1. surur's Avatar



    HTC has unveiled today their response to the Iphone. It is a PocketPC phone with only a D-pad and phone answer and end keys, and a large touch screen, running WM6. Just like the Iphone, it eschews advanced features like 3G or GPS. Its main selling point seems again, similar to the Iphone, a new way to interact with the device.

    "The HTC Touch is the first device to feature TouchFLO, the new underlying touch screen technology developed by HTC. Consumers simply sweep their finger up the display to launch an animated, three-dimensional interface comprising three screens: Contacts, Media and Applications. The interface can be spun by swiping a finger right or left across the display, providing efficient access to the features consumers use most. TouchFLO also enhances finger touch scrolling and browsing of Web pages, documents, messages and contact lists."

    The HTC Touch features an additional UI layer, much like the recent SPB product, that exposes the underlying apps in an easier to use UI. A look at the video shows how well it really works, which is cool.

    It also exposes the underlying problem with the concept - underneath the UI is still the same old same old WM6 UI, designed for styluses, and the transition is pretty jarring.

    The HTC Touch is not going set the world on fire (unlike the Iphone) but it will demonstrate that even when it comes to ease of use Apple is not necessarily 5 years ahead, maybe more like 3.

    Read more about the device and view these videos to see the UI in action.
    http://www.theunwired.net/?itemid=3899

    Surur
    06-05-2007 11:23 AM
  2. Certs's Avatar
    No 3G either? Man, what a disappointment. Apple's first device I can understand, but an established phone manufacturer like HTC should be on the ball with this one...
    06-05-2007 11:37 AM
  3. marcol's Avatar
    Site/page seems to be broken.

    EDIT: OK now.
    06-05-2007 11:49 AM
  4. marcol's Avatar
    Based on the two videos I have to say this really isn't very impressive. Some of the TouchFLO bits look ok but they seem have used it as a licence to remove the OK, Start and softkey buttons so it looks like it will actually be more stylus dependent than most current WM devices. One step forward and two back?
    06-05-2007 12:11 PM
  5. marcol's Avatar
    Engadget speculate that Microsoft's Shift might have something to do with this:

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/05/h...eep-interface/

    If that's the case, and Microsoft are going to thoroughly implement a finger-based UI (giving full functionality), then things could get pretty interesting. Anyone reckon that Photon will be (fully) finger-based?
    06-05-2007 12:24 PM
  6. Malatesta's Avatar
    Engadget speculate that Microsoft's Shift might have something to do with this:

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/05/h...eep-interface/

    If that's the case, and Microsoft are going to thoroughly implement a finger-based UI (giving full functionality), then things could get pretty interesting. Anyone reckon that Photon will be (fully) finger-based?
    god I hope not. I'm tired of all this finger-based stuff. :thumbsdn:

    Though some of the layout/design is nice, I still prefer a nice d-pad and it does seem like they took SPB Mobile Shell one-step further. I did enjoy all the "double taps" in that video though to get it to recognize their finger, lol.
    06-05-2007 12:39 PM
  7. surur's Avatar
    Based on the two videos I have to say this really isn't very impressive. Some of the TouchFLO bits look ok but they seem have used it as a licence to remove the OK, Start and softkey buttons so it looks like it will actually be more stylus dependent than most current WM devices. One step forward and two back?
    Not completely true, as the soft keys can be touched with your finger quite easily, and the screen seems to be different from our usual passive touch screen. I will give you the OK and start keys however, but the UI seems to be designed with the IPhone paradigm, ie. you have to return to the launcher each time to switch to another program.

    Surur
    06-05-2007 12:53 PM
  8. marcol's Avatar
    Ok, so maybe only one-and-a-half steps back
    06-05-2007 01:57 PM
  9. marcol's Avatar
    I wonder if Microsoft are involved? This sort of stuff really should be done at the OS level, if only so it's ubiquitous and the UI consistent. Looking at the videos I pretty much agree with the comment that "It also exposes the underlying problem with the concept - underneath the UI is still the same old same old WM6 UI, designed for styluses, and the transition is pretty jarring."

    Still, even though it doesn't look like a complete success, it's good see someone having a go.
    06-05-2007 02:11 PM
  10. surur's Avatar
    I want to get one for my daughter, but she's not interested She's 10 years old, on T-Mobile, and using a stupid pink Razr (because its pink ) I think the ease of use features (simply swipe your thumb up to get access to music, internet and phone) are pretty compelling, but it obviously also needs to be in pink too

    Surur
    06-05-2007 02:27 PM
  11. surur's Avatar
    Here's a promotional video which shows the UI in action in high res.
    http://x.msmobiles.com/portal/video/htc-touch-1.wmv

    Surur
    06-05-2007 03:25 PM
  12. surur's Avatar
    Apparently swiping downward closes an app, which helps with the absence of an OK key.

    Surur
    06-05-2007 05:33 PM
  13. Certs's Avatar
    It also appeared that any press close to the upper right hand corner is recognized as CLOSE/OK. Which is a good thing. Not impressed with much else though, I must admit...
    06-05-2007 06:13 PM
  14. marcol's Avatar
    Here's a promotional video which shows the UI in action in high res.
    http://x.msmobiles.com/portal/video/htc-touch-1.wmv
    It does look a bit better in that one (I guess it should in a promo). One thing that I'd like to know is if you can launch all apps with TouchFLO. I'm presuming the number is limited but I think I'd like it much more if it at least had a consistent app lauch UI.
    06-05-2007 06:30 PM
  15. marcol's Avatar
    Apparently swiping downward closes an app, which helps with the absence of an OK key.
    So full-screen swipe = close, partial swipe = scroll?
    06-05-2007 06:32 PM
  16. archie's Avatar
    HAHAHAHAHA!

