities. All of the various players making up that frontier handled the ...

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    We've been hearing a lot these last few days about Windows 8 and its more-mobile companion, Windows Phone 8, but precious little about the interim OS upgrade, 7.8. The decimal-laden version hasn't gotten much press of late, leading us to wonder just what's in store for owners of the current crop of Windows Phone 7 devices, which won't be able to run Microsoft's newer OS. We already knew 7.8 would offer support for new Live Tile sizes and that it would accordingly look the part of Windows Phone 8, but further details were sparse. Despite the iterative nature implied by its x.x version ...

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    We recently took you on a guided tour of the S Pen, Samsung's special stylus for its Galaxy Note device family, but that's not the only techno-pen on the market from the world's leading handset vendor. The C Pen was announced amid the clamor of the initial Galaxy S III unveiling, alongside a flood of other accessories that have yet to see the light of day, like the bizarre S Pebble and still-mythical wireless charging pad. Unlike those, the C Pen actually made it into the real world, and we've got one in our hot little hands. Does the C Pen hold a candle to its similarly named S Pen ...

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    A number of years ago, I remember reading an article in an old-timey magazine (the kind with pages that you flip, which I no longer like very much) about how some car manufacturers were building proximity sensors into their new high-end models. These sensors would monitor the area in front of the car for objects -like, say, the rear bumper of another vehicle up ahead- and if they detected that you were approaching too quickly, the car's computer system would automatically apply the brakes in time to avert a collision. Back when I read that article, I remember that sounding like an ...

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    A few months back, I penned a Brutally Honest Question Corner in which I asked, Are Physical Keyboards Dead? That article came -as all good ones do- as a result of a barroom conversation. I was with a handful of BlackBerry-toting friends who bemoaned their antiquated software situation, but steadfastly maintained that they could never give up their stodgy Canadian hardware for one important reason: RIM's world-class physical keyboard. I went on to make the case that touchscreen keyboards were the future, and I still believe that's true. Touch input is faster, it allows for sleeker ...

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