With the ever exploding range of Android phones available, it's every network for itself in the bid to grab your signature on that two-year contract. Orange has made its latest move, with the launch of two new features for its Android portfolio. Gestures will add the ability to assign symbols drawn on a phone's touch-screen to particular apps on the phone. There are 27 different symbols available - such a heart, triangle or circle - and they can be drawn on any homescreen on top of whatever shortcuts and widgets on the screen.
The feature is part of a five-homescreen interface that will be preloaded on Orange's Signature range of Android phones, with the exception of its HTC phones, which already come with HTC's custom Sense interface with seven homescreens.
Meanwhile, 'smart' live wallpapers will be made available for all Orange Android devices, including HTC phones. Live wallpapers were a pretty but essentially functionless feature that launched with the 2.1 Froyo version of Android, but Orange's take of it means that each wallpaper actually represents a function of the phone.
For example, its Candles wallpaper shows two flickering candles which melt down according to how much battery life there is left on the phone. It's the first of six wallpapers to be made available this year, but Orange isn't currently telling what the other five will be.
We do know however, that one of them will represent how many new events you have - the more activity on the screen, the more alerts, such as missed calls, texts or Facebook messages.
The most interesting thing about these features is that they'll be made available on low-end as well as higher range smartphones.Apparently both have been optimized to work with a range of hardware specs so that we shouldn't be seeing any performance lag or battery drain.
The live wallpapers and Gestures will launch with Orange Android phones from Q2, but will not be made available for older handsets.