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  1.    #1  
    I received this in my inbox from Handspring today. From a design perspective I thought it was fascinating:

    It has an illustration with it that shows that the Treo 600 keys are 10% higher and have 21% more key surface area. It also illustrates that the letters and additional characters on the keyboard are 16% wider.

    The following is taken from a Handspring email add called, “News You Can Use.”

    TREO 600-Designing for Size. The key is the keyboard.

    Figuring out what we wanted to do with the design of our new Treo 600 was simple: make it a phone first, and a handheld computer second. And that meant make it small. But how would we fit a full QWERTY keyboard into a device small enough to compete with phones that use only small numeric keypads for data entry?

    We started by calling our keyboard supplier to ask how small they could make it. When they told us, we told them to make it 10% smaller. But with the keyboard's ever-diminishing size, came diminishing usability. And we couldn't have that, so we turned our attention from how to make the keyboard smaller to how to make it easier to use.

    "Everyone was incredibly passionate about the tiniest details," said Rob Haitani, Handspring Product Design Architect. Entire design sessions were devoted to the shape of the keys. In the process, we learned that making the keys narrower at the top helped users feel which key they were on more easily than with symmetrical keys. But with keys so close together, double-keystrokes were hard to avoid, so we programmed the software to ignore the second keystroke. Unfortunately, if users typed too quickly, it also ignored things they meant to type. And then it hit us—you only got actual double strokes on adjacent keys, so we adjusted the program to ignore only those—and it worked great.

    Still, despite these advancements, our design team knew they could create an even better keyboard experience. In yet another design meeting one team member suggested changing the shape of the keys once again, to give them a convex dome. At first, we were skeptical but we put together a prototype, and to the amazement of all, user tests showed dramatic improvements. Finally we had a keyboard we could be proud to add to our new device. Of course, Treo 600's amazing keyboard is just one of its many compelling features. In the next issue we'll tell you how we worked to improve the common camera-phone and how the battery and the expansion slot fought for space.
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  2. #2  
    Cool. What email list is this?
  3. #3  
    Their newsletter KR.
    Felipe
    On the road to 5,000 posts
    Life is what happens between Firmware releases.
  4. #4  
    And here is the little picture at the top of the newsletter.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    Cool. What email list is this?
    It is the email list maintained by Handspring to Notify you when Treo600 comes out. They also send these e-newsletters occasionally.

    Goto handspring.com->sneak peek Treo600->Notify me!

    -chiru
  6. #6  
    I didn't get anything, yet. How long does it take for a email newsletter to arrive in Germany? I signed up at least twice with different email addresses. Still, I didn't get any newsletter. That sux! Who do I have to write to/call to get this friggin newsletter... *grrr*

    andreas
    treopolis -the German treo site

    Now in beta testing: treopolis 2.0
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by treopolis
    I didn't get anything, yet. How long does it take for a email newsletter to arrive in Germany? I signed up at least twice with different email addresses. Still, I didn't get any newsletter. That sux! Who do I have to write to/call to get this friggin newsletter... *grrr*

    andreas
    I believe this is not sent as a result of registering for the "notify me when the Treo 600 is out" thing. This is in a series called "News You Can Use" and I believe it is sent to registered users of Treo's. I've been getting it for a long time.
  8. #8  
    silverado:

    thanks for your comment. So what do I have to do to get this newsletter, then?

    andreas
    treopolis -the German treo site

    Now in beta testing: treopolis 2.0
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by treopolis
    silverado:

    thanks for your comment. So what do I have to do to get this newsletter, then?

    andreas
    Go to "Product Registration" on Handspring's website (at least it's on the U.S. website) and register your Treo with them. You fill out a product registration form on-line. At the bottom is a radio check box for the e-newsletter.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by silverado

    I believe this is not sent as a result of registering for the "notify me when the Treo 600 is out" thing. This is in a series called "News You Can Use" and I believe it is sent to registered users of Treo's. I've been getting it for a long time.
    I don't own a treo and am thus not registered, but I did register on the notify me page at handspring. I DID get the email. Perhaps you had to be registered before the email went out.
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by shadowboxer


    I don't own a treo and am thus not registered, but I did register on the notify me page at handspring. I DID get the email. Perhaps you had to be registered before the email went out.
    Hmmm... Interesting. Don't think HS is retarded enough to believe in the old Europe vs new Europe theory?
  12. #12  
    For those who want to get e-newsletter in future you can register here

    http://www.handspring.com/newsletter/index.jhtml

    -chiru
  13. #13  
    Scott R always has comments on the keyboard size. Curious as to his opinion with this information available............


    Scott?

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    #14  
    Originally posted by shadowboxer


    I don't own a treo and am thus not registered, but I did register on the notify me page at handspring. I DID get the email. Perhaps you had to be registered before the email went out.
    same here
  15. #15  
    bumping this thread up again...

    Just got the latest Handspring email update. Tells about how they designed the camera to be quick and easy to use. It sure sounds like HS is putting some real thought, effort, and research into making the 600 great, not just another smartphone with PalmOS.

