1. bcaslis#IM's Avatar
    On the iPhone? In which context? I think all the keyboards have either cancel or done buttons. Is that what you are looking for?

    a bit off topic but why not; is there a way to minimize or hide the keyboard after you've finished typing, besides pressing send or whatever button takes you to the next screen? i only say this in that some items that you might want to access prior to jumping over to the next screen get covered up by the keyboard.

    thoughts? if there is no fix then it's a small gripe of mine.
    07-13-2007 06:15 PM
  2. braj's Avatar
    On the iPhone? In which context? I think all the keyboards have either cancel or done buttons. Is that what you are looking for?
    Say you were trying to respond to a post on TC and you were typing but then wanted to go back and read what someone had said in the middle of typing? I believe currently you have to enter the text (send or whatever) as opposed to maybe a gesture that could push it down for a second while you read what is underneath, then do the gesture again and it snaps back up.

    That is another advantage to a hard-keyboard, it can never obscure anything onscreen. The trade off is obvious though in screen real estate. When is that direct-to-brain link supposed to come out again?
    07-13-2007 06:21 PM
  3. Certs's Avatar
    Is that @ me? I'm a long-time Mac user (since Mac SE/30) and I've never use WM except long enough in a store to know I'd rather stick with POS. Mostly because it is more like Mac OS 6 than anything really.
    I was referring to the today screen. Apple will never be "like Microsoft," and from what I hear the new "photon" OS in the works is going to be totally different as well.

    I like the iphone home screen. Just hate the fact I have to press the button and slide to see it. New email notifications are a joke if the phone isn't on your waist.
    07-13-2007 06:23 PM
  4. bcaslis#IM's Avatar
    So it's a "pause" when you want to stop entering, look at something, and then go back? I don't think so. The only thing I see is if you tap back on the webpage you can get go somewhere or open a new safari window.

    But the text you started to type will still be in the original field (like the reply box). So this kind of does what you want. It's not as obvious as a hide button in the keypad, but I think it will do what you want.

    Say you were trying to respond to a post on TC and you were typing but then wanted to go back and read what someone had said in the middle of typing? I believe currently you have to enter the text (send or whatever) as opposed to maybe a gesture that could push it down for a second while you read what is underneath, then do the gesture again and it snaps back up.

    That is another advantage to a hard-keyboard, it can never obscure anything onscreen. The trade off is obvious though in screen real estate. When is that direct-to-brain link supposed to come out again?
    07-13-2007 06:37 PM
  5. cmaier's Avatar
    Yes. But rehashing that thread - if the phone is in my pocket and vibrates, and i am too busy to take it out to look at it right then, i have no easy way to tell what happened (without taking it out of sleep, etc.)

    Heck, why not put some info on the sleep screen, so all i have to do is push the button? Like:

    You have xxx unread emails on account yyyy
    You have xxx unread emails on account zzzz
    You have xxx unread SMS messages
    You had an appointment zzzzzzz at zz:zz

    etc. If you don't have a lot of missed stuff, it can even give you details (like who sent you the mail, and what the summary line said)

    Instead you have to unlock it, look at little red circles, and, to get some of that info, actually launch applications and poke around.

    Update: i inadvertantly stole patty's idea
    07-13-2007 06:42 PM
  6. braj's Avatar
    So it's a "pause" when you want to stop entering, look at something, and then go back? I don't think so. The only thing I see is if you tap back on the webpage you can get go somewhere or open a new safari window.

    But the text you started to type will still be in the original field (like the reply box). So this kind of does what you want. It's not as obvious as a hide button in the keypad, but I think it will do what you want.
    I thing some sort of quick gesture would be better, it's multitouch so say a gesture with two fingers side by side pulling down from just above the keyboard or something. Pull down, view what's underneath, then let go, keyboard springs back in place with a fancy animation.

