OS2008 – the emperor’s new clothes? :-)

December 18, 2007

(Note to planet maemo which sees just the first chapter: The post contains wallpapers for your enjoyment! :-)) 

So, the new internet tablet OS is finally out of our hands. One of the most apparent changes is the transparency in the theme – the panels are now translucent and show the wallpaper through. This works nicely as you can change the appearance of the theme quite radically by just trying out different kinds of background images. The applets on the home screen also look nicer since they blend smoothly to the background. Or at least we think they look nicer than before :^)

The theme is also visually much cleaner, I tried to achieve a simple, elegant look that would go with the smoother design of the device itself. Hopefully you all like the end result – I am pretty happy with how it worked out. We also tried to improve the finger-usability some more, as with the N810, at least I find it cumbersome to keep the stylus around while I am using the keyboard to type – it’s more natural to just reach the screen with either thumb when needed. Sure, there’s still room for improvement, but I think it is already better than before.

As some of us in the user interface team are enthusiastic photographers, we decided to make a little christmas present and dug into our photo folders, looking for nice stuff to be usable as wallpapers. Hopefully you enjoy them 🙂 The following images are from my photos, others will likely post a few more in the following days.

Frosty Leaves

“Frozen leaves” is was taken near my home a few years ago

Driving in Vermont

“Driving in Vermont” is from a photo trip with Garrett and Jakub during the Boston Gnome Summit a few years ago


“Stage” is from a theatre in Bangkok, Thailand

Lauttasaari Sunset

“Sunset” is from Lauttasaari, Helsinki, this autumn

To use them, click the images to go to their flickr page, select the “all sizes” and download the largest (800×480 pixels) version to your internet tablet. You can change the wallpaper by tapping the menubar in the home screen and selecting “Set background image..”. They all are the correct size, so “centered” mode is the way to go.

– Tuomas

21 Responses to “OS2008 – the emperor’s new clothes? :-)”

  1. Eduard said

    A long way to go

    Hello. First I must say I’m glad OS2008 has made a step into the finger-age.
    I like it very much and I want desperately Internet tablets to succeed.
    That said, I think there are still lots of things to be done by you people, most of them related to ui and understanding that the machine will be used with the finguer wherever it is possible.
    Here you have a little list of bugs. I tried to write them down on the bugzilla but I always had some problem or another.

    Most of these “UI-bugs” are so easy to work arround it is incredible they haven’t been solved till now.

    1) RSS READER LIST OF FEEDS: The rss list of feeds should be spacefull enough so you can use your finguer to choose between feeds. You normally have 3 or 4 feeds there, and the text of the feeds is finger-scrollable, but the list is not, and that doesn’t make sense.
    2) E-MAIL READER LIST OF FOLDERS (Same that 1)
    3) APPLICATIONS MENUES: Same that 1 and 2. The Applications internal menues should be like the Launch menu, with finguer-choosable buttons.

    4) Unrelated: Kinetic scroll should be moved quick to al applications, mostly browser and news reader.

    I think it would be great if some of you forgot your stylus at home and got your nails very well cut for a week.

    Then I think you should take note of everything you cannot do because of not having an stylus/nails.

    Everything that could be solved should be solved.

  2. Eduard said

    Great photos, by the while

  3. > I think it would be great if some of you forgot your
    > stylus at home and got your nails very well cut for a
    > week.

    I’ve avoided the stylus for about a year now. It’s always been my last resort really.

    You make very good points – and I guess a user interface can always be improved no matter how good it is. But I think the important thing is the contrast between OS2008 and 2007 – while not everything is fixed due to various reasons, it’s still a pretty good improvement in finger use in my own opinion.

    Now, the biggest challenge really is how to make the web browser better with finger use. Making everything larger by default is not quite the right direction, we’ll have to come up with something that works fast and intuitively, while knowing that Mozilla is pretty large beast.. Some zooming would be in order, but there’s lots of interesting interaction issues, especially with sites that use lot of AJAX stuff.

  4. Nick Loeve said

    Nice work! The new theme is rockin’

  5. Eduard said

    >Making everything larger by default is not quite the right direction
    Totally right but lots of times it simply is. Making things bigger doesn’t mean making them uglier. The aplications launching menu is now much nicer even for stylus users.
    Email, on the other side, is ugly simply because of the table aproximation. it would be much nicer if you had some “cards” you could choose from with a nice look. Kind of:

    from (hour date)

    This way you have something nice yet you can finger-click it.

    You cannot order by the list this way, but ordering options are not too much used so they can be at the menu.

    I don’t think this is as hard to be done as making email work with pop3 for example.

    Finally, I just feel you made an excellent job, but we are not there yet.

    But I’m Catalan and F.C. Barcelona supporter. And that mens we want to win all competitions and yet play the best football ever, and the more beautiful one, and we want to do it with the best president, and the nicer suporters, and the funnier players and so on.

    Catalans are by any means eternal unsatisfied people.

  6. timsamoff said

    Nice photos, Tuomas! 🙂

  7. > Catalans are by any means eternal unsatisfied people.

    Eduard: 🙂

  8. H-Kachal said

    This is wonderful!! Only if you can download it. I have tried for 1 hour, cannot access this downloads. maemo server trouble!! Must have overheat with download requests!

  9. H-Kachal said

    Sorry I leave above comments on wrong page!! I should leave comments on Maemo OS2008 download pages. Please feel free to delete my above & this comment. So sorry!

  10. Craig Miller said

    I would like to put in my 2 cents for NOT putting finger prints all over my screen. Clearly there are those who don’t mind, but I like to have a screen which has not prints on it. And therefore I _DO_ use my finger nail or stylus _all_ the time.

    Thanks for keeping it great!


  11. […] подборки обоев на рабочий стол таблетки : 1. 2. Tags: os2008, […]

  12. Morten said

    Hi Team,

    I am really impressed with the new UI. It is cool – and maybe trendsetting – the simplified almost cartoonish look with a lot of cool to it. So well done! The system’s ability to integrate it’s state and communication sources is exposed very well too.

    I agree that some things could easily be done to lift it even higher (kinetics being one), but all in all OS2008 is tasteful, cool and efficient. And that is a lot to say, I think.



  13. […] to try some cool wallpapers? Maemo UI team has some for […]

  14. Petri said

    Maybe, but since you can’t get it it’s kind of difficult to tell. Emperor’s new clothes indeed.

  15. kgingeri said

    Thanks Team – have a great holiday season!
    It’s impossible to please everyone but I think your doing great work! Engineering wise, simplest is always best and I think that works for UI’s too.
    Keep up the good work.

  16. […] from these websites: Tim Samoff’s Christmas present, Maemo UI Teams’s Christmas present part 1 and part 2. [via […]

  17. Code177 said

    Great wallpapers! I’d love to see these on the n900wallpapers.com site. If I can get permission to distribute these (and https://maemointeraction.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/os2008-%E2%80%93-more-xmas-presents/), I’ll upload these!


  18. Alejandro said

    Hiya … I stumbled on this oage by mistake. I was looking in Google for PDF software that I had already purchased when I found your site, I must say your website is pretty informative, I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time today to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feed. I’ll back around in a day or two. thanks for a awesome site.

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