Nokia finally did it. They made an Android device (three in fact). But, they did manage to change Android quite a bit with their custom UI and even took out most (if not all) of Google’s presence in the device and replaced it with either their own software or a Microsoft equivalent. Because of this, I thought it might be interesting to check out Nokia’s version of Android on the Nokia X that I just received. Let’s go through all the things they took out, added, and the overall experience. Here goes.
Nokia’s Android Features
- Simpler Version – No animations really, just pin or password lock and swipe left or right to get past it to the homescreen.
- Glance Screen – There is also a glance screen to see notifications and the time without having to unlock the device (this is a feature Nokia puts in their Lumia devices running Windows Phone as well).
- Double Tap to Wake – You can double tap the screen while the device is in sleep mode to wake it up (but you have to do it pretty hard).
Launcher / Homescreen
- Tiles – Nokia completely removed the normal Android homescreen concept altogether. No more sliding right and left for different homescreens with widgets and shortcuts, instead you have one screen that you can scroll vertically on that has the app shortcuts on there with a tile-look to them reminiscent of Windows Phone that can be made large or small and you can also throw some widgets in there as well.
- Widgets – Long pressing on an icon allows you to move it, but it also brings up a menu at the bottom of the screen. Tapping on the right of this menu opens up the widget selection to place a widget on the homescreen.
- Folders – You can create a folder by tapping on the left of the menu that pops up when long pressing an icon.
- Fastlane – Swiping to the left or right on the homescreen brings you to your recent apps and things you’ve done with them (i.e. sent a tweet). You can also pull down on this to get to your alarm.
- Quick Settings – Nokia has added four quick settings to the top of the notification shade: wifi, bluetooth, data toggle, and a sound toggle.
- Stops Short – The notification shade actually stops just under the last notification instead of going to the bottom of the screen like on normal Android devices.
- Clock – Nokia has created their own basic analog clock widget.
- Contact – You can put a contact down as a widget for quick access to their information.
- Email – Shows a preview of a few of your email messages. Tapping it opens the email app.
- Gallery – Shows pictures from your device. Tapping it brings you to your photo gallery.
- Music – Allows you to control the music on your device.
- Playlist – You can put a particular playlist on your homescreen for quick access to it.
- Power Control – This is from stock Android but thought it important to note that it is also included here.
- Contact, Direct Call, Direct Message – This is from stock Android but thought it important to note that it is also included here.
- Calendar – This is from stock Android but thought it important to note that it is also included here.
Additional Nokia Apps
- FM Radio – Nokia added a simple FM Radio app.
- Here Maps – This is Nokia’s answer to Google Maps. Uses Nokia’s system instead of Google’s.
- Store – Nokia has curated their own favorite Android apps (and ones that don’t utilize much processing power so they run well on the Nokia X’s limited hardware, I’d imagine) and put them in their own store. This avoids the need for them to use Google’s play store.
- Internet – Nokia has added their own internet browser that uses Bing instead of Google as it’s search engine.
Anyone interested in the Nokia X?