Smartisan OS launches in China, attempts to make Android simpler and easier to use

D5MkXuTp4k

This week, a new Android-based operating system called Smartisan OS was revealed. At a lengthy event — three-plus hours long — led by CEO of Smartisan, Luo Yonghao. Yonghao spoke about, what he referred to as an unhealthy obsession, the Chinese have with iOS-esque grid-style design. He also spoke against the vast majority of icons that he insists are deformed and not recognizable; as a result — and also because he believes in a closed, controlled system — his team worked on redesigning icons to fit the look he preferred (think: futuristic). Hundreds have already been completed, with many more to come. But with a team of just 24, this will take some time.

Each icon was also stripped of any text by default, which he insists cleans up the look, though the user can enable text if they decide. In addition, he implemented larger icons on a 4 x 3 grid, as opposed to the normal 5 x 4. With a charcoal background for the icons and no visible wallpaper, we have to agree, Yonghao succeeded.

One cool feature is in the moving of icons; instead of having to drag them across multiple screens. You can zoom out and easily select which of the home screens you want to drop the icon off at. When zoomed out, you can even choose multiple icons to move all at the same time.

Beyond that, users will even be given the ability to lock certain home screens. (Embarrassing apps that you don’t want to chance people seeing? This is perfect for you!)

Some other notable features:

  • Contacts can be sorted by the date you added them, where they live, and how frequently you interact with them.
  • For those of you that act before you think, SMS messages are delayed by three seconds after hitting send.
  • When adjusting the volume of your phone, the brightness toggle appears just below so you can easily adjust at the same time.
  • Kids get ahold of your phone and now — surprise!! — your phone is in Portuguese? Flags of each country are displayed instead of text so you can easily get back to the correct language setting.
  • Voice command works just by holding the phone up to your ear and speak; using a gyroscope and proximity sensor, the phone knows to activate.
  • Quickly read and reply to SMS texts just via the pop-up notification.
  • Have more contacts than you can keep track of? You can add a brief note to their contact information, and it will appear above their photo when they call, just in case you need a reminder.

These are all simple, but smart changes to Android, which may really help the OS take off. The first public beta testing will begin in China on June 15, but there’s no word yet when, or even if, it will ever make its way to the United States.

Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Which smartphone manufacturers won and lost in 2018

As the curtain comes down on 2018, we take a look at the big successes and failures in the smartphone market over the last 12 months. Which phone maker had the best year, and who had a year to forget?
Product Review

With sapphire glass and analog dials, you'd never know this watch is smart

The world of hybrid smartwatches is getting much larger, and the latest comes from a name with history — New York Standard Watches. In our NYSW GTS Activity Tracker review, we find out what makes this watch special, and why we were so…
Mobile

Scientists have charged a phone and a Fitbit with solar-powered clothes

Scientists from Britain's Nottingham Trent University have discovered a way to incorporate solar panels into clothing, and they've even managed to charge a phone and Fitbit with the energy created.
Mobile

The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT packs the most RAM ever seen in a smartphone

The next generation of smartphones has begun, and it's begun with a bang. The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT comes with the next generation Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.
Mobile

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge display

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is perfect for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.
Mobile

Fitbit supercharges its smartwatches with its new 3.0 operating system

Fitbit announced a new software update for the Versa and Ionic, called Fitbit OS 3.0. The new OS will allow for things like on-device daily views, as well as 10 new third-party apps on the watch.
Mobile

Google’s Gboard communication app reaches 500 languages in only 2 years

In December 2016, Google launched Gboard with support for an already-impressive 100 languages. Since then, however, Google has added a hefty 400 languages to the software keyboard, bringing the total number to 500.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.