It’s no doubt that ASUS put a lot into its home-brewed user interface, ZenUI. Some may be seriously bothered that the UI so cumbersome and invasive to stock Android. But there is value in its existence, and it’s very well possible that the useful features are a redemption for Android purist.
When you pick up a ZenFone, it’s hard to miss all of ASUS’ unique software touches. But something you may miss is the multitude of apps that make the UI even more useful. Therefore, we are going to round up 7 apps in ZenUI that shouldn’t be overlooked.
1. ASUS Mobile Manager
The Mobile Manager is more of a control panel of system settings that ASUS has made accessible within an app interface. If you’re often concerned over the status of your phone, you may want to keep this app handy.
At launch, we’re greeted with meters that show our current battery level and RAM memory usage. Directly below is a button that says “Power & Boost.” I wasn’t sure what this did, but couldn’t help but press it nonetheless. It essentially optimizes the system by doing a quick memory dump of unnecessary ongoings (freeing up more resource).
The bottom half of app supplies shortcuts to some crucial system functions. The Power Saver area in ZenUI is crucial for battery life while the Auto-start Manager is valuable for system efficiency. There’s also quick access to notification control (deny or allow for specific apps) and a network data monitor.
I think that all UI’s should have the ability to theme. Customization is one of Android’s strong points after all. Fortunately, Asus thought about that when developing ZenUI. In the apps drawer, you’ll find a Themes app.
Open her up and you’ll be shown a library of available themes (free and paid). It’s quite expansive, and most folks shouldn’t have trouble finding a compelling look.
Tip: Asus also supports a library for icon pack customization. However, for some reason, there’s no app in the app drawer to get there. One way is to swipe up anywhere on the Home screen (which pulls up the Manage Home menu), and you’ll see a selection of Icon packs.
3. Quick Memo
We almost always have our phones on us, so it becomes valuable to use it for quick notes in our busy lives. ZenUI has a Quick Memo app for just that, with a couple of useful functions. Firstly, you can jot down notes by either finger-writing or typing it.
If it’s a critical note, you can choose to pin so that it’s always on top on the screen, no matter what you’re doing. Lastly, Quick Memo is integrated with Asus’ Do It Later task app (which we’ll talk about shortly).
4. Laser Ruler
The Laser Ruler app is a neat feature that turns the camera into a real-world tool. You’ll be presented with the viewfinder, but rather than a shutter button, you get a ruler measurement button. Aim the focus at a subject, and the system will tell you how far away it is (in centimeters).
Pretty neat, huh? I love when the smartphone can replace an everyday tool. However, there is a distance limitation of 50 centimeters (so the feature isn’t useful for far away subjects), but cool nonetheless.
5. Do It Later
Productivity task apps are aplenty these days. A couple of familiar ones are Evernote and Google Keep. But ASUS thinks it can keep you within the ZenUI ecosystem with Do It Later. App integration is the stapled feature (as discussed with the Quick Memo app above), which provides a quick and efficient way to send tasks over without having to manually enter them.
The app keeps organization by filtering a separation between manually entered tasks and app-related tasks. Add tasks via the floating “+” button or dismiss them by tapping the check mark next to each task.
ZenUI includes an audio output customization tool called AudioWizard. The features aren’t expansive (or complicated), but it can offer the right touch you’re looking to hear (and it works with third-party media apps).
At launch, you’ll be presented with situational audio presets (Movie, Music, Gaming, and Vocal). The big Smart button gives control to the system to detect the type of media and automatically switch the presets for you. Tapping on Advanced Effect takes you to the fine-tuning controls.
You’ll get the typical bass and treble amplification sliders and EQ tuning of the frequency spectrum.
7. PhotoCollage & MiniMovie
PhotoCollage and MiniMovie are the same concept, but for either pictures or videos. As implied, you can enhance the moments you’ve captured by turning it into an aww-inducing collage. Within the PhotoCollage app, you’ll find a bunch of nifty controls to give the collage nice little touches, like the shape, background color/pattern, and overlayed text or emoji.
On the video side of things, MiniMovie lets you turn those moments into fun slideshows. Customization of the presentation ranges from themes, music selection, subtitles, and text.
Are You a Fan of ZenUI?
ASUS put a right balance of functional and customization tools into ZenUI. It may not be the most eye-pleasing UI out there, but it does a solid job delivering enough features to justify its existence. How has your experience with ZenUI been? Did you know and regularly use any of the mentioned apps?