Unified mobile device interface

    Probably a loud name, but its essence lies in my recent comment on the Habré:
    And I would like all kinds of messengers not to be separate applications or to be built into the system, but to be plugins to a single device interface. Those. Now it’s already clear that there is a chat, an audio and video call, as well as a friend’s feed with all sorts of photos and reposts, a photo / video album and other entities in one form or another found in various applications. Therefore, it would be great to have this in a single device interface (owners of nokia n900 will understand me). Those. I don’t want to be bothered in what social network this or that friend and / or what means of communication with him is, I want to click on a friend in a single address book and start a chat with him or share a photo or see what new photos he posted.

    To whom the concept is interesting, I ask for a cut.

    What I will tell is my idea of ​​the ideal interface of a socially oriented smartphone, i.e. a device designed for people who actively use social networks and are constantly online. Something has already been done, something has been done and forgotten, it is even possible that all this already exists in the active stage, and I missed. Also, I will not touch on the technical part, but only on what is visible on the surface.

    So, what is happening on popular mobile platforms now (I’m sorry, I judge by Android) - dozens of applications for all kinds of social networks and services that live their lives in the environment of the device’s operating system, integrating a bit into it through sharing options (for example, send a photo from the gallery on facebook) and occasionally performing actions (for example, calling to a mobile phone via skype).

    And what I would like to see. And I want to see not separate applications, but plugins to already prepared interfaces for typical tasks, such as exchanging text messages, viewing a feed of friends, events, an address book, and the like, which are present in all social networks, forums, and blogs in one way or another.

    It happened before

    In order not to reinvent the wheel, let us recall which of the projects already had similar functionality. Nokia n900 comes to mind with maemo on board, webOS from the deceased Palm with Synergy technology, and possibly the Linux client of gwibber social networks and any multi-protocol chat client.

    Nokia n900 provides a single interface to the address book, text messages, audio and video calls for such popular means of communication as Skype, Google Talk, Facebook, Jabber, SIP, AIM, MSN, VK, Yahoo, etc. To connect to these communication systems, just go to the phone’s settings and specify your username and password (for some you need to first install the plugin from the maemo official repository - ala google play).

    After that, going into the device’s address book, we will see our friends, for example from Skype and Google Talk, as well as their statuses and avatars. When you click on a contact, the phone will offer to call, chat, send something by email, etc.

    Of course, nobody will be surprised by this, but the most important thing is that for all this the phone will not launch separate applications, you will not see all kinds of dialers and chat rooms interfaces for each of the communication methods, but you will see

    this for text

    , such for audio call

    and such for video call

    Honestly, after such beauty in n900, the installation options for individual applications with their address books and a zoo of user interfaces seem wild, not to mention that applications may not have startup or drop out of the device’s memory, making it impossible to communicate with you.

    WebOS and the main chip is Synergy technology. It’s better to watch a video clip of a presentation once than to read a bunch of text.

    The essence of the system is precisely the combination of information from different sources (mail, calendar, address book) and the ability to communicate with friends without switching between individual applications.

    gwibber is a client of social networks (microblogging) for the GNOME environment (well, Unity in Ubuntu part-time).

    It allows you to see feeds and private messages of friends and acquaintances in one application, in the same way as any multi-protocol messenger (miranda or pidgin) makes it possible to communicate with people sitting through different protocols without installing dozens of different clients on the computer.

    The comments suggest that Windows Phone already has similar features.
    Part of this was done in Windows Phone 7 and later added to the G8 - a single news feed, contact list, profile information in contacts, etc. from facebook, linkedin and twitter. Facebook chat, for example, was integrated into the SMS application into a single thread for contact.

    Like the Blackberry 10 Hub

    The question remains open about adding your sources (social networks, blogs, PIM, etc.) and combining information from them.

    What i want

    But I want all of the above advantages to work at the level of the operating system, which would provide a single unified interface for all common tasks. I think everyone can see that social networks, blogs, forums and instant messaging systems differ from each other only in design, but in fact they are a compilation:
    • Address Book
    • news feeds
    • calendar and to-do list,
    • interest groups
    • personal multimedia data (photo albums, videos, documents),
    • private or group communication (chat, audio and video calls, mail),
    • “I was here”
    • entertainment (music, movies, books ... with games more difficult).

