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iPhone's First Year and Future

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Last time I was on AppleInsider forums in 2006 and it's interesting to discuss what do you think about how Apple is going to get out of such a thing as an old-fashioned PDA form factor for iPhone. It's the main hurdle for its promotion as people still want to use a compact cell phone not a PDA for everyday communications no matter how many efforts Apple is taking on converting them.

In June 2006 I suggested to use for it a clamshell form factor similar to MotoRAZR's - A compact keyboard for an iPhone - http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=64381.

Another possible direction - Intel Moorestown platform prototype's form factor - 42x145 mm.

Any thoughts?


Michael

Cell Computer Project - http://softwarecommunity.intel.com/i.../30226108.aspx
post #2 of 11
Mike,

I am not sure I agree with your premise that people will not be on board for the PDA. Heaven knows a lot of PDA devices are sold and their omnipresence seems slated to grow more. In the event however that people want stripped down phone only devices, it should be easy to accomplish. As a marketing person, I would leave that commodity market segment alone as it is only governed by price and there are always "cheap" options with an inability to distinguish yourself sufficiently to connote quality.

Just my one cents worth.....
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

This problem is generic for Apple as a creator of PDA concept (the same for Microsoft with Pocket PCs) - the trail of inefficient "PDA versions of websites" that dominates now in the cell phone segment too. People can't work with information without eternal recursion to the main menu of a mobile website. That trick with zooming in iPhone's ads changes nothing.

And, you know that *the Internet* implies the placement of the content and menu *on the same page* always available for effective navigation. Plus the *keyboard* independent from the content (e.g. forms). This needs for 1,5 times more screen area than iPhone has at least. So, there are only two available options for this now - Intel's prototype and the Cell PC.

My goal is that so much hyped iPhone's UI should not be a mess as any PDA's UI - that was the reason of their failure as a commercial product. It just needs to divide the navigation/keyboard part and the content.

Cell phones have survived just because people need mobile voice communications. But the Mobile Internet needs the platform that is as fully functional as a notebook/desktop PC. It's a requirement.

Michael
post #4 of 11
why does the mobile internet need a fully functional platform? the idea of ubiquitous computing is to reduce computing to a number of appliances with specialized interfaces, not to perpetuate a generalized interface onto devices that may or do not need it.

the issue is less interface function, and more an issue of data interchange.

multi-touch is designed for the device, unlike most cellphones/PDAs which have had general computing interfaces grafted onto them. i mean for fucks sake--windows mobile--good idea.

the iPhone does come up short in a few places, but i also don't understand your concern with the web either. isn't that the least interface intensive network app. tap click that's it.
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gene_technics View Post

Last time I was on AppleInsider forums in 2006 and it's interesting to discuss what do you think about how Apple is going to get out of such a thing as an old-fashioned PDA form factor for iPhone. It's the main hurdle for its promotion as people still want to use a compact cell phone not a PDA for everyday communications no matter how many efforts Apple is taking on converting them.

In June 2006 I suggested to use for it a clamshell form factor similar to MotoRAZR's - A compact keyboard for an iPhone - http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=64381.

There's really no point for Apple to offer a non-multitouch clamshell phone. As long as Jobs is there, they'll never ship such a mundane device. If they want to ship a more compact phone, they'll just shrink the current iPhone to a more compact size with a 3" screen. It's the oft discussed iPhone "nano".

Quote:
Another possible direction - Intel Moorestown platform prototype's form factor - 42x145 mm.

The Moorstown prototype is very interesting and would make a nice tweener device. Too big for a PDA or cell phone. It's definitely a MID. And it ain't 42x145 mm. My guess is something along the longs of 60x180. It's a pretty long device. Apple my have a device like this in the works. I'm still not sure what for though. The MacBook Air would make an excellent secondary computer / casual used about the town, home and traveling type of computer. A tweener is one of those, too big for the pocket, not as powerful as a laptop type device.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowerd View Post

why does the mobile internet need a fully functional platform? the idea of ubiquitous computing is to reduce computing to a number of appliances with specialized interfaces, not to perpetuate a generalized interface onto devices that may or do not need it.

People trust only to their experience learnt from the Internet they work on a notebook/desktop PC platform.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THT View Post

There's really no point for Apple to offer a non-multitouch clamshell phone. As long as Jobs is there, they'll never ship such a mundane device. If they want to ship a more compact phone, they'll just shrink the current iPhone to a more compact size with a 3" screen. It's the oft discussed iPhone "nano".

