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  1. #41  
    Meyerweb,

    I agree wholeheartedly with most of your comments. However your assessment of the one handedness is incorrect. The Treo 750 is a model of one handed use. In the 10 months I have owned the device, I kid you not that I can count on two hands the number of times I used my stylus. Some of those time I was actually tired of using the d-pad and such too! Couple the Treo's one handed ability with some strategic (and useful) apps like Pocket Plus and SBSH's Pocketbreeze and you have yourself a one handed device that matches any Palm device.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    I absolutely agree with Pogue. The windows interface was designed for a large screen and a mouse. Cell phones have neither. EVERYTHING on a winmob device takes more work to get to. Multi-tasking is great, but the interface sucks. Unfortunately, MS's idea of an interface upgrade is adding even more confusion. More capabilities is great, but not if they make common, everyday activities harder to use.

    On my palm OS device, I can go weeks (months if I don't play any games) without pulling the stylus out of the device. Not possible on Winmob.

    Winmob needs a total interface redo, so that common tasks are as easy to accessk, one handed and stylus free, as on a Palm OS device, while the less common tasks are hidden from view behind a menu or tab. Ideally, each user should be able to customize what those common tasks are.
    Can you actually give examples of these complex inaccessible common tasks? And are you forgetting that WM Standard does not even have a touch screen?

    Surur
  3. #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Can you actually give examples of these complex inaccessible common tasks? And are you forgetting that WM Standard does not even have a touch screen?

    Surur
    There is only one and that was fixed in AKU 2.5+ (i.e. way before WM6) and that was switching folders in your inbox.

    Other than that, I have no idea what he is talking about . He sounds like a WM-crank from 2004--next we'll hear how WM crashes 'all the time' and the 'thousands of bugs'. Even in Palm OS, sometimes busting out the stylus is preferential since having to hit the Menu key, then 3 clicks over and 4 clicks down to get to one menu option is not nearly as fast as the 3 taps on a stylus. Same with hit a weblink: if you have 20 links on 1 page, you can either side-scroll through all the way down to get to say, #19 or you can just click #19 with a stylus.

    The solution for WM in the future is this: when you setup the device for the 1st time, offer a two formats: one for consumer, one for business users. Then offer a basic and advanced after those.

    That way you hide a lot of stuff for people who don't need it, yet maintain all the function for those that do.

    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    The solution for WM in the future is this: when you setup the device for the 1st time, offer a two formats: one for consumer, one for business users. Then offer a basic and advanced after those.

    That way you hide a lot of stuff for people who don't need it, yet maintain all the function for those that do.
    Agreed, but I think MS thought the did this by offering a WM Standard and WM Professional version.

    HTC has done some work to make WM Pro more accessible, and the HTC Home today plug-in is a good example. With the plug-in you have access to commonly used, hard to reach settings like alarms, ring tones and profiles, but it did this without having to re-write the whole GUI.

    Surur
  5. #45  
    I dont normally drag my kids into forum arguments, but as the issue is the intuitiveness and ease of use of WM, I decided to see for myself how bad it really is. My daughter is 10 years old, and has a passing familiarity with WM devices (the 10 lying around the house has helped with this) but her main phone is a pink Razr.

    I gave her my Kaiser and asked to do a few tasks. First I asked her to make a phone call. She opened the dialer by pressing the phone button, hit the contacts soft key, had some trouble by accidentally entering a record, but eventually figured out the OK key went backward. She intuitively understood the box on top was a search box. She entered the location by sliding open the keyboard (I asked her to phone home), typed in home, opened up the contact, selected the number and pressed the phone key. Task accomplished. Now I would have done it with many less steps, but she was never really lost or needed any help.

    Next I asked her to send a text message. She initially fiddled around with the menus, but when I told her that on this phone you select the person first, and then the action, she was rapidly able to open up the contact app again, use the search box as before to find the contact, select it, select text message, press the soft key and was transferred to the SMS app, where she entered the subject, text with the keyboard, and pressed the send button. Task accomplished.

    Next I asked her to do a google search. I had removed IE from my start menu, and it was interesting that she never went looking for it under the programs menu. I then told her I has a button set to IE (on my Vario it has the uninformative web and walk logo). She pressed it, it opened up in the address bar. She typed in www.google.com easily with the keyboard, easily going from portrait to landscape, and was searching google. (She can type much faster than my on the Kaiser keyboard BTW, probably partly because her fingers are smaller, but mainly because they do touch typing in school these days).

