MeeGo tablet interface hands-on

At a time when it's make or break for the MeeGo operating system Pocket-lint decided to go hands-on with the MeeGo interface on a tablet from Intel, to see whether it offers up anything new.

The concept behind the UI, is that rather than offer up apps as the main way in which to access content, it will show the content in the form of panels as a first port of call; something called "object orientation".

Completely different from the MeeGo laptop interface we saw at CES, the idea is that rather than starting with the application, launching it and then finding the content; the UI enables you to access the object, whether that is a photo, movie, or song, through said panel, before working out what you want to do with it; whether that's copying, printing or sharing through social networks.

It is basically turning the way we currently use user interfaces on its head and brings the MeeGo interface more in line with operating systems like Windows Phone 7 rather than Android - who would have thought it.

The OS is also designed specifically for multi-tasking (similar to the BlackBerry Playbook from RIM, and the panels should make it easy to switch between tasks with an always accessible feel.

There is an application view which all looks very familiar, and the OS will be entirely open source, meaning any OEM can customise depending on its target needs; and a variety of panels on a variety of different subjects should be available, whether that's gaming or business.

Which is marketing speak for don't expect it to look like this once the manufacturers get to mess around with (that is, if there is anyone still interested apart from Intel).

From what we saw, the UI looked a little sluggish on the WeTab, which is on sale in Germany at the moment, although sporting a completely different MeeGo interface, and it'll be interesting to see whether, in fact, this makes any impact on the market at all. 

The source code should be available for download sometime in April 2011.