    Beside the pinch what other multitouch gestures are implemented in the iPhone? There is a huge world to be explored with this technology, I can't wait until it makes it to the desktop.
    07-13-2007 06:52 PM
  7. Certs's Avatar
    i inadvertantly stole patty's idea
    That's bullsh*t.
    07-13-2007 07:04 PM
  8. oalvarez's Avatar
    once again friends, you can remove the unlock/slide feature if you wish.
    07-14-2007 01:21 AM
  9. braj's Avatar
    once again friends, you can remove the unlock/slide feature if you wish.
    That's not exactly the best alternative. A better one would be for Apple to allow 3rd parties to innovate, creating a myriad of alternatives, and let the most successful idea and implementation win.
    07-14-2007 01:59 AM
  10. oalvarez's Avatar
    it is the best alternative when it's the only one currently available and addresses their actual need or want of not having to use the slide.

    if one doesn't want to have to slide to unlock the phone they can choose to keep it unlocked. simple, no?
    07-14-2007 10:12 AM
  11. Kupe#WP's Avatar
    if one doesn't want to have to slide to unlock the phone they can choose to keep it unlocked. simple, no?
    Responsive? No.
    07-14-2007 11:05 AM
  12. mikec#IM's Avatar
    I agree Apple can be stubborn. The two button mouse is an example, and even the use of control/option key combos in Safari, when there are more intutive ways to go.

    Like anything the design was a battle between engineers and usuability people, with Jobs playing judge, jury, and executioner. (And I don't mean that in a bad way - that is his job).

    The problem is, when you are in the atmosphere of wealth and finger snapping (getting what you want instantly), it inevitably skews your perception. You end up making something that misses the mark.

    The other end of the spectrum is the approach to build tons of functions, like MS - more functional, less elegant.

    It used to be geeks vs. the marketeers.

    Now the "geeks" are factioned into functional vs. sexy. And even the definition of being geeky has changed due to the widespread use of technology.

    The first person with a phone/radio/TV/automobile was the bearer of the cats pajamas, but over time it just became part of life when ubiquity was reached.

    But competition is good, and stubborn or not, Apple is making their contribution.
    07-14-2007 11:34 AM
  13. bcaslis#IM's Avatar
    I'm not sure I agree. I've yet to see an app that was useful that didn't comprise stability on WM5 or Palm OS. I know other may disagree but I don't think so. I loved how people would recommend something (let's take phonealarm for example) and I'd try it and get all sorts of problems. When I'd then ask about I'd get comments like "yeah, mine does that too" or "it's not too bad I only have to restart twice a day".

    The apps that didn't compromise stablity were very few and far between. And now of these tied to how the OS worked. Ever.

    I'd rather Apple take a very conservative approach. I can think of some third party things I'd like but I'd only want them to open it up if they do something to prevent stability problems.

    After all, it's a phone. A phone shouldn't crash. Ever.

    That's not exactly the best alternative. A better one would be for Apple to allow 3rd parties to innovate, creating a myriad of alternatives, and let the most successful idea and implementation win.
    07-14-2007 04:25 PM
  14. bcaslis#IM's Avatar
    I have to disagree with some of your points. Here's an example, the phone app. The Apple one is both more elegent and more functional than Microsoft. Example when you call the locked iPhone, you answer the call and when you finish the call it immediately locks and turns off the phone (since it was locked to being with). For windows mobile, it just acts like the phone was unlocked and sits there until it reaches the sleep timeout or you turn it off.

    Most Microsoft stuff is what I would call semi-functional. It works for a task but it's clear nobody really thinks it out fully. I don't consider this marketing versus engineering. I'm an engineer and I would consider most Apple solutions to be better engineering than competing solutions. Just because they are not open to third parties doesn't mean it's a marketing decision.

    I agree Apple can be stubborn. The two button mouse is an example, and even the use of control/option key combos in Safari, when there are more intutive ways to go.

    Like anything the design was a battle between engineers and usuability people, with Jobs playing judge, jury, and executioner. (And I don't mean that in a bad way - that is his job).

    The problem is, when you are in the atmosphere of wealth and finger snapping (getting what you want instantly), it inevitably skews your perception. You end up making something that misses the mark.

    The other end of the spectrum is the approach to build tons of functions, like MS - more functional, less elegant.

    It used to be geeks vs. the marketeers.

    Now the "geeks" are factioned into functional vs. sexy. And even the definition of being geeky has changed due to the widespread use of technology.

    The first person with a phone/radio/TV/automobile was the bearer of the cats pajamas, but over time it just became part of life when ubiquity was reached.

    But competition is good, and stubborn or not, Apple is making their contribution.
    07-14-2007 04:35 PM
  15. Certs's Avatar
    it is the best alternative when it's the only one currently available and addresses their actual need or want of not having to use the slide.

    if one doesn't want to have to slide to unlock the phone they can choose to keep it unlocked. simple, no?
    If youare talking about the "auto-lock" settings then no, this is not accurate. Well, kinda. I hit the top button to shut my screen off, because there is no other way unless I sit there and wait for it to go off itself. The top button is a LOCK button, as well as an off button. And I'm not waitingt, and I'm not making the screen shut off after 5 seconds (or something low) because it will affect my Safari use.

