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Smartphone OS shapes

This is an extremely interesting observation. Many would ignore shapes used on smartphone handsets, simply because those shapes would be tied to app launchers or tiles which all contain either images or information. As one can see in the image above, Clayton Miller, a graphic and interaction designer (creater of 10/GUI), has aligned the different shapes adopted by the smartphone market.

From one perspective, you could assume that the shapes shown above is an illustration of the transformation from a square to a circle. Microsoft use the simple four-sided approach with the Metro UI, Apple keep things aesthetically pleasing with a roundrect, Nokia use a squircle and HP have a full circle to play with. Clayton states that Android doesn't have a unified shape, a possible symptom of fragmentation?

It's worth noting that smaller competitors use same shapes as the big players, Bada from Samsung makes use of squares but can't come close to Microsoft's tile implementation and RIM use roundrects throughout but are no match for Apple's iconic design.

Source: Clayton Miller

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Reader comments

Smartphone OS shapes

8 Comments

is this supposed to be an article ? really ? wp got angry birds - THAT is an event, finally !this is hilarious, there is so very little happening with wp that it needs to bash android on some non-existant fud front to justify a post ? awesome, keep up the pointless work !

The shape principles in the article are an interesting observation and I am more interested in it (and this type of articles), than in the launch of Angry Birds.(Although I must admit I surprisingly quite like Angry Birds on WP7. :-)

Square definitely gives you the most freedom. All of those shapes can be cut out of it without losing any size!

Android's lack of a "shape" isn't so much a symptom of fragmentation as it is a symptom of a complete lack of any visual direction. Android in itself is thoroughly unremarkable because it's the third party additions that make it.