Sleeping Screen awakes, Bubbles gets popped

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Two of the most popular Nokia Beta Labs projects have recently ended, with very differing outcomes. Nokia Sleeping Screen, which enables custom bitmaps to be used as your OLED always-on time display, has graduated and is now in the main Nokia Store on-device. Meanwhile, Nokia Bubbles, which enabled an active lock screen in which you had to chase and drag the bubble for the app or shortcut you wanted onto the unlock icon, has been terminated. Some quotes and links below.

Here's the Sleeping Screen post:

Sleeping Screen is the product of a project at Nokia Research Center. It began as an exploration into low-power technologies for "always-on display" applications. After a while the team decided that the best way to validate the technology and get user feedback is to build a customizable low-power screen saver application for Nokia smartphones equipped with OLED displays. In the end we were able to show that, in addition to being desirable from the user perspective, always-on screen savers are also feasible in terms of power management. 

Towards the end we came to the conclusion that the best way to take Sleeping Screen forward is to distribute it as an add-on application via Nokia Store. So after an eventful six months in Nokia Beta Labs, we're concluding the beta trial. 

You can find Sleeping Screen here in the Nokia Store. It's an impressive free app - remember you enable it in Themes/Screensavers, not from the Applications grid. Here's the demo video to whet your appetite:

And here's the less positive Bubbles post:

This project was a fun innovation exercise alongside regular R&D development that carried surprisingly far. With a unique idea to access key content and functionality quickly and utilizing powerful visual capabilities of Qt we were able to present something totally new in Nokia products.

We are happy about the positive feedback and suggestions we received and acknowledged also good criticism. To demonstrate the visual power of Bubbles, various YouTube videos demonstrating Bubbles received almost a million views and it was used in marketing events to show new ways of accessing key functionality.

We have now decided not to integrate Bubbles to products and are concluding the experimental beta trial here at Nokia Beta Labs.  Although mostly working as defined, Bubbles has its usability, performance and stability challenges which would require further development effort.

The feedback gathered during the past months will be used as input when innovating and developing new alternate ways to use our devices and services.