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Apple in your den, pocket, etc...cell phone next?


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Apple in your den, pocket, etc...cell phone next?
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BuonRotto
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2006-09-14, 08:44

Uh, from MacRumor's blurb on their front page:

Quote:
The click-wheel portion of the device reportedly slides down to reveal a traditional numeric dial-pad underneath.
In all, it sounds/looks like that "Chocolate" LG phone, but presumably less infuriating. (The buttons that look like a scroll wheel on the LG phone are horribly designed.)

You can bet only Cingular will have it though, at least at first if it does come out. Which, as a Cingular customer (not something to be proud of), is fine with me.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-09-14, 08:45

I'm betting a phone (if they do one) is based on the new nano look (the rounded sides, like the iPod mini) and not the previous-generation nano.



That would be more "grab-able" and comfortable to hold, I think.

If that recent rumor about Jobs talking this thing up to people is true, I guess it's a safe bet this thing exists and is on the way. Can't wait to see it. Hope it's something I can buy and use with my service (Cingular), if it's something that appeals to me.

EDIT: quickie Illustrator CS2 3D mock... Rip off their existing stuff, sure! I did the colors only because of Tuesday. Apple may just stick to black, white and silver? I do agree with others...probably has to be a slide off to expose a numeric keypad (IF the scroll wheel is there). Can't imagine dialing or entering info with keypad only, although that new search thing on the new iPods shows it can be done, I guess?)

Will be interesting, no matter what. I'd love to have a more modern, capable phone (camera, nice Apple software/way of doing things, a smidge of wireless capability, a little music storage, Apple style, etc.) than the one I have.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2006-09-14 at 09:17.
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CoolToddHunter
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2006-09-14, 09:49

Unfortunately, the new iPod nano design doesn't lend itself to a "slider" keypad very well. The old nano would be much better for that. If it weren't for that, I'd think your nano/phone mockups would be great.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2006-09-14, 09:53

Yeah, true. They've probably got something super cool up their sleeve that looks like nothing else they have, or that we could expect or predict.
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billybobsky
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2006-09-14, 11:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by joveblue View Post
Try typing out an SMS on a clickwheel... There is no way anyone* would want a phone without a keypad.

*most people
Americans don't do text messages on the whole...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2006-09-14, 11:21

...because we can't write or spell worth two flaming damns.

But seriously, I've got a couple of friends (and friends of friends that I sort of know) who constantly seem to be doing that (text messaging). Not a scientific sample, I know. But holy crap, that's all they seem to do!

They're all pretty much on official notice to NOT bother me with all their "r u there? lol...wassup?" stuff.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2006-09-14 at 11:34.
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morgan rose
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2006-09-14, 11:38

ive seen all these people making custom enclosures for there ipods anybody ever think of just gutting a razr and an ipod nano and just putting them in a custom enclosure, im not mechanical enough to make it look better then a phone and nano duct taped together, but im sure somebody has to have done this
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Kraetos
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2006-09-14, 11:56

College students - a MASSIVE Apple market - text like its their job.

( I am one )

Slider with hidden numpad, a-la chocolate, makes the most sense at this point. And I am pretty sure thats exactly what it will be.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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Kickaha
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2006-09-14, 11:57

Okay, here's one for you...

Assume no numeric keypad for phone entry. Just... assume.

Would you *still* prefer a numeric keypad for *TEXT* entry? Or something else? Because frankly, entering text on a numeric keypad bites *ass*.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
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pscates2.0
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2006-09-14, 12:13

How fast could people text message (or compose short, simple e-mails) with an adaptation of that scrolling search thing Apple introduced Tuesday? Where you scroll to the letter you want, push the center/enter button on the wheel, proceed on, etc.

I'm pretty sure I could do that a bit faster than trying to enter a new phone/friend entry on my cell phone with the standard, numeric keypad way.

Maybe THAT is at the heart of their phone? When you go to phone/messaging mode, a little array of letters and numbers - almost like a little mini keyboard layout - pops up on the display (as on the new iPods) and you scroll to your choice, enter, scroll, enter, etc.



Or is that too weird?

I'd rather do THAT than the present way...

You could use the same method to easily enter numbers and names into your address book/call catalog?

