Videos: Slick and Innovative Bubbles UI for your Nokia N8/Symbian^3 phone from Nokia Beta Labs

| February 4, 2011 | 92 Replies

Well this is really cool and a LOT of fun! Cheers to Jim for the heads up. Initially, I thought based on the tweets of this being a “fun thing” that it was a game, but it’s a new way to interact and unlock your screen!

This is an experimental prototype app at Nokia beta labs. It’s 9mb in size (two versions, the latter with additional bubbles).

I’ve just installed it, it is AWESOME. When you press menu button (whilst phone is locked), you get the bubbles interface.

  • The background changes now and again like Windows 7 wallpapers.
  • The clock rotates on every side instantly (so refreshing to see rotate so responsive on Symbian. Only photo viewer does the same). It doesn’t just rotate. It has a little bounce back recoil like how a real object might react after being rotated, swinging back to balance ever so slightly. Slight detail like this makes big differences.
  • Bubbles “fall/slide” to the bottom, depending on how the phone is held
  • Holding on a bubble minimises and fades all the other bubbles and clock.
  • Bubbles can be bounced around for fun. Hold and flick them away. Why? Because you can.
  • Each bubble has an action, unlock, open apps, contacts etc that lets you instantly perform your task straight from the “unlock screen.” Note how the drag lock resembles MeeGo vanilla. The unlock bubble appears sooner than the others, makes sense if you just wanted to unlock.
  • New Messages and missed calls have their own bubbles for you to contact them back (neat)
  • Screensaver bounces back and rotates if not already in portrait.
  • We’ve posted a short demo to youtube (above), but didn’t get to demo other cool bubble actions:
    • Music Player
    • Radio
    • Friends Bubble
    • Speedometer Bubble
    • Battery Bubble
    • Where am I? Bubble
    • Background Bubble

Bubbles is a fun and efficient way to take a shortcut to timely or useful things on your phone.  Bubbles appears when you press the “Apps” key while your device is in sleep mode (instead of the black screen with clock and unlock button).  Simply grab a bubble and drag it to one of the available drop points to initiate the corresponding action.

Currently there are bubbles available for the following actions.  See More Info for details.

Bubbles can also be used to pass the time by “throwing” bubbles and watching them bounce back and forth around the screen.

Bubbles is getting a lot of love on the web.  SlashGear says:

Nokia Bubbles proves Nokia can be innovative

This may be the first time I have seen anything from Nokia and thought it was really cool. Nokia Beta Labs has unveiled a new shortcut system called Bubbles. The idea is that when you wake your phone from sleeping rather than having to unlock and then navigate to what you what you can just drag the bubble with the task you want to perform to a drop point and go directly to it.

I can’t wait for how Nokia’s MeeGo UI is supposed to be Amazing. Something super-slick, innovative, but functional. I think if Symbian can get something just as innovative and fresh looking when the UI is updated, folks will have to change their mind about Symbian unless of course, the only reason they hated it in the first place because it wasn’t spelt Apple or Android.

Ever so slightly related: Bubbles UI on Nokia N900/MeeGo


Category: Applications, MeeGo, Nokia, Nseries, Symbian, Video

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]