January 16, 2014 10:43am
A new screenshot duo from @evleaks makes plain the Windows Phone influence on Nokia’s Android UI.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a multitude of leaks from Nokia’s rumoured ‘Normandy‘ Android smartphone, developed for the Indian market as a dual-SIM device. While the hardware looks every bit a low-cost Asha derivative, the forked Android UI — that is, a version of Android independent of Google, akin to Amazon’s Fire OS — generously borrows from Windows Phone for design inspiration.
Looking at what appears to be the home screen, app icons exist in a Live Tile-like square, even traditional Android apps not designed for the purpose. And though it appears that Nokia has kept Android’s drop-down notification bar, it doubles as a recent app launcher; missed calls blend in with recently-used apps and alarms in a simple, flat interface. It all looks quite intuitive.
Most interesting, though, are the prevalence of Android apps like BBM, Plants vs. Zombies 2 among Nokia’s own first-party offerings, like MixRadio (which isn’t currently available on Android), HERE Maps and a variant of the Nokia Camera app.
Now that Microsoft has gobbled up Nokia’s hardware department, Normandy may not launch at all — hence the recent trickle of leaks — but if it does, it could be a very interesting alternative to Android proper, especially in cost-sensitive developing markets.