By now, you probably know that I’m not exactly the biggest fan of custom UI overlays. Sure, I totally understand why they exist, and how various features from these skins pave the way for new and great things to come from Google. But that doesn’t change the fact that three different people walking down the street can have three completely different Android experiences, which ultimately makes a large headache for developers trying to create an application that reaches all of them.
LG has sent us a press release this morning about their new LG Optimus 3 overlay. I’ve tried nearly every single UI overlay out on the market today, and have continually placed LG near the bottom on my preferred list. Google’s stock Android is always first, followed very distantly by HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s Touchwiz, then distantly again by LG’s UI and MotoBLUR (or, whatever the heck they’re calling it now).
With the Optimus 3 overlay, LG promises a skin that is unobtrusive and simple to use. Sure, judging from the few pictures they’ve sent along, it does look like a toned-down version of LG’s Optimus UI, but it still has enough changes to the stock Android experience to leave a sour taste in my mouth. Granted, my annoyances with Optimus UI’s app launcher can easily be fixed with a launcher replacement (which, I’d recommend you do immediately after powering on your LG device), changes to the notification bar and some of the included widgets are much more difficult, if not impossible, to change.
I’ll hold off full judgement on LG’s Optimus UI until I have a chance to get my hands on the Optimus 4X HD to test for myself. One thing I can say for sure, however, I definitely long for the day when there are multiple Nexus devices to choose from on multiple carriers.
Show Press Release
LG’S NEW OPTIMUS UI 3.0 ADDS NEW FEATURES
AND FUNCTIONS WHILE BEING UNOBTRUSIVE AND SIMPLE
New User Interface Makes the LG Smartphone Experience
Faster, Simpler, More Convenient
SEOUL, May 16, 2012 – LG Electronics (LG) is introducing a new User Interface (UI) for its newest Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices, aptly named Optimus UI 3.0. Optimus UI 3.0 brings with it an array of enhanced key features, including Quick Memo™ and unique unlock functions, among other new features and functions aimed at improving LG smartphone experience.
“With smartphone hardware becoming more and more similar, it’s important for manufacturers to differentiate their products from the competition through the user interface,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Both carriers and customers tell us that they want LG phones to look and feel unique and the UI plays a big part in that. LG is really going to push the boundaries of what is possible in user interfaces starting with Optimus UI 3.0.”
Optimus UI 3.0 is designed with convenience and speed in mind. A powerful memo function called Quick Memo™ enables users to jot notes on the screen using a finger. Quick Memo™ in Optimus UI 3.0 allows users to share their thoughts through social networks, text messages and e-mails more conveniently than ever before.
Other new features include:
– the ability to unlock the phone by dragging anywhere on the screen;
– a new Pattern Lock that allows users to preset the most frequently used function, such as the camera, which automatically opens once the phone is unlocked;
– a simpler version of Optimus UI 3.0 for new smartphone users which organizes the main applications so that they are the easiest to access;
– a new Voice Shutter that allows users to capture photos using only voice commands;
– a special camera feature that enables users to pick up the best shot among multiple images including the moment just before the shutter button is depressed;
– an Icon Customizer that provides an additional level of personalization by allowing users to set their own photos as icons and shortcut images;
– the addition of a Download category to the menu for easier organization.
Optimus UI 3.0 will debut on the LG Optimus LTE II launching this week in Korea, followed by LG Optimus 4X HD in June.