    OK, here we go: I'll pretend to be surur.

    "No Way! Never be successful!"
    "Archie, Archie, Archie. Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!!"

    I mean surur, surur, surur.

    $610 It costs too much!
    Camera only has 2 megapickels!
    The battery is not user-replaceable!
    It is only GPRS/EDGE!
    It doesn't have a keyboard with physical buttons!
    The screen is too small!
    Only has 5 hours of talk time!
    You can't use it with only one hand!
    ETC
    ETC
    ETC...

    Remind you of anything?

    Anyway; aside from a few similarities to the iPhone, the differences are many and can only be seen in the user-experience. Well, that and the specs like:
    the iPhone's better quality screen at twice the resolution
    the iPhone's lower price tag
    the iPhone's ability to use AT&T's "Fine EDGE" for data
    the iPhone's larger & better keyboard with predictive text entry
    the iPhone's thinner body
    the iPhone's larger memory capacity
    the iPhone's superior browser
    etc, etc, etc....
    06-05-2007 06:32 PM
  17. surur's Avatar
    Yes Archie, no-one said this is an IPhone, just HTC's response to the IPhone. Of course it will have numerous advantageous over the IPhone, one of them being that it will be subsidized by the carriers, and probably be free on a contract.

    BTW, unlike the Iphone commercials these vids actually demonstrate one-handed usage.

    As usual you made many mistakes in your post. You are often so wrong, wrong, wrong. Tell me if you want me to correct you point by point.

    Surur
    06-05-2007 06:41 PM
  18. surur's Avatar
    So full-screen swipe = close, partial swipe = scroll?
    Yes. Also notice that it has the "inertia effect" when scrolling which Jobs made such a big deal about on the IPhone.

    Surur
    06-05-2007 06:46 PM
  19. marcol's Avatar
    This is a pretty amazing comment from John Wang at HTC:

    "This is an inflection point in mobile phone history," John Wang, chief marketing officer for HTC, said at an event in London. "In ten years we'll look back at 2007 as the year when the push button-centric experience transitioned to touch-centric."

    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/...cle1889304.ece

    Better stock up now if you love both HTC and buttons...
    06-06-2007 06:08 AM
  20. surur's Avatar
    Ive been listening to some interviews on the device, and it appears they have put in a lot more thought than first appears. Apparently when touched by finger the OK area is enlarged, so even an inaccurate stab with a finger will close an app. It also works differently with a finger than with a stylus, e.g. when you drag a stylus across a list it will multi-select, while if you drag a finger it will scroll the same list. Pretty nifty.

    I also suspect they have been working on this technology for a long time. The old renders for the HTC Trinity showed the same kind of full-screen, no bezel effect, but I think the technology was not ready in time for them to release it last year. Its a pity people say HTC is copying Apple, as its clear that devices like the LG Prada shows that people have been thinking of new touch interfaces for a while.



    Surur
    06-06-2007 07:12 AM
  21. marcol's Avatar
    Thus far I much prefer Apple and LG's efforts as these are thoroughly integrated, bottom-to-top approaches rather than HTC's bolt-on, hybrid solution, but credit to HTC for making the progress they have. Perhaps this will give Microsoft a (bit more of?) a push in this direction (if they're not already involved).
    06-06-2007 07:48 AM
  22. surur's Avatar
    Here's another rather snazzy youtube video of the device in use by one of the recipients of the give-away at launch.

    http://www.msmobilenews.com/videos/v...c-touch-2.html

    It looks very smooth once mastered. I'm definitely getting this device, but not for myself (too underpowered) and with a contract subsidy. This and the SPV E650 shows HTC knows how to make devices targeted at the consumer.

    Surur
    06-06-2007 08:04 AM
  23. CGK#IM's Avatar
    The problem I have is that it's a bolt-on rather than an end-to-end solution and you are still going to be reaching for that stylus once you get to the windows mobile 6 stuff underneath.
    06-06-2007 09:02 AM
  24. Certs's Avatar
    It looks good, but I'm still not sold on it. All the video's I've seen, no one is trying to type anything. Is it the same MS keyboard? I hope not, that thing has STYLUS written all over it
    06-06-2007 11:05 AM
  25. surur's Avatar
    It looks good, but I'm still not sold on it. All the video's I've seen, no one is trying to type anything. Is it the same MS keyboard? I hope not, that thing has STYLUS written all over it
    Yep, you fall all the way back to stylus input. Some third party software might help, e.g. SPB fullscreen keyboard, but thats obviously not ideal.

    This device is not for power users. They will be selling it on the high street in phone stores to normal people who have no idea what 3G is, and only want a cool looking phone. Its for information retrieval and multimedia, not data input.

    I would not think its suitable for any of us, but on a coolness scale I would definitely give it a 7/10. There is a good chance the interface will come to most of HTC's smartphones, even the ones with full keyboards. Its unlikely they will try and fundamentally alter the underlying OS, as this will impact third party software compatibility.

    Surur
    06-06-2007 11:17 AM
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