According to @evleaks, who has a great track record at delivering insider information, Samsung is “exploring” a new user interface for smartphones. We first got a glimpse of the UI a couple of weeks back, and now the leaker is back with some screenshots that show a contextual information system that presumably works like Google Now.
It looks like these cards would live on the homescreen and users would be able to swipe up and down through them. We see some cards that are found on Google Now, such as those for flights, deliveries, events, and sports. However, there are also cards for home automation, fitness, social shares, and messages. Overall, the UI looks like a combination between a Google Now-like system and a notification center.
Assuming that the UI is real, we’ll have to see whether Samsung tapped into Google Now or, more likely, has developed a competing product from scratch.
Looking at the previous leak, the UI pattern seems to be this: users are presented with the most recent card on the lock screen; after they unlock the phone, they are shown a list of cards that they can swipe through; swiping from the right could open the classic homescreen, similar to how you can swipe between BlinkFeed and the homescreen on the HTC One.
We still have no proof that this new UI will ever make it to a real product. However, it makes sense for Samsung to develop a system that would put the smartphone at the heart of a connected platform. The company, which has pledged to focus more on software, is trying to build an ecosystem that is separate from Google’s, with home automation systems, smart appliances, smart TVs, wearables, fitness devices, and more.
Samsung usually introduces major software revisions with its new flagships, and the next one is the Galaxy S5. According to Samsung, the device will be released by April. Stay tuned for more.