updated 08:53 pm EDT, Mon June 18, 2012
Design firm Frog handled Android UI makeover
Sharp has announced that the next wave of its Aquos smartphones will feature a custom-designed user interface atop the Android operating system. Dubbed Feel UX, the user interface was built by the design firm Frog. The redesign was explicitly focused on differentiating the Aquos line from other Android handsets, and it covers everything from the unlock screen to app and contact management.
Wrapped in a "gender-neutral palette," the new look begins at the lock screen, which now gives users access to the phone's camera with a downward swipe. The lock screen also features a dynamically animated weather indicator, which adds, for instance, solar glare when local conditions are sunny and rain effects when there is precipitation. Also accessible from the lock screen are stock quotes, photo albums, and the phone's music player.
The app launcher has been turned into a home space where users can keep favorite widgets, applications, and shortcuts. Other screens for apps and contacts are modified through a touch-and-hold method, and users can quickly create groups of apps, contacts, widgets, or shortcuts by dragging one on top of the other.
Feel UX is not the first design work Frog has done for a major tech company. Back in the 1980s, the company developed the Snow White industrial design language, which was used by Apple from 1984 to 1990 on models including the Apple IIc. Sharp will be rolling out Feel UX to Japanese Aquos handsets this summer.