Sharp to launch new Android-based user interface to differentiate its phones

The Japanese electronics maker says its new Feel UX offers simplified screens for apps, widgets and hardware and shortcuts

Japan's Sharp said Monday it will release a new user interface for its smartphones in an attempt to differentiate them from the Android masses.

The Osaka-based electronics maker's new "Feel UX" will feature a simplistic design with large icons, and allow many phone functions, such as camera, photo gallery, and music player applications, to be accessed directly from the lock screen. Once unlocked, the interface has three main screens, one each for apps, shortcuts to phone features, and widgets such as calendars and clocks.

The phone's lock screen can also automatically tweak its background photo to match the current weather, and displays updates on stocks and other real-time info as well as messages and missed calls. Unlike with competitors such as Apple's iOS, the photo featured on the lock screen is never obscured by time or message information, which appear across a section in the bottom third of the screen in images provided by Sharp.

With the majority of smartphones based on Android and having increasingly similar feature-sets and specifications, manufacturers are hoping unique-looking software user interfaces will differentiate their products and hook customers. Sharp joins rivals such as Sony and Samsung in offering user interfaces that run on top of various versions of Android.

Sharp said it will initially phase the new design into its Japanese phones, but is "exploring its potential use in smartphones destined for international markets."

Sharp, known mainly for its own line of LCD TVs and as a global supplier of LCD panels to other manufacturers, is also a major handset maker in Japan, offering smartphones based on its Aquos TV brand. The company also sells a limited number of mobiles abroad.

The new user interface was designed and built together with software design firm Frog Design, headquartered in San Francisco. Frog said the interface was developed over a nine-month period, and is being launched on seven different Aquos-brand smartphones in Japan.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?