Advanced User Interface Features of Modern Smartphones
With the advent of the Apple iPhone and Android phones, the mobile user interface has witnessed a paradigm shift. Sliding, flip and keypad phones are a thing of the past as most of the modern smartphones work on the basis of touch inputs. Leading cell phone manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and HTC are producing smartphones with large touch-screens that are capable of converting user touches into meaningful actions.
However, the innovation does not stop there as a lot of advanced features are now being offered with the latest products. One of the new concepts that most high-end smartphones provide is the face unlock feature. The device front camera captures the photo of the person trying to unlock the phone and matches it with the pre-configured photo of the original user. This feature uses advanced image processing techniques to determine whether the person in front of the camera is the same as the authorized user.
Apart from using face recognition techniques, some devices have installed features that liberate the user from even providing touch based inputs. The latest device in the Samsung Galaxy S series, S4 provides the "Air gesture" feature, which allows you to control your device byaving in front of it. The device contains a motion-sensing chip that can recognize sudden hand-movements and react to it. For example, if you move your hand above the sensor, the device shows you a snapshot of the current notifications, including the current date and time, new messages and missed calls. Furthermore, gestures can be used to scroll a web page while browsing, make calls, shuffling songs on the music player and many more. While only a few external apps currently support the air gesture, there is a lot of potential in this technology to make touch inputs redundant in the future.
Another area where new smartphones have really advanced is the use of contextual information to provide more relevant services. The user's location can be obtained from the GPS sensor and then used to determine what apps he or she may need at a particular place and time. For example, modern smartphones can detect if you are going out somewhere and provide you with navigation apps that are installed on your phone. Similarly, some advanced dialer apps analyze the calls you make by plotting it against the time of the call, and provide you with a list of contacts that you are most likely to call at a particular point of time.