    Next I asked her to change the ring tone, which she was able to do easily using the HTC Home plug-in, although it was not immediately clear to her that the area where it names the current ring tone was also the area where you tapped to change it, but she discovered this after a short period of tapping around. Next I asked her to play a song, which she was again easily able to do, as the HTC Home app has a plug-in which opens the music app. She was easily able to navigate the HTC Audio Manager and find a Weird Al song to play.

    Then I asked her to take a picture. It took her a second to realize the only way to access this function was to press the camera hardware button, but as soon as she realized this she was up and going. Then I asked to to take a picture and e-mail it, and she was again easily able to do this, as she recognized the e-mail icon that appeared as a choice after you take a picture. The only issue was the screen which popped up asking her which of the 3 email accounts on the device to use to send the picture. She was able to enter the email address, subject, text and press the send key without any confusion.

    I had run out of hoops for her to jump through, but it was clear to me the the UI is usable.

    Now what was also clear was the iPhone like app/task based UI would have been simpler, and that people expect only one layer of apps, vs entering sub-menus, like Start>Programs etc. However the flip side of that is anyone who spends some time going beyond superficial use would be much more efficient with the current UI (plus some enhancements of course, like the aforementioned HTC Home).

    Also clear is that the built-in apps can be improved a lot, such as Media Player, Picture viewer and Internet Explorer, but these have nothing to do with the UI itself.

    If we look at this post from Macrumours we can see the competition does not have it completely right also.

    Quote Originally Posted by fnord08
    What surprises is me is that I can easily see myself recommending the iPhone to less tech savy people (i.e. retired parents) because it is so clear and simple, as well as the people who love gadgets.
    Not really.. try handing the phone to someone who's not used one and get them to send a text. I did this yesterday.

    1. He pressed 'SMS' - do far so good.
    2. Screen comes up blank. He looks confused, hands phone back to me. I know that the text screen takes 10-15 seconds to come up fully but for a new user it's confusing. Hand it back to him.
    3. He still doesn't know what to do. 'New message' icon is *not* clear.. it needs to be bigger and more obvious. I had to point it out to him.
    4. Message comes up but *keypad is in alphabetic mode* (BUG I think - it makes no sense.. should be the phone keypad). By this time he's really frustrated and gives up.

    Maybe I picked the worst app... I'm fairly convinced the SMS app was released to a deadline so is half finished anyway. OTOH I wouldn't even consider giving such a phone to my mother for example.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...95&postcount=8

    Anyway, I dont know about grannies, but all I can say is that WM is safe to give to motivated and intelligent 10 year olds.

    Surur
    Last edited by surur; 11/11/2007 at 07:48 PM.
  6. #46  
    • ...when I told her that on this phone you select the person first, and then the action...
    • ...I then told her I has a button set to IE...


    I dunno, those 2 sound like usability failures to me. You'll not hear me say that the iPhone is perfect, but there *are* youtube videos of babies flicking and tapping across the UI.

    WM is powerful but arcane, it has a strong learning curve and is often unfriendly with stock settings, buried menus, and it's pretty stylus-intensive. (and, as it ships, pretty finger hostile as well). Hardware integrators shouldn't have to spend time on the UI and bundling, it's not what they're good at. It's what Microsoft is supposed to be good at, and that's why I look forward to photon.
  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by Overthrow View Post
    • ...when I told her that on this phone you select the person first, and then the action...
    • ...I then told her I has a button set to IE...
    No doubt WM is not designed to be learned but to be used. As demonstrated, the learning curve it not that steep for common actions however.

    Surur
  8. #48  
    There is an old saying which goes "Better be thought a fool than open your mouth and confirm it."

    David Pogue has long been slamming Windows Mobile devices to the New York Times readership, but in his recent review of the T-Mobile Shadow he laid it on so thickly that his bias was completely exposed. This resulted in a minor backlash from other sites that have reviewed the device more favorably, notably Matt Miller's site at the ZDNET Blog. In his 18 item point by point refutation he showed exactly how sloppy Pogue's review was. This kind of rebuttal post is not unusual. What was unusual was David Pogue actually showing up in the ZDNET comments section trying to reinforce his case - and failing pathetically and publicly e.g.

