* Nothing OS 2.0 will look to improve productivity and be fun to use at the same time.
* Nothing OS 2.0 will focus on making everything easier to access instead of scrolling or digging deep.
* Nothing OS 2.0 will arrive in July alongside the Nothing Phone 2.
* A Nothing executive has dished out a few details regarding the Nothing Phone 2 software.
* Expect the software to look similar to the executive’s previous work on a minimalistic phone.
* It also sounds like Nothing is taking cues from Google’s at-a-glance and contextual smarts.
When Nothing launched its first smartphone Nothing Phone 1 last year, it also unveiled a new software experience named Nothing OS.
It was based on Android as one would expect and was quite bare bones in terms of software-based functionalities.
The team obviously made it better with future updates but it is now ready to take the experience to the next level.
The company is preparing for the Nothing OS 2.0 release and its Software Creative Director Mladen M. Hoyss has shared a few glimpses of what to expect.
The Nothing phone (2) has been confirmed to be launching next month, and we already know a bit about what to expect. It will have the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 for example, a bigger battery, and a U.S. launch. Ahead of its release, we spoke with Mladen M. Hoyss, Software Creative Director at Nothing, to talk about what to expect from Nothing OS 2.0.
Nothing OS 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and Mladen Hoyss: A brief history
Nothing has had a bit of an interesting history since its inception. With Nothing OS 1.0, the company had a small team of roughly five people and outside contractors building up its operating system, hence the resemblance to stock Android and few unique features.
Following the launch of Phone (1), the company scaled up its team to nearly 100 people, building Nothing OS 1.5 with more features and improvements. Now we’re moving into the next stage of the company’s own Android system: Nothing OS.
Speaking with Hoyss about his introduction to Nothing, he first started with Blloc and the Zero 18, focusing on minimalism.
The company then went on to make Ratio, a launcher also focused on minimalism that’s available on the Google Play Store. Now he works at Nothing as the company’s Software Creative Designer, and there’s a lot of change that he wants to incorporate.
Hoyss’ story, he tells me, started with seeing the original Phone (1) and enjoying the design of it, but that the software “wasn’t what you expect” based on the design of the phone. He then took his team of “very talented designers” from Blloc to Nothing to begin work on creating a new look for Nothing OS. Hoyss tells me that there may be some overlap visually and they’re “kind of on the same page”, but that it’s still an entirely different product that has to be “edgy and techy.”
As a result, when it comes to Nothing OS 2.0, the company wants to “start almost from scratch” in terms of looks, as it has the “opportunity” and “momentum” to do so. The key concept behind Nothing OS 2.0, according to Hoyss, is “functional aesthetics”, which is a data science term that relates to taking a lot of data and trying to visualize it and make it easy to digest.
“Intentional smartphone consumption” – A major focus
Intentionality is a big topic when it comes to computing devices currently, as it refers to making sure technology supports you, rather than you support your technology. It refers to your intent, and that’s something Nothing is looking to propagate in newer versions of its operating system. Hoyss tells me that Nothing “wants the user to be productive, […] to have fun.”
The intent is for it to be immediately recognizable as part of the Nothing ecosystem, fitting the hardware at the same time.
Of course, the base of Android is well respected by Nothing, and it’s not that they want to go against it. Instead, it’s clear from my conversation with Hoyss that the team wants to uplift some of the best parts of Android and make them easier and more productive for end-users.
He tells me they want to take from Android and figure out how to “build on top of that”, making a product that is “undoubtedly Nothing.”
Starting with the home screen on your smartphone, I get the feeling that Hoyss feels that most home pages on Android smartphones essentially serve as advertorial springboards. “You have a page system where you scroll through basically logos of companies” he tells me. “If you take a look at an app, it’s basically the logo of a company. And this is your ‘home screen.’ If you want to embody the word home into an OS then it’s way more than just a page with logos.”
Going further, a “home screen”, in his eyes, should have “what’s personal to you”, and that “your interests, your information” should be available “at a glance.” This should be the “first layer” of your smartphone he continues, which I concur with.
Every time a person makes use of their smartphone, Nothing’s goal is that they do so with a sense of purpose. Everything you want from your phone and your OS should be easier to access “so that you don’t have to scroll that much or dig deep.”
