New trends in Chinese mobile UIs for 2016

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I got the Honor 5x when it first hit the US market and I love it. It’s the cheapest phone with the features it has, but being the first US release it has a LOT of really Chinese elements (some of the ringtones, OMG some of the ringtones… I love it).

I use Chinese chat programs, WeChat but I don’t see Go mentioned maybe Go is more popular in US but it allows themes and skinning of the keyboard, selecting your own fonts, and even designing your own custom themes for SMS and for the whole OS.

You can do them all separately on your own, get matching skins for all as a set, or blend this and that. I love that and think when more people in the US start to see that they will like it.

You can customize everything yourself… the only thing you can’t do easily is draw your own icons. That would require you to actually code, draw, build, etc. But everything else, from the font on the keyboard to the font used for SMS chat, and the skin on the OS can be thematically customized.

The blank red dot notification makes perfect sense to me. It just means there is some update or other alert that has to do with that.

I hate the process of logging in to Wifi, it’s obnoxious, so yeah I like the QR code solution and also just downloading and then dumping. The Honor has room for your own memory card to be added and removed so you can download to your hearts content and then wipe it or if you have multiple cards you can swap them out. So if you want to watch movies on a flight you can have a card loaded with movies or music and just put it in the phone without taking up the memory you use for apps.

Glide is my favorite video app, which I think is the best thing that challenges WeChat out there.

I’ve been trying to learn a little Mandarin for no real reason other than I like it and yeah keyboard compatibility is a major issue. Not only do you have to deal with Mandarin vs Cantonese, you also have to deal with traditional vs simplified and frankly some times apps will not recognize the correct word due to the keyboard being slightly different even though it’s the right word.

The keyboards that have you build the characters are clunky, for some one who doesn’t know the language well enough like me it’s impossible, but I can even imagine most native speakers find it tedious compared to the ability to select from the list of options or use voice to text.

But I love WeChat’s voice chat and Glides video chat (wechat’s video stores on your computer probably because it has to in China but Glide’s doesn’t because this is the US… yay).

Is some one watching? Probably. In both governments.

I don’t see in the article the thing about the t-shirt icon but it usually just means a way to access themes for that app.

T-shirt = Skin, like changing clothes. Makes sense to me.

Having a Chinese phone (like as in phone that is more similar to what is available in China) and a Chinese influenced interface I’m pretty happy about it and think if more of these things come into the US phones people will like it.

I think the same company that made the Honor 5x is contracted to do the Nexus 7. I expect it to be good. If the Honor is their budget phone then that’s pretty encouraging. I love this phone and I could replace it three times and still pay less than an iPhone 6.

People complained about the software but I think those people aren’t seeing it the way Chinese users do, because I think it is assumed you’ll do a lot of customizing. In that way I like it better, just set the phone up the way you like it.


I’ve never considered myself a “phone” fan. I used iPhone for years while hating it just because it was the first smartphone I got since some one gave me their old one and then I was afraid of learning new phones. My last iPhone was the 5 and it fell apart physically without any abuse from me. The glue came apart. It had horrible battery life. I could go on and on. It was a terrible phone. Maybe I just got a lemon but it pushed me over the edge which was good.

I’m never going back now. I had no idea what I was missing out on. I don’t play games on my phone so things like 3d gaming ability don’t matter nor does screen resolution that much.

So I got a budget phone, and was blown away by the features it has that other phones in the same price range do not have. If this and the UI stuff is an indication of what is coming out of China I think I like the direction the Chinese are going with this.

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