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Top 5 smartphone user interfaces based on ease of use and experience

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Google Android and Apple iOS are two operating systems that power most current-generation smartphones. While the iOS gets sequential updates that improve its user interface, the Android OS gets two-layer upgrades – first issued by Google and then optimised by original equipment manufacturers for their respective smartphones.


Business Standard lists five smartphone user interfaces that have the best user experience and are the easiest to use:



#1. iOS 12


iOS 12


iOS is a mobile operating platform limited to Apple devices. Designed for Apple iPhone and iPad, the iOS 12 is undeniably one of the most responsive mobile operating systems with an intuitive and easy-to-use graphic interface. Compatible with the iPhone 5S and above and iPad mini 2 and above, this OS is fun to use, especially because of all the value-added features that come with it. These features include group FaceTime calling feature, which allows up to 32 people to join a video or voice conversation together. The operating system is set to get even better this September with the rollout of the iOS 13, which will come with a host of improvements, such as dark theme support, new keyboard with swipe gesture support, etc.


#2. Samsung One UI


Samsung One UI


Powered by the Android operating system, the One user interface is a huge improvement over Samsung’s previous Experience UI. It is a heavily customised skin that does not look anywhere close to Android, but it has its own advantages over the stock Android platform. The UI feels natural and intuitive. Its design implementation is consistent, making the interface and apps feel part of the package. Importantly, it makes using big-screen smartphones easy by enabling interaction gestures and bringing down the interaction areas closer to the bottom side. The Samsung One UI is limited to Samsung smartphones only.


#3. OxygenOS


OnePlus OxygenOS


Designed and created by OnePlus, the OxygenOS is an Android operating system on steroids. It is one of the finest iterations of Android OS-based user interface. While the UI looks close to stock Android, it is loaded with several enhancements for ease of use and intuitive user experience. It feels natural and works consistently without consuming too much of a phone’s crucial hardware resources. Importantly, this user interface keeps updating on regular intervals based on user feedback which makes it even better with every new iteration.


#4. Android One


Google Android One


Unlike most other user interfaces which are limited to devices manufactured by their respective brands, this user interface is available for multiple original equipment manufacturers who opt for Google’s Android One programme. Almost stock, this version of Android comes with a promise of timely software upgrades for up to two years and security upgrades for up to three years. This UI is free from bloatware, but comes with some OEM-based customisations.


#5. Indus OS


Indus OS


Based on the Android platform, this is an India-first operating system designed to create an ecosystem of regional smartphones. Besides English, the operating system is currently available in 12 regional languages — Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Odia, Assamese, Punjabi, Kannada, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Marathi. The OS allows easy translation using simple swipe gesture, free text messages between Indus OS users, auto correction with a database of more than 200,000 words in 12 supported regional languages, and more. It also has a dedicated app store which makes it easy to discover content using supported regional languages. The OS has integrated carrier billing to facilitate easy payments without credit cards.




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What does Facebook’s plan to hire scribes mean for media industry?

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Facebook’s plan to hire professional journalists instead of relying solely on algorithms to deliver news is a positive step but is unlikely to shake up an embattled media industry, analysts say.


The social media giant said Tuesday it would build a small team of journalists to select the top national news of the day “to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories.”

It comes as the US media landscape is plagued by job losses and newspaper closures, with organizations trying to figure out how to record profits in the age of free news.



Stories will appear in a section called the “news tab,” which will be separate from the traditional news feed that displays updates and content from users’ friends and relatives.


“In theory I see this as a really positive development. It is something quite promising,” Danna Young, a communications professor at the University of Delaware, told AFP.


Facebook’s journalists will be curating stories from news sites and won’t be editing headlines or writing content.


The California-based company has consistently said it does not want to be considered a media organization that makes major editorial decisions, and this announcement does little to change that, experts add.


“It’s not transformative because it’s not going to change necessarily the behavior of individuals who are referencing stories on their feeds,” said Young.


“That’s where the power comes from — individuals you know and trust putting their tacit stamp of approval on stories by sharing them,” she added.


The tab will be the site’s first news feature using human moderators since it shut down its ill-fated “trending topics” section last year after a scandal over allegations workers had suppressed stories about conservative issues.