Why to shrink an iPhone's display, in addition after the fact? I'm offering a 1,5 times more screen area for developers to create the Mobile Internet and more compact form factor (53x103 mm) for users at once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THT View Post

It's definitely a MID. And it ain't 42x145 mm. My guess is something along the longs of 60x180. It's a pretty long device. Apple my have a device like this in the works. I'm still not sure what for though.

Last time it was - that slide with the face all over the device's surface had an image with these dimensions at the background. See if you can find it now.

Michael
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gene_technics View Post

Cell phones have survived just because people need mobile voice communications. But the Mobile Internet needs the platform that is as fully functional as a notebook/desktop PC. It's a requirement.

I'm of the exact opposite opinion.

PDAs fail when they try to provide all the functionality found in a full size computer.

Humans aren't going to change much. Their hands, eyes, and pockets are going to remain the same no matter how technologically advanced we become. In my opinion, PDAs will always, and should always, offer less functionality than full-size computers.

I find it unlikely that tiny devices with limited screen area and limited input efficiency will ever become popular for free form data retrieval or input. Dictation and voice interfaces may change that, but less than most people would suspect. The problem is not lack of imagination or technology. Instead, we're limited by the fidelity of human perception and the accuracy of muscle control.

The scenario I envision is that of pocket-computers remaining about like the iPhone and never really being intended for things like casual, full-time web-browsing. But I'll grant that the incredibly inefficient communication phenomenon known as texting sure seems to defy HCI logic. So I wouldn't put it past people to keep doing things like browsing the web on horribly inefficient form factors.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

In my opinion, PDAs will always, and should always, offer less functionality than full-size computers.

I find it unlikely that tiny devices with limited screen area and limited input efficiency will ever become popular for free form data retrieval or input. Dictation and voice interfaces may change that, but less than most people would suspect. The problem is not lack of imagination or technology. Instead, we're limited by the fidelity of human perception and the accuracy of muscle control.

Actually, they're not limited - they're just different from the typewriter invented for two hands typing more than a hundred years ago. I guess that time noone realized that human can hold it in one hand and type quickly by other hand or by the thumb of the same hand for sending messages on the go.

The problem is that inertia in engineers' minds who are trying hard to mimic that typewriter for one-hand typing - it was not intended for it - even just because it has a landscape layout that implyies two hands typing. It's obvious for everyone but they are still trying to. And they are spending the resources of leading computer makers.

And, by the way, dictation and voice interfaces just can't change the psychology of humans - they're always annoyed that the voice recognition program is different from what they want to use in some kind of mood and is not adapting to them as quickly as they want.

By using the right ergonomics practice - Microsoft Research team is using the rule (http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com...tion-gestures/) - the minimal area for the touch of the finger is 7,6x7,6 mm - is possible to create an ergonomical keyboard - the Compact QWERTY Keyboard - and an effective system interface based on it - two connected touch-screen displays with a clamshell form factor - the Cell PC. The form factor (53x103 mm) that is comfortable for one-hand operations - typing and navigation - that is proved by the practice of the whole cell phone industry and the success of MotoRAZR. Add to it the success of iPod.

Michael
post #9 of 11
Plenty of thought has also gone into doorknobs but they haven't changed in a long time either.

Our reliance on keyboards is anything but "the inertia in engineer's minds".

Chord based, one-handed input has been a popular area of study and R&D for decades now. It isn't for lack of imagination or technology that some of these technologies aren't found in consumer devices. Rather, they come with real-world tradeoffs that out weigh benefits they have over keyboards.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Our reliance on keyboards is anything but "the inertia in engineer's minds".

Because of the genius of Christopher Sholes and not the modern engineers of mobile devices. The success of modern notebooks is due to him and the failure of PDAs...you know. Add UMPCs/MIDs to this list. I wonder how much they are reckless. The execs of leading companies, of course.

Michael
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just some personal notes:

Right now I'm listening to WJR (http://mmslb.eonstreams.com/abc_mi_detroit_wjr_am_fast) from Detroit, Michigan - they're tempting me that "iPhone is worth the investment". Me, ordinary Siberian man, here in Surgut - the opposite side of the Earth for the most of you. And I would be glad to have it just because it's the transition to the Cell PC. Greetings.

Michael
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