updated 11:30 am EST, Tue November 3, 2009
Meizu M8 beta leak shows new UI
Meizu's M8 phone is about to undergo a major overhaul that draws on interface elements from at least three major operating systems, a copy of leaked firmware shows. Version 18.104.22.168 will shift its attention more towards Android with an app launcher much like Google's. However, that launcher will also be available directly from the drag-to-unlock screen and like Windows Mobile 6.5 will let users unlock directly to the phone or e-mail apps instead of visiting a home screen. Android's influence is equally evident in a contextual menu showing in the M8's web browser.
A handful of elements have also been brought in from iPhone OS 3.0, such as its implementation of copy-and-paste text and the option of bringing up substantial song controls and info directly from the lock screen. It's possible to rearrange app icons in an iPhone-like fashion around the launcher, while multi-touch input and the play controls for music and video remain similar.
Estimates put 22.214.171.124 at about half-finished and with numerous bugs that range from incorrectly measured cellular or Wi-Fi reception to app icons that can't be created or deleted. As a result, the firmware isn't expected to ship for weeks or longer.
Meizu hasn't commented on the new firmware and doesn't have its own timetable for the finished upgrade. The software regardless stands to make Meizu one of the most significant non-Android competitors to the iPhone in China, whose early sales disappoint.