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Nokia’s Android UI borrows the best aspects of Windows Phone: leak

normandyuievleaks2

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.

normandyuievleaks1

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.

Source@evleaks

  • Nahuel

    That will be the next Launcher on my HTC One =P

    • WP74Life

      >Need a launcher to look like WP because Android is bad.

      >Not getting the best OS out there.

      you dun goofed

    • PepsiFiend

      Its not because Android is bad, its because he can. Its called customizability.

    • Nahuel

      I actually own a Windows Phone, the 8X. I like the looks of it but the OS itself isn’t as sophisticated as Android is. But the lack of certain apps like Sygic and the lack of support for my Pebble for example are the main reasons why I don’t use it as my everyday device. But I am not closed to the idea of using it in a near future when the platform gets mature.

  • Hilman in Edmonton

    Why would anyone buy this?

  • Adam Munn-Rivard

    Please kill this

  • WP74Life

    Lol, android is so bad they need to skin it like WP. No wonder why Nokia went the WP path. WP, iOs > android

    • jroc

      More like this: Android has no license costs, and WP does. Lower costs to make the phone equates to a higher possible profit margin (or lower cost device).

      People are more familiar with Android, therefor more likely to buy an Android phone. It only makes sense they they throw their hat in the ring and try and sell more devices.

    • rgl168

      As a forked Android product, I do not believe they are allowed to use “Android” or use the green robot logo with any of the marketing campaign. Also, it won’t have access to Google-specific apps that people are expected from an Android phone.
      As for licensing cost, Microsoft have paid Nokia more than enough to get them on the WP boat, I am sure licensing cost is not an issue.

    • jroc

      They can’t use the logo or the name, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the source code is available for free.

      I guess since MS owns Nokia, the WP licensing is moot, but if this is going to help increase sales then why not go for it.

    • rgl168

      Sure, anyone grab the Android source code and use it, but you are on your own – just like Amazon, where they have to build their own services and apps.

      Then customers – who expect the phone to be “Android” – find that they cannot access to Google Play store, or Google suite of apps, complaints will go through the roof. How is this going to improve on sales?

    • Labrat

      Also, as a fork, they can’t be part of the OHA alliance.
      They can’t ship the “real” android on any phone, and they loose the whole Google Play service, which includes more than Gmail and the like. They loose access to Play Store, location services, AdMob, etc.

      Now, if this is not a fork but just a custom launcher, they can still get all the Google goodies.

    • TP

      Is that why Nokia, now owned by Microsoft, develops an Android phone?

    • stephane

      And look at where they are now because they went with Windows Phone.

  • beyond

    I see something else here. Maybe this is a way for Microsoft to popularize its Windows Phone platform, but disguising Android OS like Windows Phone. People will become accustom to the UI style and see no difference switching platforms.

    • jroc

      Get people to use a competitor’s product for a couple of years with the hope that they will switch to yours later? That is a terrible business strategy.

    • beyond

      no its more like trying to confuse people so they can’t tell the difference between the two, therefore increasing the chances they will go with Windows Phone later

  • Bri

    I like how Nokia did something different than all other android manufacturer.
    I also like Nokia’s hardware. They seem sturdy and simple.
    I welcome you Nokia!

    • TrainAss

      They did something SO different, that they made Android look like Windows Phone. That’s not doing something different.

    • Bri

      Probably not the final version that they’ll release. So hopefully they’ll smooth things down a little. I say more options are always welcome. We never know how they’ll improve to be like in the future.

    • TrainAss

      It’s not really something different though. It’s just another Android build, with another custom UI. It’s no different than TouchWiz or Sense.

  • Dave Evans

    I’m going to pee myself laughing when this starts to out sell Lumias. :)

    Okay, you can start spitting on me now. I’m ready for you. :)

    • WP74Life

      Teenagers, soccer mom and nerds aren’t a very good accomplishement. Real men and woman use WP. Professionals use iOS and WP. XDA geek use android.

    • Bri

      what’s up with this guy anyway? Every WP related post I see this guy trashing android.

    • Aiden

      God thanks there’s not many WP news here so we don’t have to hear this guys barking. His picture and attitude go well together.

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