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June 17, 2007

'10 serious problems with touchscreens that you should know before 29th June'


From redferret, always insightful, it appeared last Sunday, June 10, 2007, and follows.

    10 serious problems with touchscreens that you should know before 29th June

    So the Apple iPhone is coming on 29th June, eh? Exciting. But just in case the whole anticipation thing is becoming a bit too much for you to bear, here’s a small list of things to ponder while you’re waiting.

    1. Sunshine is not your friend — Don’t bother trying to dial from that sunny beach. It’ll be a wash out. Of course you can always turn the screen brightness up full and watch your battery life plummet.

    2. Grease is your enemy — Get yourself a good cleaning cloth immediately because you’ll need it. How do the the words ‘smear & smudge’ sound? I recommend Calotherm (www.calotherm.co.uk/branded/index.htm).

    3. Fat fingers fumble — Get used to mis-hitting keys if you’ve got stubby fingers. It’s fair to say that touchscreens don’t like chubby people.

    4. Pockets get picky — From now on your pocket holds one device only. Forget about throwing your keys, coins and assorted knick-knacks in with your new touchscreen gizmo, because that’s a recipe for disaster. Scratch, crack or worse.

    5. Resolution, what resolution? — Prepare yourself for lots of repeated key presses. Stylii or fingertips will both need lots of work to select the thing you want first time. Patience is a virtue eh?

    6. Forget about one hand SMS texting — Your new screen needs two handed love for any form of complex text input, stylus or no. Live with it.

    7. Screen protectors have a price — Remember that glare washout and grease smear? Add on a screen protector sheet and watch the problems triple in intensity. Safety costs, people.

    8. Trapped dirt hurts — Bad luck if you get dirt or dust trapped underneath the screen surround. You’ll recognise the symptoms of ‘touchscreen trauma’ when it starts selecting items for you by itself.

    9. It’s complex baby — Touchscreens are very complex items. Unlike keypads there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. Deteriorating response, unruly calibration, lock outs. Be prepared for some interesting and annoying problems.

    10. The eyes have it — Touchscreens give no tactile feedback, so you’ll have to look at the screen constantly to operate your device. No fast SMS texting on the move, no quick call from a single press of the green button, no dial by touch operations at all. Enjoy.

    • Bonus point — Speedy it ain’t. All that eye candy comes with a speed penalty, folks. Clicking through a keypad sequence is always going to be at least twice as fast as via a touchscreen interface. Learn to slow down and smell the icons, why doncha?

June 17, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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1/ no phone screen would really work in these conditions, you've got a screen, you're screwed...
2/ What do you think a regular PDA would be like if you're as greasy as a pig? Self cleaning??
3/ Get on a diet!!
4/ Hmmm damn, that's a good one... NOT!! Get a protective case, you know, like the one you have on your PDA
5/ "lots of work to select the thing you want" - I am dumbfounded...
6/ Oh and you know this for a fact because you already tried it
7/ Three words : DURABLE OPTICAL GLASS. Because innovation doesn't stop in the phone industry
8/ How many holes do see on an iPhone?? Stay out of the sand!!
9/ "It's complex baby"... see #5
10/ Hear that beep?? It's your feedback but if you're deaf and blind, though luck indeed!

You are an idiot... and just in case you don't publish my answer on this Blog, I invite you on mine > iphone.digitalfreak.net

Posted by: Xof | Jun 18, 2007 5:17:57 PM

How many things are wrong with this? Not all screens suffer from external light (yeah, my phone does...it was free). Fat fingers? I have HUGE fingers...I've seen someone use this with larger fingers and the software seems to understand proximity touches vs. full -- and it flips up the key that you are over in larger mode so that its easier to hit. Pockets? Mine already has an external screen...it goes in a pocket by itself. Get in 2007 already. No SMS in this sucker from what I heard...its all email. Which is fine by me -- I never used it anyways. Looking at what you are doing? Oh noes!

I don't see anything in here that has been validated by any actual use. As soon as I can convince the boss to buy me one, I'll refute this again. Hopefully!

Posted by: clifyt | Jun 17, 2007 11:34:54 PM

As kids my brother and I were probably the only children running around the neighborhood who could send and receive Morse code and semaphore. Having been in the Signal Corps during WWII, my father decided to teach us these amazing (and amusing) but antiquated communications skills on our occasional long vacation car trips. And I must say, I haven't really had that many opportunities in my life to whip out my wig-wag flags and deliver an emergency message. In fact, I haven't had any. Shame.

Nah, I wasn't leading up to any kind of point. Just waxing nostalgic. However, if it was up to me, I would take every one of these frustrating touchscreen devices and throw them in the ..-. ..- -.-. -.- .. -. --. toilet, those --. --- -.. -.. .- -- pieces of ... .... .. - end transmission

Posted by: Flautist | Jun 17, 2007 5:16:30 PM

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