Most interfaces now try to solve that by neglecting the problem. They just give you a blank slate that you can litter any way you like. Although the freedom of a sandbox interface is enticing, that doesn’t seem to be the way to do it.
Some companies (and home programmers) have been redefining the way we think about content placement, and redesigning the main interface of popular devices and applications. Slide Screen is most prominent, in the way it revamps the face of the Android, an already hot smartphone.
Different Android phones (e.g. HTC versus Motorolla) tend to pack a different home screen — basically the desktop of your phone. Slide Screen, although it certainly has the feel of a custom ROM, is simply another home screen replacement. It redefines the face of your phone, and does so intelligently and beautifully.
With an eye on these heavy (Android) phone users, those people swimming in emails and RSS feeds, Slide Screen tries to facilitate a better overview of the data pool. The application shows you a clean and simplistic overview, packed with as much information possible, without creating a clutter.
The general overview consists of an upper and a lower part, divided by a center bar that supplies you with the most rudimentary information; date, time, weather and available data connections.
Personal data is placed on the top of the screen. This includes phone calls, messages, emails and the calendar. Currently, Slide Screen only syncs with the Gmail application, though. At the bottom of the screen are your RSS news feeds, stock quotes and Tweets. Facebook support is due to be added in a later version of the application. All these “˜applications’ are color-coded to allow for easy distinction. And besides, it looks pretty.
This center bar can be slid up- or downwards to prioritize one branch of information, and reallocate the available space on your screen. You can also filter the information flow by hitting one of the icons on the righthand side of the screen. For example, tapping the Twitter icon will open that application, momentarily showing only Tweets, as can be seen in the screenshot above.
Integrated RSS Reader
As can be expected, if you instead hit one of the items in the list, it will open the post, email or stock information in full screen. This feature works incredible with your RSS news feeds. And don’t expect it to fire up your browser, or a third-party RSS reader. Slide Screen will show you your articles without you having to leave the slick, black interface.
Instead of having to switch between interfaces tenfold, you can keep yourself focused on the data at hand. Currently these applications only extend to the aforementioned. However, Slide Screen appears to be working on an API that will make it possible for other developers to create compatible applications.
Revamped Application Overview
Slide Screen also made work of the application overview, a part of the Android user interface that stands separate from the “˜real’ home screen. Redesigning the application overview, Slide Screen closes the GUI loop.
As can be expected, there weren’t any radical reforms here. The application overview has already proven its usability. It was redesigned to fit in with the rest of Slide Screen, and now allows you to pin a number of favorite applications – those that otherwise would’ve ended up on your home screen.
What do you think of Slide Screen? Is this the direction you want future mobile interfaces to go? It certainly shares some qualities with the new Windows Mobile OS. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.