LG's bringing the G3's interface and apps to lower-cost devices

lg g3 tips
Credit: Michael Homnick

In a bid to establish a uniform experience across its product line, LG is bringing the refreshingly minimalist interface of the flagship G3 to its mid- and budget-range devices. 

While the company did not give a timeframe, it did announce that "most" of the company's smartphones and tablets launched in the second half of this year would get the UI.

Along with the look and feel, LG will standardize some of its custom applications and features, such as its Touch and Shoot camera, which enables tapping and holding to focus and trigger the shutter.

Devices will also get the Smart Keyboard, which LG says reduces typing errors by 75 percent through tracking and learning user writing behavior. While Android has plenty of keyboard alternatives like SwiftKey and Swype, the LG option would appeal to those who want to stick with the company's design scheme or are uninterested in toying around with different keyboards.

Typically Android custom interfaces are a nuisance, adding unnecessary applications that can't be disabled and confusing design choices. The most notorious of this is Samsung's TouchWiz, which runs atop Android on its Galaxy phones and is a dramatic break from Android's design direction in KitKat.

LG's interface, however, won praise from Florence Ion in her review of the G3. She referenced it as a "a welcome refresh" when compared to the often ugly and bloated landscape of custom Android skins.

The LG interface also maintains some of stock Android’s essential elements, such as the ability to swipe up to launch Google Now or say “OK Google” from the Home screen.

This move may benefit customers who own other LG devices, as it will reduce the learning curve for someone who either upgrades from a mid-range phone to a G3 or for family members who inherit an older device. The drastic fragmentation of interface schemes across Android has meant a high learning curve for those who switch from one device to another, so anything that helps reduce this issue is welcome news.

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