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Access and Emblaze Mobile reveal Else Intuition

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Access and Emblaze Mobile reveal Else Intuition

"Do we really need one? "

I'm guessing those were the first words that sprang to mind when you saw that headline and if so, we were thinking along the same lines. However, this actually looks more promising than we could ever have imagined.

Access, the company that bought the rights to the remnants of PalmOS, has taken its Linux-based Access mobile platform and added some design wizadry from Emblaze Mobile, a technology design house for mobile devices, and ended up with the Else (as in 'something else') Intuition mobile platform. While this could easily have been just another also ran of the mobile market, the way this platform has been designed and some of the features it has do look quite exciting.

First and foremost, is the emphasis on one-handed operation - something that the designers of the iPhone and its various pretenders seem to have forgotten is how you often use your phone. While the main menu takes on a fairly familiar diamond shaped grid pattern of links to the phones various features, an alternative fan-style menu gives you access to the vast majority of the phones features within a very small space. It works on two levels with the first level offering a choice of the phones different programs and the second level (i.e. moving your finger further out from the centre of the fan) showing the latest documents/events associated with that proggram. The homescreen also supports gestures so you can get to your chosen apps even easier.

Emphasis has also been placed on genuine easy muitl-tasking. In particular, core apps like the music player or call notification are displayed discretely and don't completely disrupt what you're currently doing. So, for instance, if you're in the camera app and you receive a call, a notification will appear in the corner, letting you choose whether to finish what you were doing or take the call - rather than have the call answer dialogue fill the screen completely and ruin your photo. Further to this, it let's a caller give you silent feedback on whether the call is urgent or not: If you're in a meeting, say, it presents the caller with a busy message then offers a choice of whether to persist with the call because it's urgent or whether to call back at some specified time. Once the caller has decided, the recipient is notified.

The ever more common contact and message integration that let's you refer to a single contact for emails, SMS, and any other messaging services is also present. Possibly creeping some people out, all calls can also be recorded and stored on the phone for later referal.

There's plenty more to this platform including its 'fisheye' control mechanism, which magnifies and brings to the middle of the screen whatever it is you've just selected, the impressive looking keyboard, and the unique design of the overall interface that is just Star Trek through and through. However, we didn't actually manage to get hands on with it so we'll leave the details to when we actually get some hardware in for review.

The first phone to use this new platform is, funnily enough, going to be called the Else. It packs in a 5 megapixel camera, up to 32GB flash memory, a 3.5inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 854 x 480, GPS, and all the latest phone must haves. If won't, though, be available until Q2 2010, so we've got a bit of a wait.

Links:

*Annoying Flash based sillyness warning.*

Else

First Else

Keithe6e

November 25, 2009, 3:22 pm

@First and foremost, is the emphasis on one-handed operation - something that the designers of the iPhone and its various pretenders seem to have forgotten is how you often use your phone.





Not sure that's true, one handed is how I mostly use the Iphone. I just see the multi-touch as an option, eg. when web browsing I mostly use the double tap to zoom.





But saying that when using the IPhone one handed it's all thumbs, so a thumb friendly interface might work well.. :)

PeteT

November 25, 2009, 3:43 pm

Based on their website perhaps this company should be making TV shows! Or not.. Promising looking UI though which will hopefully get the chance to evolve a little further before I would consider leaving Android! Can that interface be switched over for lefties though?

ChaosDefinesOrder

November 25, 2009, 5:21 pm

I like the look of this; It's good to see someone innovating rather than imitating for once! That "home screen" (as seen in thumbnail) looks like a good idea for ease of operation...

Peter 20

November 25, 2009, 6:37 pm

Forget about the phone, who's the girl in the Ad? I'm in love.... :)





But seriously now the phone i must say looks very impressive but it bothers me to see yet another mobile OS that will require a constant data connection through your telco. Is the mobile phone industry aware that there are still people out there who don't bother with insane contracts and data plans and just use prepaid service for occasional phone calls. Being one of those people I would still like to have a smart phone with witch I could use for GPS, email client, and regular wifi access without having to be constantly connected to the mobile data service. I think the only platform that is still "prepaid" friendly is WinMo which is in fact very sad.

Gordon394

November 25, 2009, 6:45 pm

@Peter - I agree wholly with your most important point: she's mine!

Peter 20

November 25, 2009, 7:31 pm

Well then Sir. Gordon, I challenge you to a duel. What do you say to Pong match... or something equally nerdy.

Ohmz

November 26, 2009, 5:20 am

Have to say, after looking at the Engadget video, that this looks VERY good. I love the futuristic look of the UI and the fact that it's been designed with the thumb in mind. It looks different from the usual suspects (Apple, Google, RIM etc...) and for me it looks more intuitve to use.





It's just a shame we have to wait another year or so, hope it doesn't turn into another Nuviphone....

gregon

December 2, 2009, 3:32 pm

PeteT,


there are so many amazing gadgets that are for the use of right handed people, and those who are left handed train themselves to be ambidextrous just so they won't miss the privilege of using these gadgets.


I definitely think First Else if one of these gadgets. I myself am left handed and I'm not gonna miss the chance of using such an advanced mobile.. :)

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