Android based smart phones have been around about five years and their functions become more varied each year. Although there are a lot of functions on a single phone, we can’t positively say that they’re all equally valuable consumers. One thing is the fact that consumers need to study the product before using it as each one has its own design and function. Some functions are even considered a waste of resource with no practical use. Most of these problems come from the fact that these functions hamper UX (User eXperience). Can these functions be considered smart as well?
Countless functions demonstrate the fact that too much can be just as bad as too little. With this in mind, LG realized ‘simple is the new smart’ and launched a flagship smart phone, ‘G3’.
I have been using G3 since May 28th, 2014, to really see what this product can offer. One of the biggest things about this phone is that it has intuitive and refined UX, instead of enumerating endless functions or emphasizing unique controlling. Let’s take a look at some of the special functions that G3 has and see how they can be utilized.
Smart Keyboard: The Highlight of Customizing
Most people first consider the design, specs, price, brand, and screen size when buying a smart phone. One of the things people realize later on is how important the arrangement and size of the virtual keyboards on the screen are.
Everyone has different sized fingers so having only one setting for the size of the keyboard is simply wrong. LG G3 made it possible to adjust the size of the keyboard to the user’s preference. Their inverse concept on typing finally brought about the concept of the ‘smart keyboard’ based on UX.
You can get to this function by tapping ‘settings’ – ‘general’ – ‘keyboard’ in that order. ‘keyboard height’ is the menu to choose for keyboard re-sizing: Minimize it if you’d like to enjoy a bigger screen while typing, and pull it all the way up to the half point of the screen if you want to have less typos and make controlling easier. Other than that, it also has an enhanced keyboard, keyboard division, and the single hand mode to help you type easily.
Another UX G3’s smart keyboard has is the ‘bottom key arrangement’ function. This is the function where you can add keys next to the space bar. Once you drag and drop a button, they pop up when you type. I personally put ‘~’ button on the left of the space bar and ‘.’ key on the right. With this function, you don’t have to push the ‘symbol’ button to use them and it also increases your typing speed.
G3 also provides the predictive text input function where it shows up to 3 related words when you start to type which have been collected from your past vocabulary usage. The great part about this is that you only need to swipe your finger towards the preferred word instead of moving your finger all the way to the word to click it. The chosen word will be selected through the swipe and will be put in the sentence you were writing in text messages and so forth. This is not merely the standard predictive typing function. This uses UX where it collects your vocabulary patterns and actively works with it to multiply usability.
Smart Notification: Have a Customized Assistant
The push notification function is like a double-edged sword. It used to be a very useful function in the first few smart phones as it notified the user of important appointments and memos. Nowadays, however, all these push notifications from multiple apps can seriously annoy the user.
The smart notification function on LG G3 is provided in the form of a widget on the initial home screen and it gives you customized information according to your usage habits. For example, it tells you to bring an umbrella when it’s likely to rain, or asks if you’d like to add someone you communicate with often to your contact list.
When you go to the ‘smart notification’ setting, you can choose from whether you want to get the ‘new card notification’ or what type of notifications you’d like to get. The notifications are categorized as ‘people’, ‘locations’, and ‘usage environment’ for you to choose what you want. How about ‘birthdays’ or ‘special weather reports’? I personally didn’t like using the ‘power saving mode suggestion’ because having it pop up every time my battery was low felt too often. It could, however, be helpful to people who need to be notified about these things in their daily lives.
The differences between this service and others are that this one doesn’t need any extra settings and the notifications it provides are not too broad in information. I thought it was giving just the right amount of information. The tone of the notification was also comforting since it was similar to the way a personal assistant would speak, without the usual robotic and formal expressions. Smart phones, which are the biggest symbol of the digital civilization, are now beginning to get an analog sentiment. Although there are some parts I would like to customize, it seems like something one can’t simply judge with positivity too soon.
Smart Cleaning: Take Care of All Your Clutter at Once
Although this is a function used relatively less often compared to the smart keyboard and smart notification, that doesn’t make the smart cleaning function any less useful.
This function takes care of cleaning temporary files, downloaded files, and unused apps for the storage space with just a touch of the screen. It is common that people don’t even know where all the documents and images they’ve downloaded from emails and websites are. It becomes ultimately simple with smart cleaning since you can just go to ‘settings’ and ‘smart cleaning’ to clean out the cache memory instead of looking for them to delete individually. Also, because smart notification and cleaning are linked, you can clean your memory once in a while whenever you get a notification to do so.
Smart Security: Security Solution with an Anti-theft Function
One of the biggest problems about having your phone lost or stolen is illegal factory resets. Once your phone is reset, it can be sold illegally in overseas markets.
LG ‘G3’ has a mobile security solution called McAfee Security which includes anti-theft functions. This solution, also called smart security, enables the user to lock the device down remotely when it is lost or stolen. In this case, factory resets and rooting are impossible, and an additional protection is provided which asks for code validation.
Today, we’ve looked at LG G3’s new UX. After using it for a while, I could really see that they made it based on the users’ point of view instead of the provider’s by refining the necessary functions of device. LG G3’s UX with its ultimate convenience is showing the concept of real ‘smart’.
Written by Dong-Kyu Lee (www.trendsavvy.net)