Orange have developed a gestures app for Android - predictably called Orange Gestures - that will give you gesture shortcuts from the homescreen of your Orange Android phone. The company will also be launching its own range of dynamic live wallpapers, and we’ve had our eyes on both.
Starting with Orange Gestures (this isn’t just a mushy Valentine’s Day story) you’ll be able to draw various symbols on any homescreen page to trigger a customisable shortcut.
There are 27 gestures and you get to assign them to an action or app, choosing as many as you want. You then simply have to scribe that symbol on the screen and off you go. We gave it a go and it was easy enough and a nice little addition to your Orange phone.
Why would you do this when you can just drop an icon on the screen? Well, apart from the novelty value of drawing a heart to call your beloved, it means you won’t have to litter pages with icons. You can simply drop shortcuts for your core apps, and scribe the others you use most often, leaving more space for widgets - hurrah!
And no worries, if you don’t want it, you can simply turn it off.
The second innovation on offer is a set of six Orange wallpapers. No, that’s not clementine, terracotta, apricot, peach, amber and satsuma, but a range of dynamic live wallpapers.
We saw one (pictured above) which displays a candle (an orange candle no less) with a burning flame that not only looks fantastic, but flickers appropriately as you swipe the screen from side to side.
Live wallpapers are old news, but this is dynamic, so the candle is actually a battery meter. One glance at your wallpaper and you’ll be able to check your battery status.
They’ve also made that battery candle have more increments than the notification bar icon, so it’s more accurate. Shame the live wallpaper probably contributes to draining the battery, but let’s not rain on Orange’s parade.
Another example we were given was a wallpaper that reflects your signal status. It’s an interesting free addition to your Orange Android phone and it’s nice to see something other than a picture of an inflatable dolphin and the like.
The Orange Gestures app and live wallpapers will be exclusive to “Orange Android Signature smartphones” - essentially any smartphone that Orange dabbles with and gives an Orange homescreen.
We don’t know which handsets they’ll be, but Orange confirmed to us that no existing devices will get the additions, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements and we’ll see which of the bunch get the treatment.
Orange Gestures will not be offered on HTC Android smartphones, we’re guessing because HTC Sense sort of gets in the way. There are no plans, Agent Orange told us, to offer it up as a downloadable app.
(NOTE: The Google Nexus One pictured is a development device only.)