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Have you seen Sharp's new Android UI?

It looks pretty interesting. While I tend to object to manufacturers meddling with UI for the sake of meddling with UI -- that is, mucking up the basic Android interface with no apparent user benefit -- I can appreciate a company trying to do something completely different with the platform. 

I'd be very curious to check this out. Unfortunately, it sounds like it won't be making its way out of Japan anytime soon.
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Is there a reason why manufacturers don't release devices with stock Android?
Looks fine, but you'd better forget about ever getting OS updates.
+Dave Smith True enough. Probably more like a fork of the platform than anything. But interesting nevertheless.
+Monica Mayumi Differentiation.  It's difficult to have your device stand out if it looks and behaves just like every other device.  Even if you release the very fastest hardware, other Android device manufacturer's are doing the same thing.  So I can understand "why" they do it.

I think the UI looks slick in the video.  However, as it seems to be the case with every other manufacturer overlay, performance is never as smooth as it appears in that video.  So I have to wonder what sort of impact the custom UI will have on device performance.

And then of course there is the ever present issue of timely device updates when custom UIs are involved.  It always at the very least delays OS updates, or at worse, prevents them from coming out altogether.
I was all over the new 106SH before I saw this video. Now I'm going to be calling SoftBank daily to get an availability date!
Waterproof. Dustproof. 12.1 megapixel camera. Data tethering with 42Mbps download speeds. MicroSD. Mobile Wallet and One Seg TV.
What's not to love??!!
+Monica Mayumi it's their way of profiling themselves against the rest, because otherwise it's "tegra 3 phone" vs "tegra 3 phone" and most of the time people would buy one over the other who is either cheaper or best bang for their buck. It's also reminiscent from the beginning of Android when those alterations would be beneficial to the Android experience because it was lacking in some areas which they enhanced.

Probably +Google noticed that this was hampering the progress of the platform in general pretty badly, so they almost put an end to this with their tablets, where there's practically no modification (only one I know of is Acer's "Ring"). (I hope this explains it a bit)
+Ben Watson +Chris Druif That's interesting, never thought about it. But they could launch the devices with stock and the UI as an app,  that way it eliminates the update problem also.
I would really appreciate Sharp for coming up with a new UI. As time goes on we might get valuable inputs on usability front. Although the current android interface itself is quite interactive, it would be better to have a healthy competition so as to come up with more innovative UI concepts. Time to put the thinking caps on
+Monica Mayumi the problem with that is that the UX is more than just the launcher. It's also the loading circles and the notification pull down bar. another issue is that people buy the phone expecting the UI to stay relatively the same after updates.
Look pretty slick on video.
I guess it will come out to outside Japan, why bother make ads in english ?
+Monica Mayumi Yeah, they could most certainly do that. Just as there are already a large number of Launcher replacements in the Google Play store.

Although taking the position of Devil's Advocate here, that wouldn't be enough from a sales point of view to differentiate themselves.  If their custom UI isn't default, then when people go to browse the various devices, they would all look the same.

Personally, with the way the market is currently positioned, I think a company could differentiate themselves by going completely stock.  Besides the Nexus devices, stock Android devices are almost non-existent.  If a manufacturer released a device with best in class specs, with stock Android, and promised to release Android updates as soon as Google does, then I think that would be a huge hit.  Strangely, no one does.
+Chase Vandiver Good point.  It would take more than an app from the Play store to create those kind of modifications.  Nothing short of flashing your ROM would be enough.
Wow! Vimeo looks awesome on my Droid oh and the new UI looks pretty cool too : )
+Ben Watson That's what I think is funny, Nexus' most appealing feature is the stock Android and  there is a somewhat of dispute among the manufacturers to make the next Nexus. 
Personally, I always look at the hardware specs more than the UI and end up choosing to install another ROM. 
But I guess that's just me. =)
+Monica Mayumi Good call. :)

I'm running CM9 nightlies on two different Android devices I currently own.

I do hope the rumors end up coming true that with the next Nexus refresh, we'll see a Nexus device from every major device manufacturer.  Maybe then we will see a cutting edge Nexus, unlike the Galaxy Nexus which was somehow slower than the older Galaxy S2 when it was released.
Its kool ... is coming out for the RAZR?
+Arias Feuter No, certainly not officially. It's possible you might be able to flash a ROM that runs this UI in the future.
Now thats finally something on par with the phone everybody loves to hate so much, if it is as buttery when run on the actual device that is....
Been unimpressed with Sharp's Android offerings.. They've always had some rushed feel to them, not to mention software instabilities and weird decisions (mounting the SD card on my Mac or PC automatically puts the phone in airplane mode, for example).

I switched to Kyocera and Fujitsu Android phones, and the stability is much better, AND I get the same features (waterproof etc)...

Then I switched to a One X, and although I miss having protection against splashes and dust, it'll be hard to go back to my Fujitsu phone...
Kinda like WP7 and Android mixed
That looks fantastic. Wish i could get my hands on it.
Now do that with iPhone Sharp; see how far you get ;)
naa just leave iphone for noncreative users ;)
Looks damn good..only if they manage the weight and battery life
now THAT'S one beautiful android! I hope the transition effects on the actual device is as smooth as the one illustrated on the ad. I wish it had the body though like HTC's One X. Then it would be the purrrrrfect android for me. =)
i wish it can be available overseas .. japan has many good designs but i dunno why they rarely export them .. 
Bet it will be stuck in 2.3 world like most android crap phones 
It's definitely something different than what Android currently looks like. Lots of emphasis on a much more user-friendly UI, very Windows Phone 7-esque.
looks like 4.0 as they have that app widget shorcut tabs in the app drawer
Ok.. basically can do 90% of that with my jb evo.. bet playing videos on that phone will end that battery. Still better than the iphone at least
Definitely android 4.0, all the new summer Android phones in Japan are running 4.0...
It does look interesting. Thanks for sharing. The tiles look like Windows mobile setup!
why didnt they just make a windows phone 7 device as they clearly wanted to lmao
Japan has some amazing but they are made only for use in Japan. Besides, to buy a phone there is more expensive than buying it at home.
Its look great .but how much expencive it is?
yhea sure its simple to understand it looks more complicated than.. umm well anything ive seen!
looking great from one thing i can tell they picked up some top features from other places or inspired would be the right word to use, but looks great in positive sense. will look fwd for it.
Apple is going to sue them because they use no "real" Android-like homescreen. And that's what Apple does! xD
to me it looks like Windows Phone 7 and Android had a baby, producing this.

