Similar to HTC and Samsung, ASUS too gave its interface a major revamp this year. Developed around the concepts of freedom, expression and connection, the new ZenUI has a modernized interface with "flat" icons, vivid color themes, animations, new ringtones and notification sounds, and a cleaner layout for displaying information clearly.
ASUS states that there are more than 1,000 enhancements and new features in ZenUI and they even go so far as to say that it will probably take a year or two to discuss all of them. Therefore, we'll focus on relaying the top five features of the new ZenUI interface in this article.
ASUS dubs this feature as the core of ZenUI as it manages your daily schedules. Instead of viewing and managing information from different apps (e.g. calendar and weather apps), What's Next automatically displays countdowns (to birthdays), reminders for meetings/appointments and weather forecasts.
What's Next is "intelligent" to send out smart reminders when you missed a call or haven't read the emails and text messages from important contacts such as your superiors and family members. It even prompts you to text or give your friends a call when you are going to be late for a meetup.
You can access What's Next through a standalone app, on the notification bar, a widget that can be placed on the home screen and/or lock screen so that information is readily available when you need it. Below is a short video by ASUS on configuring the calendar with What's Next:
Do It Later functions like a personal digital secretary on your phone; it helps you to remember things with a single click when you are busy with the task at hand. For example, you are having a meal and receive a phone call, a button tap will create a reminder to call the person back when you are done. This also works for email and text messages. YouTube videos and webpages can be saved to be viewed or read later.
The tasks or reminders are listed as cards in the Do It List app, which you can easily swipe away once you are done with them. Do It Later also automatically categorizes the tasks into Read Later, Call Later, Reply Later, Edit Later, Check Later or a Pure Task, so you can choose which type to attend to quickly without going through the entire list. Below is a short video by ASUS on using Do It Later:
Sharing content from your ZenFone is an easy process as you can do so via Share Link where no internet is required for peer-to-peer file transfer. You rely on Wi-Fi Direct to transfer multiple types of files (e.g. photos, videos, music, apps and APKs). However it's only limited to ZenFone devices. The main advantage is that it looks clean and neat with ZenUI's design elements. To share content with other Android and iOS users, you'll need to use an app called SHAREIt, which is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Phone manufacturers are increasingly aware that smartphone are being used by both the younger and older generations of consumers as they migrate from feature phones. As a result, there is a need to cater to their needs as first time smartphone users.
Easy Mode comes with large icons, buttons and font sizes for better readability. There are also fewer steps to complete actions for basic functions such as making a phone call and typing a text message. You can also still add or remove shortcuts on the other home screen. To enable Easy Mode, go to Settings > Easy Mode > Toggle ON.
To maximize screen usage on the ZenFone, ASUS implemented a borderless action bar for its own apps (e.g. File Manager, Calendar, Gallery) to provide clear viewing and comfortable interaction. As you can see from the screenshots above, there is no dividing line between the system bar and the app that you are using.