    Unless you are talking about a different way to do this then I'm not biting yet.
    07-14-2007 06:57 PM
  16. oalvarez's Avatar
    I think you're right and I'm wrong. I assumed that the auto lock setting had to do with the slide to unlock mechanism. After further review it does not have any effect that i can point to.

    What is the purpose of this setting? If i set the function to "never" i still see a lock icon at the top of the screen. So it seems to keep the device on until you decide to turn it off using the button on the top of the device. Then when you turn the device back on (using the on/off button) it leads you back to the slider screen. I would think that if you had it set to never unlock you could power the device back on bypassing the slider.

    Regards
    07-14-2007 07:30 PM
  17. bcaslis#IM's Avatar
    The auto locking setting is if you have the screen on, how long does it take for it to time out and sleep I believe. If you set it to never I think it will not sleep and lock, but pressing the button at the top always sleeps and locks it. I don't think there is any way to sleep it and not lock it.

    I think you're right and I'm wrong. I assumed that the auto lock setting had to do with the slide to unlock mechanism. After further review it does not have any effect that i can point to.

    What is the purpose of this setting? If i set the function to "never" i still see a lock icon at the top of the screen. So it seems to keep the device on until you decide to turn it off using the button on the top of the device. Then when you turn the device back on (using the on/off button) it leads you back to the slider screen. I would think that if you had it set to never unlock you could power the device back on bypassing the slider.

    Regards
    07-15-2007 01:04 PM
  18. mikec#IM's Avatar
    I have to disagree with some of your points. Here's an example, the phone app. The Apple one is both more elegent and more functional than Microsoft. Example when you call the locked iPhone, you answer the call and when you finish the call it immediately locks and turns off the phone (since it was locked to being with). For windows mobile, it just acts like the phone was unlocked and sits there until it reaches the sleep timeout or you turn it off.

    Most Microsoft stuff is what I would call semi-functional. It works for a task but it's clear nobody really thinks it out fully. I don't consider this marketing versus engineering. I'm an engineer and I would consider most Apple solutions to be better engineering than competing solutions. Just because they are not open to third parties doesn't mean it's a marketing decision.
    By functional, I was referring to overall functionality, not elegance, and not just one application.

    To call WM5/6 devices "semi-functional" is a just not true. It if is true, then the iPhone is "sub-functional" at best (which I do not think it is).

    "Nobody thinks it out fully" (in reference to MS). Again, some spin. Does this apply to the iPhone's recessed jack, lack of stereo BT, lack of file system access, lack of note syncing, lacking email functions, non-removabel battery? You could say that about Apple as well.

    I'm not sure what type of engineer you are, but this is absolutely engineering (function) vs marketing (user design/spin).

    Non 3rd party was absolutely done from the marketing side - for control and dollars, as well as to avoid apps that crash, which they perceived (wrongly) would reflect poorly on Apple.
    07-15-2007 02:45 PM
  19. cmaier's Avatar
    The only problem I have with microsoft from an engineering perspective is they tend to have a bolt-on philosophy. It's understandable, given their experience with office and windows that requires perpetual backwards compatibility, but it permeates the microsoft culture. They add features willy-nilly with little thought to the overall architecture, often undermining the architecture in the process. By that I mean both from a software engineering perspective (resulting in instability, crashes, weird behavior, unexpected results, etc.) and from a user interface perspective (requiring many clicks to do things that should be easy to do, hiding commands and options in hard-to-find-places, too many different ways to do the same thing, different ways to do the same thing depending on where you are, etc.)

    They do this all over the place (Vista, WM, even the new office interface is inconsistent across the suite), except, it seems, with XBOX. Maybe they should let the xbox guys take over the WM division.

    Apple, while making some consistency mistakes with the iphone, does tend to be much better about this. As for "semi-functional" stuff on iphone (of which there is much), I'll withhold judgment for a couple of months to see if there is new firmware and what the new firmware brings us.
    07-15-2007 03:07 PM
  20. bcaslis#IM's Avatar
    By semi-functional I mean not following through on a design. If your phone was locked in their first place, why on earth do you want it to be unlocked and awake after answering a call? It's probably in a pocket or case or something and just leaving it on is asking for trouble that's what Microsoft does.

