iPhone: R.I.P. Virtual Scoll Wheel?

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Did anyone else think that iPhone == iPod + phone + Internet is a bit of a bold statement in regards to the 'iPod' component?



While the iPhone has some fun new gui features, a key part of an iPod is the click-wheel, or at least a scroll wheel. Nothing similar is present in the iPhone it seems. In fact we will have to scroll vertically moving our fingers up and then back down again and up and back down again - that's so Creative Zen... Very unlike an iPod.



It'll work for a couple of hundred songs, or address book entries, but user with thousands of songs on their 8GB iPhone will have a 'fun' time scrolling through them like that. NOT!



Why do you think Apple abandoned the virtual scroll wheel? Or didn't come up with anything similar? Does it not work on a touch screen? Will it be there but just wasn't finished yet?



Does anyone else care whether we have a scroll wheel on the iPhone's 'iPod' component? Or is it OK to just do it the Zen way?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    icibaquicibaqu Posts: 278member
    ofcourse there could be scroll and hold, which would achieve the same objective.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    From what I gathered (health warning: this may be TOTALLY incorrect) you can flick your finger at the desired speed in order to keep it scrolling further down for a while.



    Depending on reviews of the new scrolling system, and user feedback, I can't imagine it would be too difficult for Apple (with this snazzy multi-touch thingy) to implement a circle gesture for scrolling, and it might be something you'd see as a software update, or even already in the shipping device, or even built-in as an option in the settings menu when it ships.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I can't imagine that circling your thumb around for thousands of songs is any more ergonomic than flicking through thousands of songs. And remember that there's also a little alphabet along the right side so that you can go directly where you want.

  • Reply 4 of 19
    -df-df Posts: 136member
    The way iPhone is set up makes much more sense than a virtual click-wheel. You have a large screen to display information, why use up half of the screen to have a virtual click-wheel when it isn't necessary?



    Technological advances require us to let go of certain sentimental technologies.



    This is better. Rest in peace, click-wheel.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    I can't imagine that circling your thumb around for thousands of songs is any more ergonomic than flicking through thousands of songs. And remember that there's also a little alphabet along the right side so that you can go directly where you want.



    More ergonomic, no. One-handed, yes. That's the big difference, IMO
  • Reply 6 of 19
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flounder View Post


    More ergonomic, no. One-handed, yes. That's the big difference, IMO



    Can't you scroll with your thumb on the iPhone? I can't see why you'd be less able to scroll/select on the iphone than use the clickwheel on the ipod, but I guess we'll have to wait and see for more hands-on experiences.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    The beauty of the scroll wheel is that it works like a jog dial. You can scroll one way, and immediately the other way. And the faster you scroll the faster it moves along the list of songs and you can decelerate the scroll speed at any time by merely slowing your circling motion.



    Contrary to this the iPhone scrolls only with one speed. No continuous acceleration or deceleration possible. You 'push' the list up at a certain speed and then you're stuck on that speed. What if you want to decelerate the scrolling motion at some point? With the scroll wheel you just scroll slower. On the iPhone you can only stop the scrolling to a halt and then start a new scroll. And by that time you I'm sure you've overshot by a long way and have to go all the way back.



    I'm sure it's intuitive and simple to use, but not nearly as fine-tuned in regards to control of scrolling speed and scrolling direction as the scroll wheel.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    Can't you scroll with your thumb on the iPhone? I can't see why you'd be less able to scroll/select on the iphone than use the clickwheel on the ipod, but I guess we'll have to wait and see for more hands-on experiences.





    That's when the ergonomics come back in. Two handed with your index finger, sure, but I have a hard time seeing vertical scrolling with your thumb being very efficient or ergonomic.

    I think it feels a lot more natural to make a circular motion with your thumb than flicking it up or down.



    We're both guessing though I guess we won't find out until June.



    I have high hopes for a "scroll wheel" gesture.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    ....



    Contrary to this the iPhone scrolls only with one speed. No continuous acceleration or deceleration possible. You 'push' the list up at a certain speed and then you're stuck on that speed. What if you want to decelerate the scrolling motion at some point? With the scroll wheel you just scroll slower. On the iPhone you can only stop the scrolling to a halt and then start a new scroll. And by that time you I'm sure you've overshot by a long way and have to go all the way back.



    ....



    Are you sure? This seems to contradict my understanding of the demo. Where are you getting your information?
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    I can't imagine that circling your thumb around for thousands of songs is any more ergonomic than flicking through thousands of songs. And remember that there's also a little alphabet along the right side so that you can go directly where you want.





    that's not what you think. if you watch keynote what Steve showed us is just using one thumb, touching & scrolling one time. then a lot of songs scrolling down automatically. it's not scrolling from one to one song. that's why multi-touch technology is smart. when you scroll down one time, then touch again, screen will be stopped scrolling. way more smarter than you think,
  • Reply 11 of 19
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Are you sure? This seems to contradict my understanding of the demo. Where are you getting your information?



