Smartphones are going dapper with designer UI embellishments. The latest is Oppo's Color OS7.
Across the world, fashion designers spend billions of dollars showcasing their unique and intricate creations, and most often than not, they are driven by a theme that is close to their hearts. While some of their shows might feature bizarre and un-wearable creations, they do define the future generations of fashion. Even Smartphones have gone on to become fashion accessories over the years: now, they are getting designer clothes in the form of stylish and functional User Interfaces (UIs).
Imagine a model on a ramp. Under the designer clothes is a human being. What differentiates is the clothing. Similarly, all phones are pretty similar under-the-hood, with processors from one of two brands, a camera module, a battery and other standard set of components. To stand out, phone manufacturers are adding style and functionality to the UI and the results are amazing!
One of the first brands to ride the UI wave was Xiaomi, when they introduced MiUI a few years back, with a lot of useful localization features just for India, like auto copy of banking OTPs without having to close the browser, rupee specific calculator operations, and logo integration in the SMS app of popular banking and delivery services. As phones look much the same, the differentiation has moved to the UI.
For the first time ever, Oppo organized a glitzy event in India recently, for the global launch of its new UI, ColorOS 7. A team at its recently opened R&D centre in Hyderabad is largely responsible for the new UI that will be widely used in Oppo devices across the world.
While the India-specific features include integration with Digi Locker, the government's own app for document storage, and design themes based on Indian architecture and design, the global features flow from an Infinite Design philosophy that makes your swiping smoother and more intuitive. By paying attention to detail like swipe animation and shape of the app logo contours, Oppo hopes to provide an experience that subconsciously enhances your usage experience. The company has created algorithms and software for lightweight visuals, animations, new dark modes, and a global crowd sourced artist wallpaper project. Interestingly, ColorOS 7 also uses sound to enhance usage experience, not just music on your phone but subtle things such as app notification click sounds.
Brands are hoping that smartphone purchase decisions will be made not just by physical design, but also software and user experience performance. Of course, there are stock Android phones that stick to bare necessities, but when you are paying for hardware, why not get a software experience that makes your life easier, happier?