Can wake the phone with one hand and one finger – even wearing gloves!
Tap the screen to wake? Then: phone keeps waking up in your pocket!
Ability to answer the incoming call even if your screen is cracked
Phone is still useful if you are blind or disabled
So you don’t have to keep flipping the phone around
when you pull out of your pocket upside down
So you don’t accidentally press it twice
Sometimes your finger taps but misses a touch button, and it requires a second tap attempt. This ambiguity is not possible with hardware, and in software even the slightest delay could potentially perceived as a missed tap, causing the speedy user to tap again.
Within about 40ms is the maximum delay before the brain registers (about 2 clicks during alpha brain state). Probably these decisions are made based on the old industry standard 700ms for a “frozen app” perception upon a virtual button click, but that is an old standard, and this is a high performance mission critical button.
Ability to rapidly switch out of phone app to perform another task during phone-call or full-screen
How do you get to home when in fullscreen mode?
Reduced accidental taps when typing quickly
It is so distracting when typing extremely fast to suddenly be shown the home screen!
Some Android versions you can get a task manager by holding the home button down.
Phantom touch screen blindness. I’ve missed calls due to this on slow phones.
Easy to tell visually if the phone is the right way up when screen is off.
Look at this image, is the phone the right way up? You sure about that?
What if your life depending on it? What if you needed to make an urgent call in a stressful environment? Or if you hand had been chopped off? I can answer my phone with my teeth if I wish.
Snooze / Wake / Dismiss alarm with home
Screen must be active to work. Capacitive touch requires charge. They must use more power!
A place to rest your finger that won’t immediate do something unwanted!
Ask yourself – are any of these downsides user centric? Or Is this list more of interest to manufacturers:
Mechanical breakages and reliability
Screen real estate
Requires more force to activate (this can be a benefit!)
Most people would like a reliable phone, but even for those who shop purely based on ruggedness and reliability, information on the subject is sparse, with no standards to measure reliability of buttons. A standard does exist for waterproofing.
Reason: Because I’m fairly sure Google will never ever *ever* put the home button back now that they’ve put soft home button into the OS core. The ergonomics of this is related to the position of the front facing camera and thus, super dumb IMHO.
The Good Bits
Apart from the software and lack of home button this phone was one of the best phones I’ve ever owned in terms of hardware: beautiful camera and 3D image stitching software, the way it felt in your hand (except lack of home button), stunning cameras with bright LEDs, glorious screen, 768p videos (checkout The Triptonites preview of our first single not all shot on this, some was iPod Touch 4G and/or S3 Mini I forget), 2 GB RAM and of course the main thing I was after – the Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU!!
The Fucked If I Know How I Feel About It Bits
It had the smoothest surface not just of any phone ever but of anything I’ve ever touched ever!! It was totally amazing! Everyone who ever held it was struck by this especially once I started demonstrating it. Like I could put it on my leather couch with a rounded top in such a way – slightly off a perfect flat balance – that I knew it would fall off from sliding due to gravity about 2 minutes later. I should have made a video before it got all smashed up to prove this. In fact I notice this guy already has made a video.
Sounds like I can root the phone blind (with no screen – its cracked): http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/1r2zha/how_i_managed_to_use_my_android_device_with_a
Shout outs to my mate at Google for scoring me a Cardboard – thanks Matt!
I say I don’t know how I feel because I accidentally smashed the entire screen one morning on my concrete floor. Hmmmmm…..
The Bad Bits
No Home Button
Essential for ergonomics
Helps to orient the phone/tablet without vision using tactile feedback
Would have been nice especially since once my volume buttons stopped working I could not answer the phone, nor get to home screen during calls
Can’t wake on flat surface if you only have one finger unlike device with home button
Ok So I’m not mono-fingered but you get the idea!
No “Restart” in power menu like S3 Mini
Needs it the amount of times I rebooted!!
Yes I’ve since rooted the phone you get the idea
I recently learnt I can reboot without root using adb – cool would have been nice to know 3 months ago!
Volume Up/Downs stopped working one day after a software upgrade
I thought this was due to me smashing the phone around
Ever since I’ve had my iPhone (original 1st generation one from USA), I’ve been able to get phone and sms txting working, but never GPRS data. After many fruitless calls to Vodafone helpdesk, and instore people, and even speaking with one technician who reckoned I could get data on it if I just switched to a more expensive plan.
Then I discovered a hack on a website called http://www.unlockit.co.nz/ and discovered that I too can get cellular data on my 1st gen iPhone 2G.
This is how to do it:
Touch Cellular Data Network…
Fill out the following fields:
Username: (i left mine blank!)
Password: (i left mine blank!)
A voila! Internet is working via my on-account plan (Mega).
I now have my own iPhone 1st Gen. Running software version 2.0 I notice the following problems with the iPhone:
Like the Treo (Windows Mobile 6, Treo 750v), the iPhone doesn’t natively support group SMS texting, but the native messaging program of each phone can still compose a message to many people: you just have to keep adding them from contacts each time, which can get boring, and not feasable for really large event lists.
On the Treo, I had to download a 3rd party app called Group SMS by Shailesh Ashar to make group txting easier. Group SMS integrates with the ‘categories’ feature of Outlook contacts allowing it to instantly pickup those. But its pretty buggy and slow and although you can paste, you can’t copy.
Clipboard support: The iPhone lacks copy paste function! Lets say that again: the iPhone doesn’t have a clipboard or method to select text in a text box. This is super stupid. All Smart Phones for the past 5 years have had clipboard – pretty much that main point of having a smart phone in my opinion.
SMS folders: on my Treo 750 and Treo 650 (PalmOS) both had the following: inbox / outbox / sent / draft, whcih seem very logical. You can go to a previously sent message, copy text from it, and paste into a new message. Can’t do this on the iPhone, heck it doesn’t even have an inbox / outbox. In fact, it would appear that it is possible to lose a half-composed txt by mistake somehow, something i will no doubt discover at some stage once i get used to it.
Quick Text: similar to having a clipboard, this function on both the Palm and Windows smartphones allows the instant insertion of any number of pre-defined snippets of text. I have a bunch setup for common things, usually have a nice big one that describes my next gig in detail with the lineup and door prices etc, that i can send very qucikly to anyone who might txt me. This is impossible in the iPhone, but a great feature on both Treos!
Treo can send and receive MMS messages – you know the ones with pics, videos, and sounds? Yep those. iPhone can’t use those.