User interface expert Dr. Jakob Nielsen, who describes himself as an author, researcher and consultant on user interfaces, recently studied the user experience of the Kindle Fire and dubbed it “disappointingly poor.” Nielsen said the lack of physical buttons impeded the reading experience, the device was too heavy and was “unpleasant to hold for long periods of time,” and while there was potential for a good magazine reading experience, Nielsen said the result was “miserable.” Nielsen even proposes a bit of a conspiracy theory to why the web browsing experience on the Kindle Fire might be inferior to other devices. “If I were given to conspiracy theories, I’d say that Amazon deliberately designed a poor web browsing user experience to keep Fire users from shopping on competing sites,” he said. “Amazon’s own built-in shopping app has great usability, so they clearly know how to design for the tablet.” More →
Samsung took some time at a developer day event in South Korea to note that it will have sold 5 million Bada-powered Wave phones when 2010 comes to an end. It also projects sales of more than 10 million Wave devices in the first half of 2011 alone. Most of the attention at the event, however, was focused on the host of features Samsung said it will introduce in version 2 of its in-house mobile operating system. Among the more notable additions making their way to Bada 2.0 are third-party multitasking support, push notification support, an updated UI that will include a “smart home-screen,” enhanced security, an integrated ad network, carrier billing support, HTML5, NFC and speech recognition. Needless to say, Bada 2.0 is set to be a huge update that could put Bada on par with most modern smartphone operating systems when it launches in the first half of 2011. Hit the break for a slide containing all of the noted enhancements we can look forward to in Bada 2.0. More →
RIM’s upcoming QNX-based OS is about to get a swift kick in the UI, as the company announced its acquisition of The Astonishing Tribe on Thursday. Also known as TAT, the team is renowned for its stunning UI work that often includes unique concepts that never manage to find their way to production devices. While TAT has done a great deal of work across several markets including automotive and consumer electronics, mobile platforms user experiences is where they shine and as any BlackBerry user will tell you, RIM needs a lot of help in that department. Well, BlackBerry fans… help has most definitely arrived because TAT is as good as it gets. We can’t wait to see what this talented team of seasoned veterans can do for the PlayBook and for RIM’s future phones. More →
As Google prepares to release a fresh new version of Android, Sony Ericsson has announced that it will finally push out an OS update for three of its smartphones… to Android 2.1. No, the Xperia X10 family won’t be gobbling down Gingerbread any time soon, or even feasting on FroYo. Instead, the Xperia X10, Xperia X10 mini and Xperia X10 mini pro will all be stuck eating Eclair beginning Sunday, October 31st. Oh and if you have an AT&T-branded X10, you’ll have to wait until some time in November for the update. Sony Ericsson has delayed this Android 2.1 upgrade several times and now that it’s almost here, it seems like way too little, way too late. As for when the X10 crew might see a more modern build of the Android OS, don’t hold your breath. Hit the jump for a rundown of changes X10 users can expect starting this weekend. More →
TechCrunch broke the news and Business Insider is also reporting that Facebook is working on their own mobile handset. The first report claimed that Facebook’s Joe Hewitt and Eric Tseng (previous Facebook iPhone app developer and previous Senior Product Manager for Android at Google) are heading up the project. When Business Insider chimed in, however, the scope of the project seemed to make more sense than Facebook creating a mobile OS from scratch — they’re rumored to be using Android as the base layer and heavily customizing the UI, applications, and experience. Before you get too excited, it’s being reported the project won’t be ready until late 2011, and even better, Facebook PR has chimed in saying that they are “not building a phone.” If this does pan out to be true, is a Facebook-heavy Android-based handset something that would interest you? More →
There has been quite a bit of press about high-level executives mobile maker Nokia has been shedding, but this fairly large addition managed to slip under the radar. Nokia has hired Peter Skillman — former Vice President of Design at Palm — to be their Vice President of MeeGo User Experience and Services. Skillman worked for Palm for over eleven years and headed the team that was in charge of designing the Palm Pre. Hopefully, Mr. Skillman’s addition will expedite Nokia’s development of the Linux based mobile OS. More →
RIM has posted some additional screen shots of their yet-to-be-released-or-have-a-release-date-announced BlackBerry 6 operating system. You may recall that earlier in the month RIM provided a few screen shots displaying some of BlackBerry 6′s media capabilities. This particular post is from Douglas Soltys, he interviews RIM’s Director in the User Experience group, Joey Benedek, who shows off the new OS’ “home screen evolution.” Hit the read link to see all the goodies, and do let us know what you think. More →
Any burning questions you’ve ever had about the upgrade path for the XPERIA X10 family of products can now be put to rest, as Sony Ericsson has finally gone public with its intentions. As of Q4 2010, all three phones — the X10, X10 mini and X10 mini Pro — will be upgraded to Android 2.1 aka “Eclair”. Not only that, but after the update, the X10′s 8.1 megapixel camera will be able to record videos in HD. Throw in enhancements to the Timescape and Mediascape applications, as well as DLNA, support and you’d almost think Sony Ericsson genuinely believes it’s going to win over the hearts and minds of Android lovers by updating what will then be a year-old product that doesn’t even support multi-touch. But we digress… More →
It’s not available in stores, through the phone, or online just yet, but Rogers has officially launched the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10. In an email memo sent out minutes ago, Rogers announced to its employees that the Android smartphone is now shipping from their warehouses and should arrive within the next three days. Want one? That’ll be $149.99 on contract or $549.99 without. Just keep in mind this phone lacks multitouch as you stand at the till, okay? We wouldn’t want you getting a case of buyer’s remorse.