When I asked if this was related in any way to the company’s experimental Tesla implementation, Hoyss told me that Nothing is thinking more on a “system level.” It’s bringing “options that your smartphone already has out of the box” to the foreground. He couldn’t share further details with me, but told me to “imagine it like just more of a functional environment, a more easy-to-use environment, a more at-a-glance environment.”
While some of this sounds similar to a Google Pixel experience in some ways with all of its ambient compute capabilities, he told me that Nothing has its own “spin” on things and that he wouldn’t compare this to “anything that’s out right now.”
“We know where we want to be in five and ten years” – Looking to the future and performance
Looking to the future of Nothing OS, Hoyss makes it clear that there are no “overpromises” and that they want to build “stable, beautiful products.” He gives no further elaboration on what the timeline of Nothing is and where they expect it to be in a number of years, but it’s clear that there’s a game plan.
Sadly, though, Hoyss also can’t give me much information about the rollout of Nothing OS 2.0, aside from it being delivered this summer. I asked if it will come to the Nothing Phone (1), but he said that Nothing will be touching on that topic “pretty soon I believe.”
As for working with the existing team of Nothing developers, a mixture of OG OxygenOS developers and Blloc developers, Hoyss smiles when I ask him how that has been. He tells me that in the office, it’s “hardware and software sitting on one floor, communicating, passing our workstations every day, talking about, at the same time, why we’re developing the software and the hardware.” Pausing, he then tells me “It’s just another level.”
He tells that it does “so much”, but there certainly needs to be a balance. While some things may improve performance, they may result in a worse user experience. Developers and designers go back and forth on implementing certain changes in the operating system to get the best of both worlds.
The Nothing Phone (2) will launch in July
Nothing’s next smartphone will arrive in July, so just a month away, along with Nothing OS 2.0. While we don’t know a lot about how it looks, it seems pretty clear that Nothing is attempting to take a lot more of a bold approach to Android on its smartphones.
Hoyss told me he feels that Android’s biggest weakness is “visual inconsistency”, though quickly noting that you can’t really blame Google for that on account of its sheer size.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that Hoyss has been thinking strongly about Android as a platform, and he seems particularly confident about the company he’s designing software with. We’re excited to see just how differently Nothing does things with its upcoming smartphone, and if it will be as drastic an overhaul as it seems it may be.
Nothing OS 2.0 Changes and New Features
Hoyss spilled beans about what the team is cooking for Nothing OS 2.0 during an exclusive conversation with XDA Developers. The first thing to note is that Nothing’s software team now has about 100 members as compared to just five and a few third-party contractors when they shipped Nothing OS 1.0.
This is the reason team was able to release more features and better improvements when it pushed the Nothing OS 1.5 update based on Android 13.
The company now wants to “start almost from scratch” for Nothing OS 2.0. Hoyss says they primarily want to focus on “functional aesthetics”. This is an approach where they take data, visualize it, and make it easier to digest instead of just throwing it up at you.
Personalization is another crucial thing behind Nothing OS 2.0 development.
Hoyss describes current phone home screens as “a page system where you scroll through basically logos of companies”. He wants to change this and make home screens something beyond a collection of app icons. This is where the personalization aspect comes into the picture.
He says when you look at the home screen, you should be looking at things that are personal to you, and information related to your interests should be available “at a glance”. You should be able to access what you are looking for easily instead of scrolling or digging deep.
If these wordings sound familiar to you then it’s because Google has said similar things in the past while detailing the Pixel software experience. It even has an At a Glance widget that shows relevant and contextual information right on the home screen.
It seems like Hoyss knows these comparisons will be made which is why he clarified that Nothing is adding its own spin on things and he would not compare it with anything that already exists. He adds Nothing OS 2.0 will bring options that the smartphone already has to the foreground.
He did not share any visual representation of things or offered any specific details but said, “Imagine it like just more of a functional environment, a more easy-to-use environment, a more at-a-glance environment.”
Nothing OS 2.0 Release Date
Nothing OS 2.0 will release in July alongside Nothing Phone (2). We will have to wait until then to see the exact implementation of everything that Hoyss has talked about so far. As for the smartphone itself, it is set to come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor which will put it in the flagship category. The phone is confirmed to be made in India and will also cater to the demands of the Indian market.