    Quote Originally Posted by palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    4.1. Why pick on the unlock process - 11/09/07
    I agree with you Steve. Even the iPhone has a two part process to unlock it (button press and finger slide) so why should the Shadow or Windows Mobile 6 be held to a different standard? I personally want two button integrity and I am sure the people that I have called at 5 in the morning while I am getting ready for work now appreciate the lack of calls now too.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Pogue
    Reply4.1.1. iPhone - 11/09/07
    I DON'T hold the iPhone to s different standard. I find ITS 2-step unlock process excessive, too. And I criticized it in my review, exactly the same way. (Actually, it's even worse--it takes up to SIX STEPS to make a phone call, starting from sleep mode...) --Pogue
    Originally posted by David Pogue Reply4.2. button presses - 11/09/07
    What all of this boils down to is this: Some people don't care about extra steps. Windows Mobile people, like Windows people, have never cared about elegance or simplicity or streamlining of steps--and that is a TOTALLY LEGITIMATE stance. You get more excited about the length of the feature list--and no question, Microsoft's feature list is always longest--and this, too, is a totally legitimate opinion. But as a reviewer for non-technical people, I don't think you're in the majority. I will take elegance and simplicity over feature-list length every time! Some theater critics may love Sondheim, some food critics may love Daniel Bouloud--me, I love simplicity and elegance, whether it comes from Google or RIM or, yes, even Microsoft. As for your note about the 2-button press unlock: Remember, we're talking about a phone that, when its slider is closed in your pocket, has NO BUTTONS EXPOSED AT ALL. (OK, volume, but that's not going to make a phone call in your pocket if it gets struck by a pen or a dime.) So yes--2 button presses is excessive! --Pogue
    Quote Originally Posted by palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    Reply4.2.1. The Call button is exposed... - 11/09/07
    and pressing in on this will call the last caller you talked to on your phone. The directional pad is exposed too so if the Send button was pressed and the directional pad rubbed up against something you could call anyone in your most recently called list inadvertently. I still think the Shadow does bring simplicity and "fun" to Windows Mobile. I can do most everything right from the new Neo Home screen thanks to the plug-ins. As a mobile geek I would love to customize these even more, but think your standard consumer will be just fine hanging just within the Home screen.
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamzP
    Reply4.2.2. NO BUTTONS EXPOSED AT ALL - 11/12/07
    We're talking about the T-Mobile Shadow, right? You see that there are 6 buttons, a D-pad, and scroll wheel on the front, two buttons on the right side, and volume control buttons on the left side; all accessible while the slider is closed. Initially I had shut off the locking feature on my Shadow (it is optional), but then I decided to re-enable that feature when it started playing Windows Media music while I was in a movie theater. Furthermore, unlocking can be a one-step process on the Shadow; just open the slider! Also, any phone that can multi-task should have a task manager. How else would you be able to tell what applications are currently running?
    Its a vain hope that Pogue loses a little bit of credibility from this exchange, as its clear his reviews are patently biased and not based on any real examination of the hardware and software. However I hope he stays a bit longer and exposes his ignorance even more for the rest of us to see. It should be clear to anyone who is considering a smartphone not to take Pogue's reviews seriously.

    Surur
  9. #49  
    Give him credit for slummin' it in the tech blogs, though, eh?
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by septimus View Post
    Give him credit for slummin' it in the tech blogs, though, eh?
    He must have gotten lost trying to book tickets for the theater.

    Surur
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    ... It is probably the most feature rich and powerful OS on the market now. But all of this does not mean it is the easiest or the most friendly to use. A factor that cannot be under estimated in the deciding process from an average consumer. ...

    I love the fact that the iPhone is here and offers a nice level of competition in both sales and perception. I think it is great that MS now has just under a year to sweat out the potential of the Google phone. I think it is great that BB still has a strong hold on the professional level of customers. This all adds up to needed advancements in features, power, interface, easy of use, and sex appeal or die in the new dynamics of this continually changing market. ...
    Horses for courses! People have varied tastes, some like buttons to press, some like to touch, some like it small, some large, that's why the market is full of variety right now and we would be the poorer technologically speaking if there was no competition.

