Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A quick test of AT&T’s HSPA+ network

In Gibsonton, Florida, with all five bars, –57dBm signal, HSPA+ on the HTC Inspire “4G” with HSUPA enabled.


The problems with a touch-only phone

These days, more and more touch-only phones are sold, and while they have some benefits, and many remind me of the Federation PADDs in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but there are a few things about their design that have proven themselves detrimental in the use of the phones. I will list a few of these here, feel free to message me about others
  • The virtual keyboard eats your screen real estate. This is possibly the biggest issue I have with touch-only phones is that the large display is suddenly cut down in size as soon as you need to type in any text. This can be very annoying when trying to enter CAPTCHAs, because the sudden loss of screen space to the touch keyboard can cause the CAPTCHAs to scroll right off screen
  • Touch input is a poor imitation of buttons. There are several points I could make about this one. Ever used an SNES gamepad while playing Mario? You might hold down the run button while just rocking your thumb over ever-so-slightly to jump without letting go of run. On a touch display emulating a gamepad, this procedure is difficult, if not downright impossible. Secondly, you cannot feel the buttons you are pushing. Hell, as soon as you touch the thing, it is “pushed”, no actual pushing required!
  • Skin oils and fingerprints are not Windex. In fact, they are the exact opposite of Windex, making your display unreadable. What’s the fun in tapping your screen if you have to wipe your oils off the screen every so often to keep reading it clearly?

And with these, I leave you with the issues of touch-only phones. Of course, I’ll have someone argue at me for making this list and not simply accepting reality as it is, but, hey, I speak my mind.