Why does Vivo have to remake a mobile phone system?

When smartphones were just emerging, when talking about the application of new technologies, you basically heard the names of those international manufacturers. They are synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship, excellent configuration and excellent user experience, and they have also built a look up barrier.

But in recent years, things have changed a bit. Screen fingerprints, 100-watt charging, high-magnification zoom camera… Domestic smartphone manufacturers have been surging in products and technology, showing the momentum of overtaking in corners.

Vivo is the most typical of these. For example, in 2018, vivo's under-screen fingerprint and lifting camera technology displayed on APEX mobile phones proves the profound accumulation of vivo in the technical field, and the behavior of "showing muscles" at that time has also become an important node in the transformation of vivo's brand.

Changes are still happening quietly. In this year's X50 series of mobile phones, we have seen vivo's attempt to design a two-color cloud-level lens set and a micro-head structure; the 5nm flagship chip Exynos 1080 released by Samsung some time ago also announced that it will be launched by vivo.

Many deeds have proved that today's vivo's exploration of design and emerging technologies has indeed become much more radical than before. However, in the process of searching for uniqueness, how to choose the right direction and how to catch the selling points that most people care about in the market are also questions for many mobile phone manufacturers.

Shi Yujian, senior vice president of vivo, told Ai Faner that at present, vivo has laid out the "four long tracks" of imaging, design, system and performance. Compared with the entry of a single function point such as screen fingerprints, the long track often represents more Strong competitiveness also corresponds to a higher technical threshold and more R&D investment.

Of course, they are also harder to be copied by others.

Today, vivo, which has shown its "muscles" on the product and technology side, has begun its layout on the "third long track".

On November 18th, vivo officially announced a new mobile phone OS that has been polished for a year: OriginOS. This is also the most software-oriented field among the four long tracks of vivo at this stage.

The system is renamed, starting from the new, it is rare in 2020, not to mention that for a brand like vivo that has reached the top 5 in the market, it is undoubtedly a choice with both risks and opportunities.

Why does vivo do this?

Rethinking the mobile phone system

Vivo has been working on mobile OS very early. As early as 2013, vivo's Xplay3S mobile phone was equipped with Funtouch OS, which was also vivo's first customized system based on the underlying Android development.

But 7 years later, when most people evaluate the advantages of vivo phones, they often talk about the appearance, camera and other hardware, and there is not much attention to Funtouch OS.

In addition, many improvements of Funtouch OS in the past were considered based on surface functions, such as using beautiful wallpapers and icons, improving response speed, making interaction fast enough, etc., are very common changes, but very Few systematic content appears.

This is why, users will always think that vivo's mobile phone system is comprehensive, but it is difficult to say that there are any bright features.

Vivo needs to figure out the reason behind this.

Shi Yujian told us that an excellent system experience must satisfy three basic characteristics at the same time: design, smoothness, and convenience. This is also the focus of this OriginOS adjustment direction.

He gave an example of "fluency." In the past, vivo used performance, response speed, and running scores to express smoothness, but later they found that the smoothness recognized by users should be a natural and comfortable feeling, which actually contains a lot of Perceptual factors.

For example, for the action of opening the door, I stretched out my hand to push the door, but suddenly I didn’t want to go in and planned to close it. The general interaction design may have to wait until the door is opened to the end before I can close it again. This feeling is actually not smooth. What users want is to open and close and move at will.

Another strength of OriginOS is design. In order to erase the bloated and complex style of Funtouch OS before and enhance the visual perception of OriginOS, vivo has introduced a group of new talents and established the Origin Studio team, hoping to deepen the understanding and recognition of user demands.

There are also rumors in the industry that the main designer of the new OS team of vivo is from Apple.

The addition of new blood has indeed brought a new perspective to the vivo team. We see that now vivo no longer stays in the popular "good-looking and beautiful" level of design, but knows how to consider from the human nature and intuition level, care about the details of the dynamic effects, not superficial.

OriginOS also has a set of main visuals that are different from Funtouch OS. It includes elements such as wallpapers, icons and interfaces. The style has become more unified and condensed. At the same time, it also takes into account the sense of pleasure on the perceptual level, and even contains a lot of Metaphorical design.

These are breakthroughs in vivo's design thinking. In the end, the experience that OriginOS brings to users has become completely different.

Vivo's new facade

The emergence of OriginOS is not sudden. In fact, since Funtouch OS 10 last year, vivo began its transformation of the system, and the exploration of nature and returning to the original concept at that time can vaguely see the shadow of OriginOS.

In order to complete the system, vivo also invested a lot of resources this time. Shi Yujian said that at present, R&D personnel account for more than 70% of vivo employees, and more than one-fifth of engineers are engaged in software research and development.

Although it is difficult to estimate the specific manpower implemented on OriginOS, it is certain that this time we did put our full effort into the entire underlying framework team to do this.

The huge team strength allows vivo to turn more ideas into reality. For example, this time vivo proposed atomic components and the "Huarong Grid" design, which is equivalent to "overturning the native Android widget design" and redesigning a set of content.

The desktop component is a feature that has existed on the Android system for many years, much earlier than the widgets on iOS 14. But unfortunately, the early Android components are very ugly and have a poor experience, so that many manufacturers choose to use This feature breaks into the cold palace, let alone allows users to take the initiative to discover.

What changes did Origin OS make? First, it standardizes the size of the original components and arranges them in a grid to control the overall vision; second, it takes advantage of the small components to "refine key information" and directly displays flight schedules, express delivery, etc. on the main screen Content, or allow users to switch music on the music component, without having to open the APP.