    I do think they thought out the recessed jack. By their own words to not recess it would have forced them to make the iPhone thicker. They didn't want to do that. You can may disagree with that, but that's their decision and was thought through.

    And for the personal crack, I have a B.S.E.E. and have been involved in software design of high-end engineering software tools for 15 years. I know very well the difference between correct and incorrect engineering.

    Apple's decisions show that they think the whole "widget" through from beginning to end. Microsoft is very much a component philosophy where there design each piece pretty much in isolation from the other pieces resulting in total flows that are clunky and inelegant.


    By functional, I was referring to overall functionality, not elegance, and not just one application.

    To call WM5/6 devices "semi-functional" is a just not true. It if is true, then the iPhone is "sub-functional" at best (which I do not think it is).

    "Nobody thinks it out fully" (in reference to MS). Again, some spin. Does this apply to the iPhone's recessed jack, lack of stereo BT, lack of file system access, lack of note syncing, lacking email functions, non-removabel battery? You could say that about Apple as well.

    I'm not sure what type of engineer you are, but this is absolutely engineering (function) vs marketing (user design/spin).

    Non 3rd party was absolutely done from the marketing side - for control and dollars, as well as to avoid apps that crash, which they perceived (wrongly) would reflect poorly on Apple.
    07-15-2007 03:46 PM
  21. AnteL0pe's Avatar
    So it's a "pause" when you want to stop entering, look at something, and then go back? I don't think so. The only thing I see is if you tap back on the webpage you can get go somewhere or open a new safari window.

    But the text you started to type will still be in the original field (like the reply box). So this kind of does what you want. It's not as obvious as a hide button in the keypad, but I think it will do what you want.
    you just hit the "done" button, the keyboard drops away and any text that was entered remains in text field. You can also still move the page around with the keyboard visible.
    07-16-2007 12:27 PM
  22. dgoodisi's Avatar
    The only problem I have with microsoft from an engineering perspective is they tend to have a bolt-on philosophy. It's understandable, given their experience with office and windows that requires perpetual backwards compatibility, but it permeates the microsoft culture.
    Oh the problems of being the number 1 OS, having to support coporate IT by maintaining backwards compatibility. Apple can only wish they had this problem.

    They add features willy-nilly with little thought to the overall architecture, often undermining the architecture in the process. By that I mean both from a software engineering perspective (resulting in instability, crashes, weird behavior, unexpected results, etc.)
    As compared to what? Microsoft's track record with stability is actually quite good. Sure there have been a larger number of complaints but MS also has an exponentially larger install base.

    and from a user interface perspective (requiring many clicks to do things that should be easy to do, hiding commands and options in hard-to-find-places, too many different ways to do the same thing, different ways to do the same thing depending on where you are, etc.)
    Choice is bad? Microsoft comes up with a new way of doing things but leaves the old ways in place. Again this is due to the backwards compatibility requirement.

    Curious how MS is getting dinged for tacking on features isntead of throwing out the old and replacing it with the new. Especially as MS just basically did that with Vista, and is getting heat for doing so.


    Elsewhere in this thread the concept of "consistency" was discussed.

    So MS releases a new version of Windows Mobile. As Windows Mobile is a platform there are numerous applications, both from MS and 3rd party, that run on it. A new version of Windows Mobile comes out with a new interface (hopefully easier to use). What now? Prevent all those older apps from running or provide backwards compatibility? By providing backwards compatibility MS insures that the user can be just as productive with the new version as the old. You can only obtain backwards compatibility at the expense of consistency.

    Not considering that Apple released a feature lacking v1 iPhone merely to make a delivery date (even this site's review called it a beta product); what will apple do with gen 2, 3, 4? What if that wondeful multi-touch needs to be modified slightly to support copy and paste? What happens to consistency then?

    Not to get to far off topic. I suspect that the iPhone does not have copy and paste because it can't be done with the chosen interface. Consider, your in Safari, how could you select text to copy? You can't tap as that triggers zoom/centering. You can't tap and hold as you do this to slide the screen around. You cant use a gesture as these already mean something.
    07-18-2007 08:42 AM
  23. braj's Avatar
    I'm sure you could figure out copy/paste on an iPhone. Multitouch is great and if anything it hasn't been used enough on the iPhone. As people get more familiar with the concept we'll probably see more gestures.