    Therefore, I do not see much point in the current version of holding heaps of programs on the phone for each of these points or a group of points.

    As I can see...

    Main screen

    Palm had an almost perfect main screen. It contained a calendar, a to-do list, new messages, and of course a date and time.

    To this ideal, you just need to add a panel of large buttons with a quick transition to your favorite applications. As well as gestures for moving to the address book and the events feed (for example, left / right).

    And do not forget about quick access to settings and the list of notifications, as is done in Android and other mobile OC.

    The address book

    A regular address book with quick search for contacts, the ability to add contacts to favorites (and then speed dialing / selection), search (including voice) alphabetically and in different contact fields, contact statuses and grouping them into groups (for example, how this is done on google +). The main task of the address book is to enable a quick transition to communication systems with a person, while sorting the list of possible connections taking into account the availability of the subscriber and the frequent ways of communicating with him. For example, if you communicate with Vasya mainly through skype, then it makes no sense to put chat via facebook on the first line, just as it makes no sense to put skype in the first place if the contact is offline.

    Calendar and To Do List

    If you have already watched the video above (about webOS), then you already know the general look and capabilities of the calendar. To the events themselves in the calendar it is worth adding the possibility of quick communication with the participants of the event, as well as the data associated with this event. For example, you have a meeting with classmates planned and people from the address book, photos and video materials (after the event), links to entertainment / contests sites at such events (attention is monetized) are attached to this event. Another example: you have a speech in front of you (teacher, commission, board of directors) and files like a presentation and a speech are attached to this event.


    Here it’s already more difficult, since in a naked form it will be a bunch of everything and everything that you can’t make out anymore, what is interesting and important, and what is not needed reposts or outright spam. So far I see only the separation of all messages by user groups and the union (or ignoring) of similar messages. Each entry in the feed is the main message and (after clicking) the discussion, so you can cram not only micro messages from facebook / twitter / vk, but also full posts from LJ and Habr or forum topics.

    Chats, audio / video calls

    Here it’s already much easier - chats are sorted by the frequency of communication with a person, audio and video calls are an integral part of the address book and chat windows (so that you can call from it). Chat he and Africa chat, the main thing is to provide for the possibility of group communication and features like inserting multimedia data into the body of a chat message (pictures, emoticons, videos).

    post office

    There is a clear favorite here - the gmail web interface, and it should be taken as a basis with the ability to combine messages by topic, filter, folder. And also the ability to transfer data from a letter to a calendar, to-do list or address book.


    All photos, videos, notes / notes, user documents, sorted by groups, dates, frequency (urgency) are stored here. In this case, the source for the gallery can be a folder on a memory card, a folder / document from a cloud storage, a photo album from a social network or photo hosting or your blog entry. I’m thinking about the “send to / on ...” button, it’s not worth writing “sharing”, because It has long been implemented in any modern mobile operating system. It may be worthwhile to separate photos and videos from documents.


    The first and probably the most important jamb is how to digest and combine this mountain of data from various sources.
    Another problem arises from the first, how to give information back to sources. Most likely, it will be necessary to determine which user groups the information is intended for (and whether it is intended for anyone at all) and distribute it to the appropriate sources. For example, if you want to show photos from your vacation to friends who are sitting on LiveJournal and VKontakte, then it makes no sense to upload the same photos to flickr and google +. Another example - you have several calendars in various sources (google calendar, exchange at work and events to which you are invited via facebook), similar to the previous example - you should not synchronize everything with everything so that tasks from the production server do not become a page on facebook.
    Also, the phone must have some kind of personal storage in order to synchronize it with the client on a home computer or another phone, in conditions where cloud sources are not available (the phone has fallen off or offline ... or the user of a social phone is afraid of cloud tracking by the cloud providers whose accounts he uses).

    Here is my vision of a mobile device with a single interface for each of the typical tasks. Of course, some of this is implemented to one degree or another in mobile OS or individual applications, but I have not yet seen a single integrity. I didn’t specifically mention individual applications, it’s more difficult to integrate them into this environment and they will be separate programs through which you can perform some kind of manipulations with photo / video / documents. And the games ... Only save the achievements and achievements in the cloud or make an interface to systems like Steam.
    What will the habranarod say?

    corrections in terms of grammar and punctuation are welcome in PM

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