    Don't you love the intermingling of all these ideas? That's what makes systems develop, people want more all the time but sometimes people get sidetracked by voyerism!

    To me, the iPhone is just for voyeurism. Like..."roll over and show how pretty your ***** is" "roll over again and show...."

    I am just fed up already of cubes turning, just another gimmick to make my head spin. I want to have info at my fingertips! I wanna press buttons and, as a press them, the OS filters through all my data and give it back to me in a list where I can choose what to do with it. The power of deciding what to do should be up to the user (those users that can decide, that is - for those incapable of deciding, just give them candy).

    And I am just a little woman...

    Don't take life too seriously!

    Cheers,




    *Main Entry: ****
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English; probably akin to Middle English buttok buttock, Low German **** blunt
    Date: 15th century
    1: buttocks —often used as a euphemism for *** in idiomatic expressions <get your **** over here><kick ****><saved our butts>
  12. #52  
    Surur wrote: "Sorry, I cant argue with people who value style over substance."

    You seem to have confused 'Style' with 'Design.' Style is a property of how something looks. Design is a property of how well something functions as a whole.

    Most Microsoft products are unnecessarily complex in relation to the number of features provided. This is usually due to lack of design. Pouge has simply pointed out the that WM suffers from the same problem and could be improved by better design.
  13. #53  
    "Also, any phone that can multi-task should have a task manager. How else would you be able to tell what applications are currently running?"

    You shouldn't need to worry about which apps are currently running. The OS and applications themselves should transparently manage this for you. If they do not, you have an architectural design problem.

    The fact that you see a task manager as a feature is an symptom of one of the underlying issues that has yet to be resolved in previous versions of Windows Mobile.
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    You shouldn't need to worry about which apps are currently running. The OS and applications themselves should transparently manage this for you. If they do not, you have an architectural design problem.
    If you read the MS WM Team Blog that is exactly what they say.

    WM works like this: apps run in the background and when you go to re-launch them, they come up instantly. The system does monitor program memory in the sense that if it reaches a certain low-memory threshold, it will close out programs (based on a priority system).

    Task managers are mostly nice to switch between open programs when you are working between them, which is why many people like a pop-up task manger that is easily accessible. No different than using the MS "Start Bar" to click the tabs for programs. Using this method I can switch between 2 or 3 apps with just a tap or two, as opposed to re-launching the Start menu and finding the app again. The MRU list also aids in this action.

    I'm not saying it's necessarily the ideal system but I think people sometimes make too much hay out of it. In theory, your device should have enough RAM to not cause any concern, but some devices are shipped with a low amount of usable RAM and this does cause issues, like only being able to run 4 programs in the background as opposed to say 15, with no slow downs.

    To put it another way, I'm not yet aware of a necessarily better system for multi-tasking and quick app switching on a mobile device. It's not an easy problem to solve when you have no mouse and limited screen real estate. Something like the iPhone one-button-Home key does not feel very efficient either, but it is hardly complicated. That's what happens when you skirt the issue previously raised when addressing app-switching, but that is hardly an ideal solution either.. Palm OS avoids it by not being technically possible. I'm not really sure about BB and Symbian, but I don't see their UIs as being radically different.
    Last edited by Malatesta; 11/29/2007 at 05:43 PM.

    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    "Also, any phone that can multi-task should have a task manager. How else would you be able to tell what applications are currently running?"

    You shouldn't need to worry about which apps are currently running. The OS and applications themselves should transparently manage this for you. If they do not, you have an architectural design problem.

    The fact that you see a task manager as a feature is an symptom of one of the underlying issues that has yet to be resolved in previous versions of Windows Mobile.
    On the iPhone, due to the lack of a task manager, people have to force quit apps, and have to regularly reboot their phone, else safari starts acting up. Because none of the innards of the phone gets exposed people are literally in the dark.

    Surur
  16. #56  
    This is a problem caused by Safari related to the 1.2.1 update, not the lack of a task manager. Before the update, I went months without rebooting. Since 1.2.1 update in October, I've rebooted my iPhone maybe once a week at most. This is under heavy use of Google reader in safari on a daily basis.