Alright, Canada, the time has come. You can now pre-order the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 from Rogers Wireless. To be available in both Sensuous Black and Luster White, the XPERIA X10 will set you back $149.99 on a 3-year contract. Definitely not bad for a phone with a 4″ WVGA display, 8.1 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, HSDPA and sexy UX UI overlay, but we can certainly see the lack of multitouch and the fact it currently runs Android 1.6 being a deal breaker for many. Rogers won’t give in and tell us the release date, but the whole “Hurry! Offer expires April 14th” leads us to believe we’ll see this sucker drop the day after that. Bonus: All pre-orders will net you a free Bluetooth headset and a chance to win a trip to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Shouts to South Africa. More →
Ordinarily, looking at FCC filings are about as fun as discussing the history of blotting paper, but we have a rare exception in the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10. While the standard fare external pictures offer nothing we haven’t already seen, the filing contains a wealth of teardown photos that are sure to please both phone junkies and anyone fascinated with design. But it gets better. Not only do we have a slew of test reports (exciting!), but the entire 40-page user manual which not only gives a great overview of the device itself, but Sony Ericsson’s custom Android overlay, Nexus. Of course we’ve already broken down Nexus for you when we went hands on, but let’s just keep that our little secret, okay? More →
Today we hit up Sony Ericsson’s shindig in NYC for some one-on-one time with its XPERIA X10, and so far (it’s a non-retail prototype) it looks like SE has a decent device on its hands. Of course, we all know the X10 is running Android 1.6, but SE has created its own UI, or UX as it prefers to say (short for User Experience), called Nexus. Like other UI overlays for Android, Nexus focuses on social media integration, entertainment and simplifying contact info by aggregating user information. Two very unique applications that SE has integrated into Nexus are Timescape and Mediascape. Timescape is much like viewing your contact information on HTC’s Sense UI and Motorola’s MOTOBLUR: you can view your contact’s email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter updates all in one place. Mediascape allows you to access photos, video and music from your phone as well as YouTube and PlayNow, SE’s music store. The great thing about Timescape and Mediascape is that they recognize connections between your contacts (like facial recognition), music and media and it makes suggestions on how you can communicate or get a guide to new media. Now that we’ve got the software aspect out of the way, hit the jump to see not only what think of the device itself, but quite a few pretty pics and a video overview!
And yet another manufacturer has officially entered the Android game as Sony Ericsson has formally announced the XPERIA X10. Powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and running on Android 1.6 “Donut”, the X10 boasts a 4″ WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, an 8.1 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and two flavors of UMTS/HSPA — one of which supports T-Mobile, the other, AT&T — in addition to quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE. Regrettably there is only 1GB of built in memory, although an 8GB microSD card ships in the box. In terms of UI customization, the X10 comes with the UI overlay UX called Rachael (user experience) which extends into two premier apps: Mediascape — the media player which we’ve already seen twice — and Timescape, which more or less is SE’s answer to a MOTOBLUR type skin. Pricing and countries of availability has yet to be announced, but the XPERIA X10 will be available in Q1 2010 in Sensuous Black and Lustre White (yes, we LOL’d, too). Hit the jump for a promo video and a press release.