Articles not deemed top news stories will still be collated using algorithms based on the user’s history, such as pages they follow, publications they subscribe to and news they have already interacted with.


“Our goal with the news tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown told AFP in San Francisco Tuesday.


The news tab feature comes as Facebook embarks on a series of initiatives to boost journalism, with traditional media organizations accusing it of benefitting financially from their hard work.


Internet platforms are dominating the internet advertising space making it difficult for established news organizations to transition what were very profitable print advertisements online.


Facebook announced in January that it will invest USD 300 million over three years to support journalism, particularly local news organisations.


It has also funded fact-checking projects around the world, including one in partnership with AFP.


Facebook will reportedly pay some publishers to license news content for the tab but Mathew Ingram, who writes about digital media for the Columbia Journalism Review, doesn’t expect that to trickle down to hard-up organizations that need it the most.


“The companies they are going to choose are ones already doing well I assume. It might give them a little extra cash but I don’t see it driving a huge amount of traffic,” he told AFP.


Print journalism in the US is in free-fall as social media overtakes newspapers as the main news source for Americans.


Around 2,000 American newspapers closed in the past 15 years, according to the University of North Carolina, leaving millions of residents without reporters keeping track of what their local authorities are up to.


“The death of local news has such destructive effects for democracy. It’s a complex issue that Facebook alone cannot fix,” said Young.


The number of journalists working at US newspapers slumped by 47 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last year.


The total number of journalists in newsrooms fell by 25 per cent, the group found, while consultancy firm Challenger Gray & Christmas says this is going to be the worst year for layoffs since 2009.


It’s a difficult time for Stephen Groves, who recently earned a master’s in journalism at New York University, to be looking for work. When he heard about Facebook’s plans, he was skeptical.


“Facebook is not a journalism company and so before working for Facebook I would want to see their commitment to ethical, robust journalism,” the 30-year-old told AFP.


The digital sector is also in trouble.


When Buzzfeed cut 200 jobs in January, 29-year-old Emily Tamkin was let go from a position she had held for just a few months.


“I’m personally not cheered by the fact that Facebook is swooping in and hiring journalists. If that’s the silver lining then we have a very big cloud here,” she told AFP.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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Google ditches its desserts! Android Q’s official name is Android 10

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Breaking the 10-year history of naming Android releases after desserts, Google on Thursday announced it had officially named the next version as just Android 10.


“First, we’re changing the way we name our releases. Our engineering team has always used internal code names for each version, based of tasty treats, or desserts, in alphabetical order,” said Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android, in a statement.



The naming tradition has become a fun part of the release each year externally too, like Android Lollipop or Marshmallows.


“As a global operating system, it’s important that these names are clear and relatable for everyone in the world. So, this next release of Android will simply use the version number and be called Android 10,” Samat explained.


“While there were many tempting ‘Q’ desserts out there, we think that at version 10 and 2.5 billion active devices, it was time to make this change,” he added.


Now, this year is Android 10 and next year will be Android 11, and so on.


Google also changed the logo from green to black.


It’s a small change but Google found the green was hard to read, especially for people with visual impairments.


Google will officially start using the updated logo in the coming weeks with the final release of Android 10.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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Bose adds Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2 to its smart speakers

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Google on Thursday announced an automatic software update that would bring the Google Assistant to all existing Bose smart speakers and soundbars.


The Google Assistant joins Amazon Alexa for voice control of smart home devices, and instant access to millions of songs and podcasts, help, information, and more.



Bose smart speaker owners can now also use Apple AirPlay 2 for simple streaming from Apple devices.


In addition, there is a small Bose smart speaker on the way. The Bose Home Speaker 300 can be pre-ordered on Amazon.in starting Thursday and would available from August 29.


Weighing a mere two pounds and measuring just over six-inch, the Bose Home Speaker 300’s acoustic package delivers powerful bass along with 360-degree sound – unlike conventional smart speakers that deliver a narrow beam of audio, the company said in a statement.


It would be sold directly from Bose stores, wholesale trade partners and online through Amazon.in for Rs 26,900.


 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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