Hi everyone! This is a place where I share my experiences with the devices I come across and use. Hopefully, you'll find the info here helpful in your search for geeky stuff...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Touch is good...

About time.

Nokia has finally realised that touch IS good. So good that it might even be better than click-click-click-click. So good that it might even be "THE FUTURE" (like Christopher Loyd in Back To The Future).

There are quite a number of videos posted on youtube showing Finnish people speaking Finnish English, which is inherently less cool than the American version, extolling the virtues of "touch". Quite a different stance from before.

A few examples:

Inherently less cool. Hmmm. Can that phrase perhaps be used to describe Nokia?

Why is it that Nokia's implementation of youtube on their N Series phones is at best, "limiting"?

Why is it that Nokia, being the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, couldn't have had the foresight of seeing the value of a touch interface and make a phone to show it before Apple launched their iPhone?

I've read so many people defending non-touch devices in various corners of cyberworld . I often wonder if these people are really from cyber space. Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate click-click-click-clicking to get to the icon, then click-click-click-clicking to get to the sub-menu that you want, then click again to do what you want. But how can that be better than having all the menus laid out and touching, or more like poking, it once and it's done?

Ideally, THE phone should have a tactile input interface and touchscreen at the same time, kinda like the N810 internet tablet (I'll be getting one tomorrow!! YAY!). Apple chose to eliminate that for the sake of vanity. But who can blame them? Just look at the thing.

Of course, the vibrate-slightly-each-time-you-touch feature of future S60 or non S60 devices helps to overcome the non-tactile nature of devices with only a screen. It HELPS, but a hardware keyboard is indeed hard to replace.

Having said that, I for one, would be able to accept the compromise if it makes the device gorgeous. Yes, I bought an iPhone.

There is a doodling software for the iPhone called "Sketch" and is one of the earliest implementations of this new generation concept of how a phone can interact with you. You draw on the screen of the iPhone and if you think it's rubbish and want to erase it, shake the iPhone hard a few times and it will give a short vibrate to tell you that the screen has been erased.

Watching the videos above, listening to Nokia say that they see value in things like flipping the phone upside down to silence it, I am greatly encouraged to look forward.

Can you smell scenes from sci-fi movies?

I was a big fan of the Palm interface. I've had every Treo since before they were even called Treos. Remember the Visorphone, anyone? Yeah it sucked of course. But Palm had the right idea from the start.

Poke and it's done. Intuitive. No need to relearn anything. Minimal lag.

Apple's philosophy is pretty much the same. It just works. Use a Palm Treo and an Apple iPhone side by side, and you will see how similar in concept they are.

Ok, before you start jumping on my case about what you cannot do on an iPhone or Palm Treo, or the deficiencies of their platforms, it's not the point of this article.

My beef is with Nokia taking so long to see this coming and pursuing it. How much resources could they have channeled to the development of the S60 touch earlier on instead of playing it safe and coming up with things like the N81 or N76? Nokia should be leading visionaries (and in some sense, they are with content sharing) in making mobile devices and not seemingly jumping on the bandwagon after known visionaries (Apple) have pushed out a great idea.

I'm not the only one who noticed. Listen to the very first question in the Q&A session in the first video about "copying" the iPhone. The response by the elderly Nokia big wig even admits to perhaps "copying" Apple's interface "with pride".

It's not likely that Apple mobile phones will ever be functionally as capable as Nokia ones. But now, it is actually feasible that Nokia mobile phones will be as nice to use, and maybe even as good looking as Apple ones.

So Nokia, being inherently uncool, should see a difference in terms of perception by consumers, with their next generation of phones. I foresee this revolution will elevate Nokia's coolness level. To maybe even close to Apple's coolness level, something that Nokia needs.

Too bad about the Finnish English accent though...

I've been waiting for more than 10 years for touching to be good. Finally, the time has come...



Anonymous said...

Well, they kinda got it with the 7710, and as they seem to be folding the Series 90 concepts in S60, I'd say this is something to look forward to

Anonymous said...

This site is great, huge attention to detail! but is it possible to maybe create links to each of the items you've reviewed? to make it easier for navigation. yea i'm in no right to tell you what to do, but you know, no harm there..

chickenbackside said...

Hey thanks for the suggestion! Actually, the links are on the right column in the drop down menus. If I left them in full view, it would look to messy. Thanks for your encouragement anyway!

Cos said...

I'm not against the touch thing... it's a normal evolution... but those click click cliks really help me use the phone without watching it, when I'm driving i.e. Don't know if you get my point :)

chickenbackside said...

I definitely know what you mean. I can sms without looking at an alpha numeric keypad, which is something I can't do with an iPhone. That's definitely a plus point of clickity interfaces. I hope someone can come up with a solution where a touchscreen interface can be one-handed and tactile enough to be able to not look at it all the time to use.
I doubt it'll be so soon though...

kode said...

So you prefer American English accent? I'm a Finn and although I can't of course speak for everyone I'd say that usually Finns are taught in the schools that British accent is the more desirable one than the American one. But in reality many Finns don't give a flying fu*k what their English accent is. We are not American or British so why should we imitate them? I've come to understand that some people might even talk more stronger "Finnish English" to show that English is used for communication, not for kissing ass.

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Medical Blog said...

Watching the videos above, listening to Nokia say that they see value in things like flipping the phone upside down to silence it, I am greatly encouraged to look forward.

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