More importantly, compared to the traditional main screen composed of rounded rectangles, this new design also gives OriginOS a visual look and feel that is different from other Android systems.

Another point of OriginOS's design thinking is reflected in the wallpaper. Before we chose a mobile phone wallpaper, it may only be for good-looking reasons, but OriginOS associates the daily life around us with the wallpaper, making the wallpaper not only decorative, but also functional.

For example, the feature of behavioral wallpaper actually combines the number of steps taken by consumers with the blooming of flowers. As the number of steps increases, the flowers of the wallpaper will gradually bloom from the bud state.

It can be said that this kind of dynamic and visual content will make users more enjoyable and a sense of accomplishment than simply using numbers to record user behavior.

Similarly, the light and shadow changes of sunrise and sunset, or the alternate appearance of sunny days and thunderstorm days, have been incorporated into the wallpaper by OriginOS in the form of dynamic weather and light sources. Even if you stay home, you can still keep in touch with the outside world.

In terms of smoothness, OriginOS also began to pay more attention to the user’s feelings, to provide a more natural and true feedback to ensure that the interaction process is in line with people’s intuition, rather than simply pursuing "fastness" in speed.

Take the "push door" action mentioned by Shi Yujian just now, and analogy to OriginOS is to bring the system closer to our subconscious habits and reactions.

For example, when swiping up the APP enters the multitasking process, the user suddenly does not want to enter the multitasking, but returns to the home screen. At this time, his gestures do not need to stop, but can continue to slide up to exit.

This entire process of gesture change is the "intuitive" operation emphasized by OriginOS. It can allow users to "repent" during the interaction, allowing thinking and operation to proceed simultaneously.

Similarly, when we click on the icon, different pressing forces will bring about different degrees of sinking; when closing the APP, we will see an appropriate rebound effect; and when sliding the interface, there will also be a physical The inertial force can be adjusted in time according to the speed of the finger. These detailed adjustments are all conclusions drawn by vivo with the help of a large number of scientific experiments and user research.

Looking at it as a whole, vivo has made a lot of new attempts on OriginOS this time. If it is summarized and summarized in two words, it is "control" and "freedom" in parallel.

It can be seen from the design of small components that OriginOS abandons the possibility of customizing and placing the native Android desktop, allowing the components to be arranged in an orderly manner, while maintaining restraint on the presentation of component information. This is what OriginOS sets up for the main screen. order.

But in contrast, the window and style switching provided by the "Deformer", as well as the operation gestures and navigation mode customization options provided by the "Interaction Pool" also prove that vivo reserves sufficient freedom for users.

These two styles do not represent opposition. If used properly, a perfect balance can be achieved. As Shi Yujian said, he hopes that the new OS will allow users to feel "different" from other systems, and after using it, they will like vivo phones.

Software can also bring differentiated competitiveness

The homogeneity of mobile phones is a commonplace issue, especially when everyone is a full screen with a hole-digging camera today. In order to highlight differentiation, most mobile phone manufacturers focus on the back cover and camera. section.

But smart phones are not just a stack of hardware. The content on the screen is also an inseparable part of mobile phone products. Apple's creation of iOS has also proved that if a mobile phone has sufficiently good systems and services, it can bring higher recognition and dependence than one or two hardware selling points.

In fact, several major mobile phone manufacturers in the world have begun to pay attention to the development of mobile OS. In addition to Apple’s iOS, Huawei’s EMUI has already gained a lot in multi-device linkage, and Xiaomi’s MIUI has always been in the feature richness. In the forefront, even OPPO and Samsung, who were not very concerned about OS, have made great improvements in ColorOS and OneUI.

For vivo, the new long track of developing software and deep ploughing system has become indispensable, and the establishment of system development experience is also conducive to vivo's further coordination of software and hardware optimization, and ecological Construct.

Shi Yujian said that in the future digital world, more and more smart devices will be connected to each other, and it will inevitably require vivo to build a platform to support it. At present, Origin OS provides a connection capability, which is essentially built between users and developers. bridge.

He took OriginOS's attempts in the office field as an example. Vivo found from research that many consumers do not have heavy demand for Word and Excel document processing on their mobile phones. On the contrary, some simple file management, picture editing and sharing are currently not able to do well in mobile phone systems.

Therefore, this time, OriginOS directly supports the editing of 42 mainstream format files, as well as the function of directly transferring files to and from Windows and Mac computers through web pages. It is also compatible with more than 4000 printer models, enabling one-click quick printing, allowing consumers to enjoy The high frequency just need function becomes simpler and easier to use.

To a certain extent, this is also a manifestation of OriginOS's "design-based" methodology-not to exaggerate functions, but to use proprietary designs to give ordinary users the ability to solve problems.

Vivo's understanding of the mobile phone OS is still being explored, but compared to the past, the current development goals will be clearer. "In fact, for the team to do OriginOS, from the beginning, it was sincere and fearful, and then it became more and more determined after repeated investigations. It is also a process of cognitive improvement." Shi Yujian commented on vivo's gains during this period.

In today's smart phone market, the transformation of the system OS is almost complete. Good-looking icon wallpapers, voice assistants, and various underlying optimization technologies have also become standardized functions. However, how to make your own products more usable than others under the existing openness of Android is still An area worth studying.

"If we have a good system design concept and starting point, it is a good thing in itself to be able to make the entire industry progress together." Shi Yujian said.

For vivo, the future product competition dimension will also become completely different from before after the system is reshaped.

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