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Vivo unveils OriginOS, a new software skin packed full of custom features

Some OriginOS features. (Source: Weibo)
Some OriginOS features. (Source: Weibo)
Vivo held its Developer Conference today (November 18, 2020). This event was dominated by the introduction of OriginOS, a new UI the OEM has developed in order to replace Funtouch OS on its smartphones. With its adaptive, dynamic widgets, "behavioral" wallpapers and Multi-Turbo 5.0 engine, it may be a vast improvement over its predecessor.

Vivo has launched its new OriginOS at its latest Developer Conference. It has been teasing this new smartphone UI as a virtual universe of features and utilities for its users, and it really does seem to have gone for this approach with the new system.

OriginOS has a very colorful, often 3D-effect design language with a lot of animation that, while impressive, might need a lot of system power to reproduce. Therefore, it is just as well that it is based on the Multi-Turbo 5.0 performance-enhancing technique.

Vivo claims that it can co-opt idle internal storage into doing part of the RAM's job, essentially. The resulting effect apparently mimics that of 11GB in an 8GB phone, or up to 15GB in a 12GB device.

The UI driven by this engine is built around a new kind of homescreen with a "Huarong" grid design. It acts to fit large, colorful widgets (which might represent everything from apps to weather trackers to system controls) onto a given screen regardless of their size. Their lozenge shape and orientation might be familiar to those who have seen newer versions of iOS, admittedly.

Widgets are also in effect in the new "atomic" style of notification shade. They are much smaller than desktop versions, yet might show an appreciable amount of information thanks to their design and (again) animated nature. There is also an "atomic component library" (which might be OriginOS for "app drawer") designed to be equally data-rich while being well-organized and convenient.

The new UI also stands out thanks to its "behavioral wallpapers". They are live backgrounds that show subjects such as flowers moving and opening in high detail and in real time, in a similar vein to the planet themes found in newer versions of MIUI.

Finally, OriginOS also allows for the promised feature of Parallel Worlds: a switch that allows the user to choose between this new UI and a more stock Android one. All in all, this new interface might bring Vivo's on-device experience up to the level of other modern skins such as OxygenOS or Realme UI.

However, the OEM made no mention of exactly what OS (e.g. Android 10 or 11) it is based on, never mind a new phone (such as the rumored X60 series) on which it might be first tried out. Perhaps this information will be forthcoming in the near future.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-11-18 (Update: 2020-11-18)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.