We first got wind of the JooJoo tablet back when Michael Arrington of TechCrunch was calling it the Crunchpad. Flashforward to present day, and through a heated legal battle, one Chandra Rathakrishnan of Fusion Garage has taken over leadership of the forthcoming device. When a product delay was announced in February due to capacitive touchscreen issues, Fusion Garage wasted little time to revamp the JooJoo’s user interface. The most significant change can be found in the home screen (see above). Instead of being limited to a solid color background, you can now customize it with a high-resolution image of your choice. Navigation gestures have been updated, too. The pinch-to-go-back gesture has been replaced with ”a vertical swipe that brings down a status bar containing the home button, status indicators, browser navigation controls, and a combination address bar/search field.” Also, there’s two new ways to scroll: “a two-finger scroll that works like a scroll wheel, and a single finger “pan” that works like a mouse arrow.” You can choose from two on-screen keyboards–a standard, large keyboard and a smaller one designed for one hand that is less obstrusive. In previous video demos, Flash video playback was questionable and Fusion Garage was quick to fix that. Now Flash video plays fine, supporting a standard player, a “custom H.264 HD breakout player” and a wide range of codecs. One more change, and it has to do with the hardware shell. Fusion Garage has gone ahead and changed the backplate casing color from black to “champagne” (silver-ish). Check out the gallery below for a few more images of the new UI and casing from Engadget.
The JooJoo device was our dream tablet coming to life back in December. With the introduction of the coveted iPad, however, the spotlight has shifted to Camp Apple. Although the iPad has captured the mindshare of most tablet buyers, the JooJoo still looks like a solid device with an impressive UI and I am looking forward to its release into the wild. With HP cowering behind the secretive Slate, the iPad and JooJoo will be the first to market with sleek and shiny new tablets, vying for consumer’s hearts. The JooJoo is available for preorder today at $500, and Fushion Garage expects them to ship within 8-10 weeks.