Time for a bit of speculation, folks! It’s well known how I love Android. It’s my platform of choice, and of the big smartphone OSes out there, it is easily the best (in my subjective opinion, of course). However, you may well have noticed that I’ve been gushing about another platform recently, that platform being Sailfish, and one of the cool bits I like about it is the abundance of gesture controls in the interface.
Well today, I read an article on PocketNow, and it got the ol’ thought processes flowing; y’see, it puts forward the idea that the next major version of Android, namely Key Lime Pie, may very well include gesture controls. But how likely is that, and what gesture controls might they include?
If you look at the flock of new OSes that are starting to appear, one of the big constants across the majority of them (but especially with Ubuntu and Sailfish) is that they almost exclusively use gesture controls over the traditional kind “tap-y button-y make-y something happen-y” type interfaces, that you find in all three major platforms, whether you’re looking at the iPhone 5 (on iOS), the HTC 8X (on Windows Phone) or even the epic new Samsung Galaxy S4 (the new Android hotness, as I keep calling it).
Given how much attention those new interfaces are getting, it’d possibly be a bit daft for Android to not go down that route, and like they say: strike while the iron’s hot, and all that…
If they do go down that route, though, what might the gesture controls involve? Welp, one thing that’s been happening in the world of custom UIs like CyanogenMod (where the interface in the piccie above comes from), is the concept of radial menus. In itself, that’s not a new concept, either; the stock browser in Android Honeycomb used radial menus, and the way you access Google Now on stock Android uses a radial wheel brought up by dragging from the edge of the screen.
Might we therefore see something like that in Android 5.0? Time will tell, of course, but it seems like the best way to keep Android on top of its game, and let it fend off the assault by all these new upstarts like Sailfish and Ubuntu.
Also, it’d be cool as hell, so cross everything…
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