MobiWire have launched a new launcher replacement/user interface for android phones named Surface UX. One of the key features of Surface UX is its aggregation and presentation of content to the user homescreen. They also introduce some patented "super widgets" that can be used by networks wishing to use this interface. Full press release is after the jump.
One of the cooler sounding features is the ability to tag apps, and show these in a tiered structure. You won't be able to download this from the market however, Mobiwire are pushing this towards device manufacturers and networks. So you may see it on some android phones in the future depending on how succesful they are.
MOBIWIRE LAUNCHES ANDROID UI FOR CUSTOMIZED SMARTPHONES Surface UX delivers a rich and simple connected user experience Paris, France – 30 March 2011: MobiWire today launched Surface UX, a surface user interface for Android smartphones that simplifies usage and encourages exploration and conversion. Surface UX builds on the full potential of the open Android platform to create a rich and intuitive user experience that combines personalization with a deeply branded and connected experience. MobiWire integrates user interface software connected to cloud-based content with its award winning device design to take global brands mobile. Surface UX enhances the standard Android user interface (UI) to create a consumerready and engaging user experience by aggregating content and presenting it in a contextualized and easily navigable and surfaced UI. MobiWire has made both general usability improvements to the basic Android UI and developed a series of patented Surface Apps which act as ‘super widgets’, aggregating relevant content into a series of UI panes that can be defined and branded by the service provider. By providing a direct connection into a back-end infrastructure, MobiWire’s Surface UX helps drive users’ discovery, consumption and engagement with a brand’s digital assets, leading to service and mCommerce conversion. “We are already in a post-app world where silos of data are being superseded by an aggregated, real-time, multi-tasking user experience,” said Jerome Nadel, EVP User Experience at MobiWire. “As we look beyond apps, the user interface is a dynamic environment where multiple feeds of data, content and services come together to create a definable experience. By bringing the principles of relevance, context and intuition to the UI design process, Surface UX delivers a connected user experience that is unmatched in the way it takes full advantage of the power and flexibility of the Android platform, creating a UI that encourages usage and exploration, and simplifies conversion to buy services and products.” Patented improvements to the generic Android UI include: 〈 Home screen main menu structure – Apps can be ‘tagged’ and presented in a tiered menu structure so that pre-loaded and branded apps are separated from a user’s downloaded apps and not lost in an alphabetized listing. A personalized speed bar enables the user to quickly go to their favorite apps. 〈 A powerful ‘switcher’ for easy multi-tasking between open apps – simplifying existing implementations of Android task switching, the Surface UX switcher enables the user to easily navigate directly between panes and open applications. It also enables personalization to add, remove, and reorder panes. 〈 Menu button with personalized shortcuts that remain visible on any pane – the menu button includes shortcuts to both key features such as phone and contacts and user-defined shortcuts to their most used apps. The Surface Apps enable the brand partner to push services in real-time and provide a one-tap access to their stores and digital services. The Stream surfaceapp provides a unified inbox, expandable preview window and contextualized actions for email, SMS, social networking and RSS feeds. The Post surface app creates a central place for the user to share and update all their social networks. Finally, the Music and Web surface apps provide a direct connection into the brand’s digital assets such as a mCommerce site or online music store. "An optimized Android UI simplifies the out-of-the box experience, encourages usage and device mastery” said Sylvain Gommier, director of User Experience at MobiWire. “The general improvements to the Android UI, together with the patented Surface Apps, means the content that matters most can be aggregated, surfaced and presented in a way that is consistent, easy to navigate and contextualized.” Surface UX runs on Android 2.3 multi-touch smartphones. Available to brand, retail, and device partners today, the first devices with the Surface UX will be available to consumers through brand partners in Q2 2011. Surface UX will be available on Android 3.0 tablets in H2, 2011. About MobiWire MobiWire combines open and standardised components with cutting edge technology and deep user experience integration to deliver connected consumer electronics software and devices. With over 15 years’ experience working with mobile network operators and global brands, MobiWire innovates around a core open OS technology platform to design, develop and deliver connected devices and services for OEM customers, exclusive brands and vertical markets. MobiWire brings industry leading technology partners together with its own software and connected services expertise to accelerate the product design and development process and deliver innovative and compelling connected consumer electronics and forthcoming 4G devices. For more information, visit: mobiwire.com