Definitely looks better than a Win phone. Not really sure whether it looks better than an Android though. Maybe I'm too used to the ICS UI...
Bout time Sharp got up to play with the whole smartphone thing.... they made the best phone i ever owned. sharp903.....LEGEND!
sharp's smartphones have been way cooler even before iphones. but sadly, they like it only in Japan
I don't think 'uncluttered' is a term they should be using.  They seem to have erased any white space from the uni by dint of sheer effort.
Someone needs to release this as a launcher! It would seem a waste of all that designing work for it to be only available on one japan only phone... And I am loving the Nokia N9 references, I just hope it is released worldwide: S
Seems a bit busy and swipe heavy. Its really shiny but I'm not sure how practical it really is.
Very nice i hope to see launcher apps like this soon
I hope it makes it's way to America
Weirdly, All of the teenagers I have asked recently have Blackberries. At what point did Blackberry steal the younger market? When did blackberries become cool?
This is the concept Android is created manufactures should do this, to create their own identity!!! I like this UI!!
one of the better layers put on top of Android definitely, can't wait to play with one.. it's all about the user experience and user interface, platforms should not matter
That is cool...... don't think I could do sharp though. but I hope some other ui developers like adw take some notes
Sadly, SHARP doesn't release its AQUOS phones outside of Japan. They've done some pretty cool things with Android over the years...
According to the Japanese articles, Sharp is considering releasing Android devices with this UI in the US as well. If enough people show interest in this, I'm sure it'll just be a matter of time.
Sharp aren't the biggest name in the consumer technology arena but that's not to say they can't make something great.  I think the interface looks really nice although it's mostly eye candy.
yeah... although, when meant for they eyes... eye candy is good.. when it increases the visually perception and aesthetic appeal. Form and function should work hand in hand... not in opposition
i love Apple products, but love it when other people are being creative as well. i loved my Palm.. until it went BACK to being cluncky.. and well, stopped being relevent.  I've never understood why they remained too quiet about it's capabilities. Other companies began to specialize (capitalize?) on particular functions and capabilities know to industries, etc. Apple had a good.. product before that.. that was not up to the standards of Apple.. or its customers... so it failed. Microsoft... well... they should have taken that idea of the table.. (yes, table) and ushered in the 23rd Century... but.. well.. they didn't. A company like sharp.. SHOULD. NOW is the time... do it.. don't just stay on the phone bandwagon.
+JR Raphael it looks very nice indeed but im more than content with my stock ICS galaxy nexus. To me its important my phone does timely firmware updates. (Oh and also i hate touchwiz ui with its elementary school feel of colors!)
I am apple fan waitekng for the apple 5
To come out in the fall of this year...,,...
+Venk Seelam Oh, absolutely agreed -- personally, I wouldn't buy this over a pure ICS device, either. I just find the concept intriguing; it's nice to see someone doing something innovative with the OS rather than simply jerking around with Google's base interface for no reason (a la TouchWiz, etc).
Today is a good day. !(in ice cube voice)
Just run pure ICS and I'd actually buy a super spec'd phone other than a Nexus. Are you listening, manufacturers? 
What a joke!  It is full of clutters while claimed the opposite.  Android and MS UI designs are so poor not taking advantage of the large screen real estate with larger icons.  Instead, they preferred tiny icons and left massive blank and square spaces under utilized.

Not different, try ease of use and usability where less is more!
Not bad, but if its based on 2.x and never likely to be updated then get a phone from a decent manufacturer and pay a few pounds/dollars on a good launcher from play store - that's the beauty of Android, choice
SSSS... thats a very nice everything you have there...SSSS BOOM!
looks like a android'ed Win8 feel... i do kind of like it though... 
What? Another manufacturer can screw up Android's UI? Woah...

If a manufacturer thinks they can improve Android's UI, there's an open source project where they can submit their changes. If the changes are any good, they get merged with real Android. If the changes suck, then why foist them on your users?

If said manufacturer doesn't want their changes (even though they're awesome) going to an open source project because then someone else will benefit from them, then said manufacturer has forgotten what make money on (hardware) and I don't need to buy their hardware because it sucks since they spent all their time and money screwing up the software.
I like Sharp's icon merge function.  Very nice.  +1 for Sharp.
Hope they make it available at google play.
"Available in Japan in 2012"
- For all the English speakers that won't be getting it.
Looks awesome. I wish manufacturers would stop saying Android and just mention the skin and Google play.
For some bloody technical reason,  you cant buy a phone in Japan that would work in most countries, except for apple... I know I tried in Feb 2012.. And phones made in other countries are at least 1% more expensive than local phones.. some rigid telecom policy. I would love to buy a phone made in Japan with a native OS. They make the most quirky phones.. I used to use a PHS phone, works on subways too back in 1997 so the tech is still there..
I have a 106SH and really don't like it so I've switched back to my S2... I'd love to know if anyone knows a custom ROM that would work on it?
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