Nokia's Windows-Style Android UI Appears in Leaked Images
The Nokia-made, Android-powered smartphone codenamed “Normandy” has captured the attention of tech writers on the Internet, and a constant stream of leaks and details is keeping the spotlight on a device that may never even make it to market. First uncovered back in September, the Normandy’s development is speculated by some to have been a major factor in Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s smartphone division. And today, a new batch of images have made their way online, showing off Normandy’s Windows-style user-interface, which changes Android in ways that no one would ever have imagined.
Over on the @evleaks Twitter account, some images of the Normandy’s UI (which offer a better view than we’ve had before) have been posted. Check it out:
Two ways to interact with Normandy. pic.twitter.com/uUY2XF4h7i
— @evleaks (@evleaks) January 16, 2014
As you can see, specifically from the images on the left, the box-like interface is far more reminiscent of Windows’ Metro interface, even though the entire thing is built on the Android operating system. As we’ve learned from devices like Amazon’s line of Kindle Fire tablets, custom launchers can do a lot to set gadgets apart from the usual style of Android user interface. Seeing just how closely this one mirrors the look and feel of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Metro UIs is pretty compelling, and makes me a little sad that we probably won’t see this released in the United States anytime soon, despite earlier speculation to the contrary.
The photo at the top of this post is from a different leak from two days ago, this one from the @vizileaks Twitter account. While illuminating in terms of how close the Normandy is in terms of physical style to Nokia’s usual Windows-based smartphones, this isn’t too revelatory.
All in all, it’s interesting that the Normandy is getting so much attention in terms of leaks. Could this be an effort on the part of someone within Nokia to try and spur public interest in the smartphone? Would Microsoft agree to try and push the thing onto the market if enough people said they were interested in it?
My feelings are mixed. I’m really interested in checking out what a Windows-styled Android phone would be like. But the style of Windows with none of the Windows 8 compatibility almost feels like a tease, since one of the major benefits of going with a Windows Mobile phone, I imagine, would be how nice it plays with other Windows devices. Then again, Windows style with Android apps is a pretty good combination, too.
In the end, Normandy feels seems like a really cool, disruptive piece of tech that could do a lot for both Windows and Android. But it still seems like a longshot that Microsoft would want to put a hybrid like this out in any territory.
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