I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the Verge has excellent design. The layout, the colors, and font all fall in to place into eye candy for my monitors. I even go so far to read The Verge from my 46 inch Samsung Smart TV just to see what it looks like on a large and bright screen.
Anyways, how awesome would it be if the The Verge had it's own OS? I am a software engineer and love to focus on design, but my Photoshop skills are a bit lacking - It would be awesome if someone came up with mock ups of what they think it would look like. Here are just some of the features that it would have:
- The UI/UX would be clean, fast, and simple - showcasing the awesome color pallet of The Verge
- It would be similar to Microsoft's live tile idea, but would keep the same, transparent look of The Verge's top stories. For example: a Facebook square could be your friend's recently uploaded photo, and there would be a "Verge blue" tint over it with the text saying: John uploaded a photo from <this place> and at the bottom of the square, you could hit like or comment.
- Phone, messaging, and internet would be gesture based. You can choose the apps to do what so they are out of the way. We all love using third party apps such as goSMS on Android, but the icon is ugly and out of place - doing this would allow you to use the apps you want, while keeping the beauty of the OS:
Swipe from left to right to bring up the phone application
Swipe from right to left for messaging
Swipe bottom to up for internet/search
- Notification center, app drawer, and settings would come from swiping from top to bottom. You would land on notifications first - swiping from left to right will show settings, right to left brings you to your apps in order of most used. Notifications would work a little different than stock Android - they would be small verge squares with minimal information on it (the tiles at the home screen would be where you see what the notifications are). You would tap once on the icon to get a preview of the notification and option to reply/respond. Tap twice and you will be taken to the application itself.
- Verge Squares (the tiles from the home screen) can be organized and customized the way you want. They are more like widgets than tiles - they would be interactive - through the help of Verge API which I'll talk about in the software below.
- VergeUI would be completely Android kernal based. No need to wait on developers - the apps you already use will work just fine.
- VergeUI would be an extremely light OS - no bloat, just pure, Verge power.
- Developer friendly - VergeUI would be open for the ROM community to play with - if a developer finds ways to improve the OS, they can submit it to the VergeUI engineering crew for evaluation. If the fix is accepted, they could get reimbursed for their work and will recognized as a "VergeDev."
- The phone/tablet itself would be a very carefully crafted device - lots of curved and tapered edges so that it would feel thin in the hand, but would have the room to fit a decent battery in there.
- As far as specs go, it would be pretty standard to what ever is the norm at the time of launch. One thing is for certain - this UI needs to be beautiful and fast - we need the best GPU for mobile devices, and we need it optimized (partnership with NVIDIA?)
- Obviously it would be difficult to bring the cost of a device like this down - If we could optimize the hardware with the software well enough, we could probably downgrade processor and ram to cut costs. Battery is a must though. This needs to be a phone that Dieter, Chris, Josh, Vlad, and all the other Verge crew would use - This thing needs to be CES proof.
- Camera is also a tricky thing to design. Software counts here as much as hardware does. I am not much of a camera person, so I'll let you guys chime in here better.
So far, those are the ideas I have for the VergeOS - I'd love to see community input and design and see what come up with! Feel free to make mock ups or post ideas - this would make an awesome community project.