    Again, users shouldn't have to micromanage their phones memory or which applications are running. It's a symptom of a bigger problem. The operating system and application architecture should do it for them.
  17. #57  
    Malatesta wrote: "Task managers are mostly nice to switch between open programs when you are working between them, which is why many people like a pop-up task manger that is easily accessible. No different than using the MS "Start Bar" to click the tabs for programs."

    While I agree it's a difficult problem, simply using the same desktop UI on a phone isn't the answer. While it might be familiar, it simply doesn't fit the form factor and the way people really interact with phones.

    New UI designs are needed to solve these problems and WM has yet to make the jump to the next level.
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    Again, users shouldn't have to micromanage their phones memory or which applications are running. It's a symptom of a bigger problem. The operating system and application architecture should do it for them.
    I'm not convinced people "need" to micromanage the phone memory on WM devices.

    Here's what I think though: psychologically, people like knowing they have tons and tons of memory and that it is freed up as much as possible, despite no positive returns. They also like closing apps when not in use, like on a desktop.

    Even I do it...closing out my apps via my app switcher, just because I figure if I'm done with it, why keep running it? Even though I know it doesn't make a difference--I have never seen a low memory error on a 700wx and I've never gone below 20mb of free RAM.

    Another example: it was leaked that supposedly the upcoming 800w has an astounding 256mb of RAM and people were thrilled, though as I pointed out I don't see a use for that much memory (and in fact it drains power), but like "thinner is better", "more memory" is better.

    Still, I have yet to see a better solution. The iPhone avoids it altogether by acting like PalmOS. But how would *you* enable multi-tasking and app switching on the iPhone? I'm all ears...

    ps and yes, I generally agree that WM could use a more friendly UI. My ideal device is combining WM and Palm OS, somehow...

    But honestly, using WM is not nearly as tired and tedious as many make it out to be.

    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    On my palm OS device, I can go weeks (months if I don't play any games) without pulling the stylus out of the device. Not possible on Winmob.

    Winmob needs a total interface redo, so that common tasks are as easy to accessk, one handed and stylus free, as on a Palm OS device, while the less common tasks are hidden from view behind a menu or tab. Ideally, each user should be able to customize what those common tasks are.
    Generally speaking, I too would have to disagree, while still recognizing valid points as well...especially since much of these type of arguments are based on personal preferences, likes, bias, and level of experience with any given OS in question along with available 3rd party apps solutions currently available.

    I would disagree because even with WM03, I was able to use my PPC-6600 without a stylus for several weeks while I was fighting to have my phone replaced due to a cracked screen on a 2 day old phone without using my insurance. I just wrote the next part of the WM Guide for WMExperts focused solely on increasing the one handed usability of any WM phone, when they publish it, breeze through it...it might help.

    As for Palm, I found myself taping just as much or more with Zlauncher to launch a program than I do on my WM phone.
  20. #60  
    Malatesta wrote: "Here's what I think though: psychologically, people like knowing they have tons and tons of memory and that it is freed up as much as possible, despite no positive returns. They also like closing apps when not in use, like on a desktop."

    Which people are you referring to? You, software engineers or end users?

    The last thing I want to worry about is which apps are running and using a task manager to free up memory so I can take or make a call. You shouldn't have to become smarter to use a smart phone.

    For those who want to see the internals of their device, an optional application can be installed. But making the user dependent on the task manager just so their phone doesn't lock up isn't the solution - it's a band-aid.

    Since mobile devices have limited resources, smaller displays, etc., the OS and application architecture should be specifically designed to work within these constraints. The current desktop metaphor simply isn't a good fit on mobile devices.

    Malatesta wrote: "The iPhone avoids it altogether by acting like PalmOS. But how would *you* enable multi-tasking and app switching on the iPhone? I'm all ears..."

    I'm not sure how you've come to the conclusion that the iPhone doesn't multitask. Mail can be fetching and sending new messages while Safari is downloading a webpage in the background and I'm reading another. I've even installed Unix server applications, such as the Apache webserver, on my iPhone and served web pages over Wi-Fi while talking on the phone.

    The iPhone doesn't explicitly indicate which apps are running because it's not necessary to do so. You can switch between applications by tapping it's icon in Springboard.

    In other words, the lack of a task manager doesn't mean a device is less advanced. In fact, I'd say it is more advanced because it manages the complexity for you.
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