HMD Global has stuck to Google’s Android One program for most of its Nokia smartphones, offering a near-stock version of Android out-of-the-box. However, the finish company may now be looking to introduce its own custom Android UI, a recent job posting on LinkedIn suggests (via XDA).
According to the job posting, HMD Global is looking for a mid-Senior level “User Experience Designer” for its Nokia smartphones. The “UX/UI Designer” will work with the company’s “newly established Services team” to help execute a user-friendly design for its products. They will be responsible for “delivering the best online and mobile user experience.”
Key responsibilities include designing graphic user interface elements, like menus, tabs, and widgets, developing UI mockups and prototypes, creating original graphic designs such as images, sketches, and tables, conducting layout adjustments based on user feedback, and others.
Nokia phones may get their own custom Android UI
While the job description greatly details the new UX/UI Designer’s roles and responsibilities, it is pretty vague about what products they will be working on. It doesn’t explicitly mention that HMD Global is looking to design its own custom Android experience. However, there’s a strong possibility of that.
Nokia made a strong return to the smartphone market under HMD Global in 2017. However, the company has gradually fallen behind the competition recently. While some of the blame goes to poor design choices and incompetent device performance, Nokia smartphones also lack a distinct identity in the software department as most of them are part of the Android One program.
Granted, Android One ensures timely updates and strong software support. But the UI doesn’t quite have that Nokia-ish feeling to it. Even Nokia phones that aren’t part of this program still have a near-stock Android UI. HMD Global might be planning to change that soon.
That said, there’s also a possibility that the company is hiring a UX/UI Designer to make some tweaks to its first-party apps, or perhaps develop more first-party apps. Nokia doesn’t have too many first-party apps either. The Camera app and My Phone app are the only two pre-installed first-party apps on Nokia phones.
Since Android One doesn’t stop OEMs from shipping their own apps, HMD Global might be looking to explore this option. This will surely bring some distinct identity to Nokia phones. We will have to wait and see what the company has in store for the future.
As far as the immediate future is concerned, HMD Global has an event scheduled for this Thursday, April 8th. Expect several new products at the event, including two affordable 5G handsets – the Nokia X10 and the Nokia X20.
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