    But the criticism of MS that there are many ways to do something was an advertised feature of Mac OS. Apple used this to say how great the Apple Finder was. And I agree. I would take OS X over Windows any day, except for programs I have to run on Windows I have no love for it. Some things are just excessively hard to deal with. But my wife finds similar issues with OS X, so I don't think either are as good as they could be. I haven't used WM much so I can't say how good/bad it is.
    07-18-2007 11:10 AM
  24. marcol's Avatar
    So MS releases a new version of Windows Mobile. As Windows Mobile is a platform there are numerous applications, both from MS and 3rd party, that run on it. A new version of Windows Mobile comes out with a new interface (hopefully easier to use). What now? Prevent all those older apps from running or provide backwards compatibility? By providing backwards compatibility MS insures that the user can be just as productive with the new version as the old. You can only obtain backwards compatibility at the expense of consistency.
    It's an interesting question. I've no idea what Microsoft will do but would note that in going from S60v2 to S60v3 Nokia broke every single third-party app. During that period they also managed to increase their (already dominant) share of the smartphone market.
    07-18-2007 11:26 AM
  25. cmaier's Avatar
    Oh the problems of being the number 1 OS, having to support coporate IT by maintaining backwards compatibility. Apple can only wish they had this problem.
    Yes, I'm sure apple wishes they did. Doesn't change the fact that having to maintain backwards compatibility leads to compromise. Look at what a mess the x86 architecture is. I was on the AMD team that invented amd-64 (now called x86-64, i guess) and the only reason it doesn't suck is that we were willing to throw away complete compatibility and beg microsoft to pretty please rewrite things to support us.



    As compared to what? Microsoft's track record with stability is actually quite good. Sure there have been a larger number of complaints but MS also has an exponentially larger install base.
    Quite good? Compared to what? Have you ever used solaris? linux? osx? Sure, it might be good given what they have to deal with in terms of backwards compatibility, but it's not good on an absolute scale. I ran a linux desktop for 8 years at amd and the only time i probably had to reboot 10 times. I run windows on 5 machines in my house, and seldom's the week that i don't have to reboot 2 or 3 of them.



    [QUOTE=dgoodisi;1311282]Choice is bad? Microsoft comes up with a new way of doing things but leaves the old ways in place. Again this is due to the backwards compatibility requirement.

    Curious how MS is getting dinged for tacking on features isntead of throwing out the old and replacing it with the new. Especially as MS just basically did that with Vista, and is getting heat for doing so.[\QUOTE]

    Yes, choice is bad from a user interface perspective. Especially when you have 5 choices for setting a font in one program, and five different choices for doing it in another. And especially when this is not aftermarket software, but the OS itself. Consistency is the core of good user interface design. The fact that iphone is inconsistent (sometimes you rotate, sometimes you don't, etc.) drives me nuts.

    There's nothing wrong with allowing multiple ways of doing things if each of them is a natural and efficient choice. But you have to be consistent.


    You seem to think I'm dinging MS for being compatible. I'm not. They did what they had to do. But it results in a system that is worse for it in nearly every way than if they started from scratch. Note that xbox 360 is brand new in every way over xbox, and you run xbox in an emulator. In my opinion, ms should have done that.

    As another example, apple TWICE made a major architectural change (68000->power pc->intel) and has still managed to keep things reasonably tight despite maintaining reasonable backwards compatibility. Now, MS couldn't accept mere "reasonable" compatibility, so the job for them is harder, but, still, you can't argue that the result is great. And if I was the engineer tasked with doing it, I would build a virtual machine into the OS to run all the old "bad" code. If the old code goes down, it can only bring down the virtual machine. I mean, what the hell is with old code on vista causing aero glass to turn off for all other windows? In engineering we call what MS did a "kludge." And they are the masters of it. THey know it, too. What do you think .NET is all about? They want to start from scratch. They are trying. But the market won't necessarily go with them (and, even worse, if the market is willing to start from scratch, why not go to linux or mac?)

    To summarize: i'm not really blaming ms. They did what was expedient, and what was necessary given their market position. But it's stupid to say that because of that we should put up with their engineering tradeoffs rather than switch to something more elegant.

    As for copy/paste, there are many ways it could be done easily with multitouch. For example, to select, circle the text with your finger. Or to select, put down two fingers side by side at the start of the selection region, then move one to the end of the selection region. Or to select, touch and hold the start and end point with two fingers.

    Once you have selected, i think you would agree it's easy to gesture "copy" or "cut."
    07-18-2007 12:25 PM
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