Back in June, we covered a story about Xolo’s plans to launch a custom Android UI called HIVE. The UI has a unique interactive feature wherein users will be able to interact with the company’s developers to give them feedback as well as request new features for their smartphone. Xolo is going to launch HIVE later this week on August 9 and here is what you need to know about the forthcoming UI.
Xolo has developed its own custom UI for Android, which will be introduced along with its forthcoming smartphone — Xolo Play 8X-1000. The new UI introduces a flatter look that seems to be a trend among OEMs these days. The company has given a glimpse at some of the UI elements, which features flatter icons and in place of sliders, volume and brightness settings have dials.
The HIVE launcher segregates apps based on time, usage type or alphabetically for easy access. The company has also developed new widgets for the music player, calls, and messages and also has a one-touch RAM cleaner, which essentially clears all background apps with a click.
But as mentioned above, in addition to the new look; HIVE also features Connect, which is essentially a community of developers and designers who interact among each other to make the UI better. Xolo describes Connect as “a platform/forum that fosters and encourages collaboration, where like-minded technology enthusiasts partner with the XOLO dev team to make this device better. It allows you to link up with the entire community to connect, collaborate and create on ideas that make experience better for one and all.”
Users will be able to discuss ideas with developers, report bugs and also find Xolo service centers. The best ideas will be implemented by developers and users will get access to them via fortnightly updates. To encourage interactivity, users will be rewarded with credits that can be exchanged for “exciting digital content and cool merchandise.”
This kind of venture maybe unique in the Indian smartphone space, but it is on the similar lines to what Xiaomi offers. Xiaomi’s MIUI too has a community of developers who constantly interact with end-users for constant development of the UI. Xiaomi has an alpha build of Mi, which can be flashed by users if they want to try the new features before it is released, and then there is a beta build for developers, which is updated every Friday. End users, on the other hand, get the benefit of regular updates for their smartphones.
Lava is looking at regaining its position among the top-five smartphone vendors in India. A recent Canalys report shows Motorola having broken into the top-five on the back of strong Moto G sales. In a chat with EconomicTimes, Lava co-founder SN Rai discussed the company’s plans to increase its market share from the current six percent to 10 percent.
Lava is also missing out on Google’s Android One initiative, with the smartphone vendor not one of Google’s partners. Android One will bring ultra-affordable smartphones running on stock Android to the masses, and Google will provide both software guidelines and hardware reference designs to its partners including Micromax, Spice and Karbonn.
Instead, Rai mentioned that HIVE is on the lines of Android One, in the way it will “control the user experience.” The OEM is also looking at licensing HIVE to other smartphone makers.