    Just look at the keynote iPhone presentation. At 16:10 into the movie Jobs demoes scrolling through a list of artists. And all he can do is rubberbanding up or down by flicking a finger over the display which scrolls at just _one_ speed (depending on the speed of your finger's flip) and which automatically decelerates eventually with no further user control over that deceleration. The one thing left you can do is tap the display again to stop the scrolling. Where chances are you tap too late and overshoot...



    The problems with this method of scrolling - opposed to a scroll wheel - are:



    - no variable scroll speed, and in-scroll acceleration/deceleration, your one scroll speed (and built-in deceleration) is set by the speed of your finger's flip - and then you're stuck with that speed with no further user control over it, except stopping the scroll altogether.



    - no one-handed operation. You must hold the iPhone in one hand and use the other to flick your finger over the display to scroll. In theory you can do a one-handed operation using your thumb to flick a scroll, but as Flounder pointed out, this is a very uncomfortable move for a thumb - as opposed to a circular motion.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Just look at the keynote iPhone presentation. ... Where chances are you tap too late and overshoot...



    The problems with this method of scrolling - opposed to a scroll wheel - are:



    - no variable scroll speed, and in-scroll acceleration/deceleration, your one scroll speed (and built-in deceleration) is set by the speed of your finger's flip - and then you're stuck with that speed with no further user control over it, except stopping the scroll altogether.



    - no one-handed operation. You must hold the iPhone in one hand and use the other to flick your finger over the display to scroll. ...



    Variable speed scrolling by another method is not the same as no variable speed scrolling.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    The problems with this method of scrolling - opposed to a scroll wheel - are:



    - no variable scroll speed, and in-scroll acceleration/deceleration, your one scroll speed (and built-in deceleration) is set by the speed of your finger's flip - and then you're stuck with that speed with no further user control over it, except stopping the scroll altogether.



    - no one-handed operation. You must hold the iPhone in one hand and use the other to flick your finger over the display to scroll. In theory you can do a one-handed operation using your thumb to flick a scroll, but as Flounder pointed out, this is a very uncomfortable move for a thumb - as opposed to a circular motion.



    It's misleading to say that a device doesn't have variable-speed scrolling when it doesn't have continuous scrolling at all. You flick in discrete motions - and those individual flicks can vary in speed. Or you go directly to the point in the alphabet you want by touching the letter. And I don't see why that's any harder to do one-handed than a circular motion.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    thttht Posts: 3,931member
    I think Apple tried the virtual scroll wheel on the iPhone and decided against it. It doesn't fit with all the other apps it has to deal with.



    1. The iPhone scrolling looks variable depending on finger flick speed or maybe acceleration. Hopefully there will be acceleration settings like pointer acceleration settings on a computer.



    2. They know flicking the finger won't be fast enough and put in a column of shortcuts (the alphabet) on the side.



    3. It can be used with one hand, mostly right handers unless there is an option for placement of the shortcut column.



    4. It won't be as fast as the scroll wheel, but that's been traded off for "internet communicator" and phone functionality that gets you 90% of the way there.



    5. Whow knows, Apple could decide to put a virtual scroll wheel option in. Such is the advantage of having an all touchscreen interface where the UI can be changed with software.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    It's misleading to say that a device doesn't have variable-speed scrolling when it doesn't have continuous scrolling at all.



    I agree. But that's exactly my lament. That they changed the method, which IMHO is inferior. Sure it works as advertised, but not as well for scrolling long lists.



    I hope Apple will manage to bring a virtual scroll wheel back, and give the user a choice in the options somewhere to use it or not.



    As long as the hardware can detect enough information so a virtual scroll wheel could work, there shouldn't be a limit to implementing it at some point.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I like the iPhone but I don't think you'd be able to control it while its in your pocket like I do with my nano. That said, while the iPhone and its interface are geared as a handheld device I would expect a wireless remote to come out so you can control the volume and scrub through tracks/playlists without getting the thing out.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    well if they do change it after release, its only a simple software update.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    I agree. But that's exactly my lament. That they changed the method, which IMHO is inferior. Sure it works as advertised, but not as well for scrolling long lists.



    I hope Apple will manage to bring a virtual scroll wheel back, and give the user a choice in the options somewhere to use it or not.



    As long as the hardware can detect enough information so a virtual scroll wheel could work, there shouldn't be a limit to implementing it at some point.



    Have you used an iPhone yet?
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