Nokia Phones May Exit Android One, Feature Custom Apps in Software Overhaul


Nokia phones may be primed to get an overhaul in the software department, after years of being listed under Google’s stock software Android One programme. The information comes courtesy an XDA Developers report, which cites a LinkedIn job posting by Nokia brand owner HMD Global for a user experience designer. Even though the job description in question doesn’t quite specify a mobile software designer’s role, HMD Global does cite a new ‘services’ division in the company, suggesting that it may be looking to establish a new department to add first-party apps and services to its smartphone software.

The job description states that the company is looking for a designer “to help execute a user-friendly design” for “products”. The end objective of the role would be to deliver the “best online and mobile user experience”, which reportedly includes “designing graphic user interface elements like menus, tabs and widgets, developing UI mockups and prototypes that clearly illustrate how feature function and look like, creating original graphic designs (e.g. images, sketches and tables), identifying and troubleshooting UX problems, (and) conducting layout adjustments based on user feedback.”

The move will be an interesting one, as it would help Nokia introduce signature elements to its software interface for the first time. At the moment, Nokia phones sold by HMD Global are mostly marketed under the Android One experience, which has helped the company provide regular and on-time software updates – often well before more popular smartphone OEMs around the world. While this has helped the company’s phones be no-fuss devices in the long run, with a clean Android interface and no extra bloat to boot, a new addition of first-party apps and services may help the company add an extra fork on the Android usage experience – while keeping the overall usage clean and easy to operate.

This, it is important to note, does not particularly confirm that Nokia is looking to exit the Android One ecosystem. The UX Designer in question may also be working on other related projects under the HMD Global umbrella, and more information on it should come our way in the coming months if the company does make such a drastic change to its phone interface.