    The real point of this post is a little off-topic though- I know most everybody here gets the same newsletter... do the links in it ever work for you? For the life of me I have never been able to click on the links in Handsprings html emails- all that open are blank pages. I want to check out some of the software they have featured (specifically Blocks, a free tetris) but I can not make the links work. Can anybody post working links for me?

    thanks.
    MTT
    Handspring Visor, Palm V, HS Treo 180, HS Treo 90, P1 Treo 600, P1 Treo 650, Palm Treo 700p... still hanging tough with Palm OS
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by mtt
    I want to check out some of the software they have featured (specifically Blocks, a free tetris) but I can not make the links work. Can anybody post working links for me?
    They all worked for me. Goes through about 10 redirects though.

    Here is blocks: http://www.electronhut.com/games/blocks/
  17. #17  
    This damn phone is still too fat! Look at the Nokia 3650. It's a big phone, and pretty wide, at 2.2 inches. The treo 600 is 2.26 inches, the whole way up! So it's still gonna look like brick for a phone. At least they could have made some curves like the Nokia 3650. But I'm asking for a skinnier phone, like 2.1 to 2.0 inches. (Are you listening Jeff Hawkins?) And why'd you put the numbers on the left hand side?!!! If I'm to do everything with my right hand (majority of ppl are right handed in this world) the numbers should have stayed on teh right side because my thumb is long enough to reach there, but it is not long enough to reach to the left hand side without cramping my palm muscle! Remebmer i am holding on to this phone with my right hand, driving, and trying to type at the same time, all with my right hand. The numbers need to go back to the right. I'm sorry.

    About how to decrease the fatness, Mr Hawkins. Well, if you were able to make the keys bigger, fatter, more surface area, etc, well then you're able to make them narrower, kinda like vertical rectangles, which will allow you to make the phone 2.1 possibley 2.0 inches wide, and then this phone will be much more liek a regular cell phone, and not a brick. And get rid of the square design for the 700! make some curves, like Nokia phones for God sake..that way i wont look like nerd when i use my phone in clubs, downtown Chicago, when I'm trying to pick up girls. (I'm 23..i gotta impress)
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by josephtse
    The numbers need to go back to the right. I'm sorry.
    You need to calm down (and overcome your inclination to believe you're speaking to the head designer at Handspring. I promise you he isn't here.) I will simply respond to the over all comment that the phone is too wide by saying I have small hands and I can use the entire Treo 300 keyboard with one hand (yes, even my left though the number keys are all the way over there). The phone is thin enough to allow such one handed use. As for why the number keys moved, I have no idea. But if I can use either hand to dial on the present one I can use either hand for dialing on teh next one. The thing I don't think they should change is the key width. You say they should make the keys skinny rectangles, but one thing you cannot change is the size of people's fingers. From what I hear typing on the 600 is difficult for fat fingers. Skinny keys may have made it impossible. Surely the 600 is not a perfect design, but surely some of the suggestions you make would ruin it.
  19. #19  
    Originally posted by josephtse
    The numbers need to go back to the right. I'm sorry.
    I think the numbers on the left suits the way you will hold this new phone for right-handed people. I think with the curved shape at the bottom, the fingers will cradle it from below so the thumb will more naturally reach the left side.

    Also, making the keys smaller doesn't necessarily allow you to make the phone smaller (in addition to probably being a bad idea for usability). The width is only there for the keyboard; there is much circuitry inside. If the width was there soley for the keys, they would have made the phone has less depth than it does. The device is jam-packed on the inside.

    Furthermore, the device isn't that much wider than the screen, which some people already think is too small. Making the device narrower would give you a smaller screen.

    Many tradeoffs have to be made to create a device like this. I'd reserve judgement until you hold it in your hand and use it. I personally can't wait to get one. To me, it is the best I've ever seen for my needs. I'm finding that I'm constantly wishing I had it as I use my beloved 270 and think of the new features of the 600 and how they make it even easier to use.
  20. #20  
    Yes, Yes, i've heard this argument dozens of times before, but how many times have people told me that i have a big phone, or a fat phone? At least 3 or 4 times. Thats enough to hurt my feelings. Yes, my Treo 300 is one fat phone. It just doesnt look like a phone..it looks like a brick. The Nokia 3650 has a narrower screen than the Treo 300. The 300's screen is exactly 2 inches wide I believe. The nokia's screen is narrower. And I saw the nokia in action, it is fine. In fact, there may be more screen area on the Nokia than the treo 300, and 600, because the screen is longer. I think the next Treo 700 can pull that off, make a narrower phone, but make the screen longer. Thats the design of the 600, is it not? Candy bar style? So if Handspring can pull off a 4.5" by 2.1" by .85" phone, and give the phone some sexy curves, I think the phone will appeal to a lot of youngsters, the 30 and under crowd, which will definitely win a lot of new niche business over to Handspring..versus all the youngsters buying all the Nokia phones.
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