Nokia Shows Off iPhoneesque Touch Interface

Nokia has announced a new touch-based interface for their Series 60 (S60) smartphone OS to be implemented in future products from Nokia and other Symbian-based phones. It’s clearly in response to the iPhone, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nokia has even come up with a few improvements of their own, including a motion-based “flip to silence” mode, where incoming calls can be quieted by flipping the phone on its face. The interface can also be used with both finger-presses or a stylus and will respond with tactile feedback. (The iPhone’s touch screen can only recognize finger presses from real human flesh.)

Of course, touchscreen-based phones had been around for a decade before Apple launched the iPhone, including on many Nokia models, so it’s less about the technology and more about the implementation. The HTC Touch, which uses a simple touch-based interface overlaid on Windows Mobile, wasn’t anything special. Series 60 is a more solid user experience than Windows Mobile to begin with, but we’ll just have to see if Nokia can make the whole experience as smooth and fun as the iPhone.

Interestingly, I didn’t see anything about multi-touch in the video. That’s not much of a deal-breaker. Apple has done little to really take advantage of the advanced user input methods multi-touch can allow, likely because it’s just as simple to control most of the iPhone’s functions with one finger than two (or five). That’s smart design, but it also makes it easier for others to clone their general user experience.

S60 Touch Interface Launched [AllAboutSymbian.com]

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3 Responses to Nokia Shows Off iPhoneesque Touch Interface

  1. nex says:

    It would only be iPhoneesque if it offered a few features that the iPhone has and that haven’t been available in other phones and PDAs for a decade. (E.g. ability to make phone calls doesn’t make your device iPhoneesque.) Judging from the video, this is not the case, at least w.r.t. the touch screen.

    I fully agree with everything else, though. Sure they’re competing with Apple at some level, this is about new smartphones after all, and they’re adressing people who think touch UIs are new and hip in the above presentation. Which is over the top, I think. Instead of explaining why making a larger screen with less buttons around it improves the interface, they go on and on about how touching and feeling stuff is super great and you so want to do that. This is beside the point, as the UI is touch-based, but not actually haptic. It’s even less haptic than traditional buttons.

  2. Subspace says:

    I’m sorry, can we talk about that guanoesque corporate video? Is convincing someone to buy a touch-screen phone best done through appealing to the consumer’s… sense of touch? I’m glad that the person filming the presentation laughed when the woman’s eye digitally sparkled, because I was too horrified to.

  3. jitrobug says:

    I think I saw that movie on cinemax once, but with all the naked people still in it.

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