New GPS handsets from HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson feature customisable user interfaces for better integration of content and social media.
GPS is now a standard feature in the vast majority of the more than 50 handsets based on the Android platform that have been announced by a dozen device vendors. While some vendors are happy with using the standard user interface provided by the open source operating system, others such as HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson have added their own UIs to bring unique user experiences.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2010, HTC announced two new Android smartphones with the latest incarnation of the company’s Sense UI. A core feature of the Sense experience focuses on improving interactions with friends through a new HTC application and widget called HTC Friend Stream that seamlessly aggregates all social communication including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr into one organised flow of updates.
Following the plethora of new Android handsets released in late 2009, Motorola followed up with the new QUENCH handset at the MWC. Like several of its earlier Android handsets, the QUENCH boasts Motorola’s MOTOBLUR user interface and aggregation services that allows users to organise their favourite services into live widgets on multiple homescreens. The MOTOBLUR service syncs friends, pictures, emails, messages and status updates from popular services such as MySpace, Facebook, Google, last.fm, Twitter, Picasa, Photobucket and Yahoo Mail. The QUENCH also supports voice-activated search as well as Google Web results based on the current location.
Sony Ericsson unveiled two new Android handsets at the Mobile World Congress 2010 – the Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro – two smaller versions of the Xperia X10 announced in November 2009. All X10 handsets have Sony Ericsson’s UX (user experience) platform featuring the Timescape application that integrates text messages, missed calls, Facebook and Twitter updates in one place so the user does not have to open multiple applications.