NOTHING PHONE 2 KEY SPECIFICATIONS
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1|
|Rear Camera||50 MP + 50 MP + 50 MP|
|Front Camera||32 MP|
|Display||6.67 inches (16.94 cm)|
|Launch Date||July 19, 2023 (Unofficial)|
|Operating System||Android v13|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1|
|CPU||Octa core (3.2 GHz, Single core, Cortex X2 + 250 MHz, Tri core, Cortex A710 + 2 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A510)|
|Screen Size||6.67 inches (16.94 cm)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels|
|Pixel Density||395 ppi|
|Bezel-less display||Yes with punch-hole display|
|Touch Screen||Yes, Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch|
|Refresh Rate||120 Hz|
|Resolution||50 MP, Primary Camera
|Flash||Yes, LED Flash|
|Image Resolution||8150 x 6150 Pixels|
|Settings||Exposure compensation, ISO control|
|Shooting Modes||Continuous Shooting
High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom
Touch to focus
|Resolution||32 MP, Primary Camera|
|Quick Charging||Yes, Fast, 66W|
|Internal Memory||128 GB|
Network & Connectivity
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano|
|Network Support||5G Not Supported in India, 4G Supported in India, 3G, 2G|
TD-LTE 2300(band 40)
FD-LTE 1800(band 3)
UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz
GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz
TD-LTE 2300(band 40)
FD-LTE 1800(band 3)
UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz
GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz
|Wi-Fi||Yes, Wi-Fi 4 (802.11 b/g/n)|
|Wi-Fi Features||Mobile Hotspot|
|GPS||Yes with A-GPS|
|USB Connectivity||Mass storage device, USB charging|
|Audio Jack||USB Type-C|
|Fingerprint Sensor Position||On-screen|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope|
1) The Nothing Phone 2 could offer Pixel-like software. Details?
Ans) The Nothing Phone 1 was a well-rounded debut phone for the startup company, but one of our biggest complaints was the barebones software. The brand has since beefed up its software division, but what should we expect as a result? Well, the company may have just given us some answers.
Nothing software creative director Mladen M. Hoyss elaborated on the Nothing Phone 2 skin in an interview with XDA-Developers. Hoyss and some current Nothing colleagues previously worked on the Blloc Zero 18 minimalistic Android phone and Ratio launcher, and he notes that the Nothing Phone 2 skin is “kind of on the same page” as these offerings. However, he adds that the company wants to “start almost from scratch” in terms of the Nothing OS 2.0 looks.
It also seems like the Nothing Phone 2 skin could see notable improvements to the home screen. Hoyss argues that today’s home screens are pages featuring “basically logos of companies,” referring to the app icons.
Nothing OS 2.0: Inspired by the Pixel series?
The executive instead suggests that a home screen should have “what’s personal to you” and that your info and interests should be accessible “at a glance.”
Hoyss adds that the company’s approach is to focus on the “options that your smartphone already has out of the box” and bring them to the fore. The executive didn’t mention specifics but hinted that the Nothing Phone 2 software would be more “easy-to-use” and more “at-a-glance.”
The “at a glance” mentions bring to mind the Google Pixel line, which prominently features an “at-a-glance” widget on the home screen. This widget, which is also available for other Android phones, shows important contextual information throughout the day, such as the weather and upcoming meetings/events. However, the Pixel line also gets a few extra at-a-glance categories related to the Nest doorbell, package deliveries, smart home, and the timer/stopwatch.
In saying so, the executive told XDA-Developers that Nothing would offer its own spin on things and that he wouldn’t compare this functionality to other existing products. We still wouldn’t mind if Nothing was inspired by Google as Pixel features like the at-a-glance widget and Now Playing functionality are great examples of a proactive approach to smartphone software.
2) Nothing OS 2.0 is coming this summer! Things to expect from the ‘stable, beautiful products’ offering?
