The Nothing phone (2) is set to launch next month, and there are already some details available about its features. For instance, sources have claimed that it will feature the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. It will also boast a larger battery and have a planned release in the United States. Prior to its official debut, XDA Developers interview Mladen M. Hoyss, Software Creative Director at Nothing. This interview focused on what we are to expect from the second edition of the Nothing phone.
A Brief History of Nothing OS
Nothing has had an interesting journey since its inception. Initially, with Nothing OS 1.0, the company operated with a small team of approximately five individuals. It also worked with a couple of external contractors who worked on developing the operating system. As a result, the OS had similarities to stock Android and offered few unique features. After the release of Phone (1), the company expanded its team to nearly 100 members. As a result of this team expansion, the company focused on enhancing and enriching Nothing OS with version 1.5. Now, the company is embarking on the next phase. This means it is introducing its very own Android system: Nothing OS.
In the conversation with Hoyss about his involvement with Nothing, he initially worked with Blloc on the Zero 18 device. At this point, he basically focused on simplicity. Following that, he contributed to the development of Ratio, a minimalist launcher available on the Google Play Store. Currently, Hoyss serves as the Software Creative Designer at Nothing. He has ambitious plans for incorporating significant changes.
Hoyss shared his story, mentioning his admiration for the original Phone (1) design. He expressed disappointment in the software not meeting his expectations. Consequently, he assembled a team of highly skilled designers from Blloc and joined Nothing to embark on the creation of a fresh visual identity for Nothing OS. There may be some visual similarities and shared vision between the two projects. Hoyss has however emphasized that Nothing OS is a distinct and unique product that aims to be both cutting-edge and tech-focused.
Therefore, when it comes to Nothing OS 2.0, the company aims to approach its appearance with a fresh perspective, essentially starting from scratch. This opportunity, coupled with the company’s momentum, allows them to reimagine the visual aspects. Hoyss introduced the concept of “functional aesthetics.” This draws upon data science principles to effectively present and simplify complex information for easy understanding.
Nothing OS 2.0 Focuses on the International Market
Currently, the concept of going international is highly important in the world of smart devices. It revolves around ensuring that technology supports users, rather than the other way around. Nothing’s focus is to ensure that its operating systems align with users’ intentions. Hoyss explains that Nothing wants users to be productive and have a pleasant experience while using their devices. The aim is to develop an operating system that is distinctly associated with the Nothing ecosystem and seamlessly complements the hardware.
It is important to note that Nothing holds great respect for the foundation of Android. Therefore, the company’s intention is not to go against it. Instead, the team seeks to enhance and simplify the best aspects of Android. It aims to make them more user-friendly and productive. They also aim to build upon the Android framework. Hence, creating a product that is distinctly and unmistakably Nothing.
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During the discussion, Hoyss also discussed phone home screen designs. He said that many Android home pages primarily serve as platforms for advertising. Hoyss highlighted that current home screens often consist of scrolling through company logos, with each app essentially represented by a company logo. He believes that embodying the concept of “home” in an operating system goes beyond simply displaying a page with logos.
Moreover, according to Hoyss, a “home screen” should include elements that are personal to the user. This will engage user interests and help provide information at a glance. He believes that this should serve as the “first layer” of the smartphone experience. Nothing aims for users to engage with their smartphones with a clear purpose. They want everything users need from their phone and operating system to be easily accessible. Hence, minimizing the need for excessive scrolling or deep navigation.
Regarding the integration with Tesla, Hoyss explained that Nothing’s focus is more on a system level. They aim to bring forward the options that smartphones already offer out of the box. Which is enhancing the user experience. While he couldn’t disclose further details, he suggested envisioning Tesla integration as a user-friendly feature.
The Future Ahead for Nothing OS, 5 to 10 Years Later
Hoyss stressed that when it comes to the future of Nothing OS, the focus is on building stable and pleasing products. He also did not provide specific details about Nothing’s timeline or long-term goals. However, all indications show that the company has a clear plan for the future. Unfortunately, Hoyss couldn’t provide detailed information about the rollout of Nothing OS 2.0, except for the fact that there is a plan to release it during the summer. When asked about its compatibility with the Nothing Phone (1), he mentions that Nothing will address this topic “pretty soon, I believe.”
He also spoke about the collaboration with the existing team of developers at Nothing. A team which includes a mix of original OxygenOS developers and Blloc developers. He describes a dynamic office environment where hardware and software teams coexist on the same floor. This helps the company promote daily communication, and interaction. They discuss the idea behind their software and hardware development efforts.
When discussing the future of Nothing phones and their performance, Hoyss explains that Nothing aims to achieve impressive performance. But there needs to be a careful balance. Certain optimizations that enhance performance may inadvertently lead to a subpar user experience. Consequently, developers and designers engage in a continuous discussion. This helps in making specific changes in the operating system to achieve the best outcome that combines performance and user satisfaction. Striking the right balance between performance and user experience is a key consideration for Nothing.
When will Nothing Phone 2 Launch?
Nothing’s next smartphone, slated for release in July alongside Nothing OS 2.0, is just a month away. Although specific details about its appearance remain unknown, it is apparent that Nothing intends to take a bold approach to Android on its smartphones. According to Hoyss, he thinks Android’s significant weakness to be its “visual inconsistency,” although he quickly admits that the sheer size of Google makes it difficult to assign blame.
However, Hoyss clearly displays a deep thought of Android as a platform and shown confidence in the company he works with to design software. Excitement grows as we look forward to seeing the clear approach that Nothing will take with its next smartphone and the potential for significant improvements that it may bring.