Ans) The Nothing Phone (2) is confirmed to launch next month, and the company already revealed what’s to come. For example, it will have Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a 4,700mAh bigger battery, a 6.7-inch bigger display, and the US launch. Meanwhile, Mladen M. Hoyss, Software Creative Director at Nothing has confirmed that the Nothing OS 2.0 is coming this summer!
In an interview with XDA Developers, Hoyes said that Nothing OS may have some overlap visually and that they are “on the same page”, but it is still a completely different product that is “edgy and technical”.
Talking about Nothing OS 2.0, the consumer tech giant wants to “start almost from scratch” in terms of looks, as it has the “opportunity” and “momentum” to do so. According to Software Creative Director, the main concept behind Nothing OS 2.0 is “functional aesthetics”. Functional aesthetics is a data science term that seeks to take lots of data and make it visual and easy to digest.
In addition, Hoyes told XDA that Nothing “wants to make the user productive. Beyond that, the intention is to make the hardware fit as well as make it immediately recognizable as part of the Nothing ecosystem.“
Nothing respects the premise of Android, so the company’s developer team wants to elevate some of the best parts of Android and make them easier and more productive for end-users.
Looking at the upcoming Nothing OS, the Software creative director makes it clear that there are no “tremendous promises” and that they want to make a “stable, beautiful product.” Sadly, though, Hoyss can’t provide more details about the rollout of Nothing OS 2.0, except that it’s being distributed over the summer.
3) Nothing OS 2.0 with major changes to launch with Phone (2).Details?
Ans) The highly anticipated Nothing Phone (2) is set to launch next month, and recent renders reveal that it come with a new curved design. In a conversation with Mladen M. Hoyss, Software Creative Director at Nothing, XDA developers gained insights into what to expect from the upcoming Nothing OS 2.0.
The Evolution of Nothing OS
Nothing’s journey with operating systems has been interesting. Initially, with Nothing OS 1.0, a small team and external contractors developed an OS that closely resembled stock Android with a few unique features.
After the release of Phone (1), the team grew to nearly 100 people, resulting in the development of Nothing OS 1.5 with enhanced features and improvements. Now, Hoyss reveals that Nothing is entering a new phase with their own Android-based system called “Nothing OS.”
Intentionality and Productivity
Nothing aims to incorporate intentionality into their computing devices and operating system. They want users to feel productive and have fun while using their devices. The goal is to establish a recognizable Nothing ecosystem that harmonizes with the hardware, leveraging the best aspects of Android and making them more accessible and efficient for users.
Reimagining the Home Screen
Hoyss criticizes the current Android home screen, which he sees as a collection of company logos. He envisions a home screen that reflects personal interests and provides relevant information at a glance. This first layer of the smartphone should enable purposeful interaction and easy access to everything users need, reducing the need for excessive scrolling and digging.
A Unique Functional Environment
Nothing plans to bring out-of-the-box options available on smartphones to the forefront, creating a functional and user-friendly environment. While some aspects may resemble features found in Google Pixel devices, Hoyss emphasizes that Nothing has its own unique approach that sets it apart from existing offerings.
Nothing is committed to building stable and aesthetically pleasing products. Although specific details regarding the future roadmap and timeline remain undisclosed, it is clear that Nothing has a solid game plan.
After the Nothing OS 2.0 this summer, the company will reveal further updates on its compatibility for the original Nothing Phone (1).
The Synergy of Hardware and Software
The collaboration between the original OxygenOS developers and Blloc developers at Nothing has created a remarkable synergy. With hardware and software teams working side by side, sharing insights, and striving for a unified vision, the level of coordination is unparalleled.
While Nothing aims to deliver exceptional performance, they also prioritize providing an optimal user experience. Developers and designers carefully consider the trade-offs between performance improvements and user satisfaction when implementing changes in the operating system.
Nothing OS 2.0’s core concept is “functional aesthetics.” This term, rooted in data science, involves transforming large amounts of data into visually digestible and easily comprehensible representations. With the opportunity and momentum to start afresh, Nothing plans to create a visually appealing and data-rich user experience.
The Nothing Phone (2) will launch in July with Nothing OS 2.0. It boasts 3x more recycled or bio-based parts compared to its predecessor. Additionally, the company has revealed that the Phone (2) will be manufactured in India to meet the needs of the Indian market.