These days I find myself manually dialing only 1-2 numbers (my Mom and my best friend). But everyone else (friends, co-workers, family, various businesses, etc.) I dial them based on their name and icon (cell, home, work, etc.) and don't even input their phone numbers manually.

What if the scroll wheel, based on what mode you were in (iTunes/music, photo viewing, picture-taking, messaging/e-mailing, phone calling, etc.) behaved a bit differently and somehow controlled all the above actions, with some related, onscreen assistance/graphics to work with it and help clarify/simplify the process as well?

What about this: you DO want to manually dial a phone number...you go to "phone" mode or whatever, and a round, circular representation of numbers appears on screen - uh, pretty much like an old-fashioned rotary phone? - and as you scroll your wheel around, the numbers you're "on" light up or turn a different color. When you land on the one you want, you press the center/enter button?

A few days of practice and use and anyone could be dialing numbers manually fairly quickly this way, IMO.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2006-09-14 at 12:21.
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MacGregor
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2006-09-14, 13:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
I think the iPod onan would have to come with its own wetsuit.

BTW, anyone else recognize that the iTV could be a start towards a *usable* wireless display that was such a flop on the PC side? ie, make a tablet-esque version of the iTV with 802.11n, enough horsepower to decode the video stream, and a touchscreen. CPU and storage on the network, display and input in your hand. Toss in resolution independence, and it starts to get fun.
Why not partner with Panasonic or someone to OEM the iTV motherboard right into the TV itself? There's plenty of room in those things and you can save on the I/O ports! It would be another way to get that little white Apple logo on some cool devices! Sell them in the Apple Store and then in Best Buys and you're off to the Emmy's.

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MacGregor
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2006-09-14, 13:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonRotto View Post
Ooh, ooh! could it be the i****, the e****, the v**** and all that Kormac crap from years gone by that never came true despite the quixotic insistence of his great cult following will show up with the iPhone and xMac at MWSF?!! RLY?!

OK< sorry. I think they'll build off of the iTV concept for a while. There are a lot of places it could go, and probably should to be a really compelling solution.
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MacGregor
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2006-09-14, 13:37

So to list the biggest uses (by me) of cellphones by function are:
1. Accept a call.
2. Ignore a call.
3. Dial or reply to a number you already have in the phone
4. Check the time
5. Listen to messages
6. Text message someone or enter text for some other reason
7. Dial a number I don't already have

Way down the list... listen to music, check calendar, etc....

Given this list of my needs I can see that
1. I don't need anything other than a scroll wheel for the first 5 actions.
2. I actually could use a small keyboard before I need a number pad.
3. The blackberry keyboard with integrated numbers is more useful than a numberpad with integrated letters.

Conclusion: I would like a scroll-wheel iPhone with a retractable blackberry-like keyboard.

Whose with me?

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Kickaha
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2006-09-14, 14:31

That's what I've been asking for since 2003.
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BuonRotto
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2006-09-14, 14:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolToddHunter View Post
Unfortunately, the new iPod nano design doesn't lend itself to a "slider" keypad very well. The old nano would be much better for that. If it weren't for that, I'd think your nano/phone mockups would be great.
This doesn't sounds like something Apple would do, but what if the keyboard pad slid out from the side, the wide part, rather than down along the skinny part? The screen would have to orient itself sideways as well, which isn't unheard of, and certainly text on the horizontal is more helpful, while numbers/lists are more useful o nthe vertical. Like I said, I don't know if doing the whole portrait/landscape orientation magic is Apple's thing, but it would make sense for someone to try this, right?
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turtle
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2006-09-14, 15:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonRotto View Post
This doesn't sounds like something Apple would do, but what if the keyboard pad slid out from the side, the wide part, rather than down along the skinny part? The screen would have to orient itself sideways as well, which isn't unheard of, and certainly text on the horizontal is more helpful, while numbers/lists are more useful o nthe vertical. Like I said, I don't know if doing the whole portrait/landscape orientation magic is Apple's thing, but it would make sense for someone to try this, right?
Sounds like a Cingular 8125/HTC Wizard, only with Mac OS instead of Windows Mobile.


The second pic was purely for size comparison. It would be awesome if they could get Mac OS on it, or it's own version. It's a full touch screen too.

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pscates2.0
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2006-09-14, 16:10

A rough idea/sketch of the things I was talking about in a post above, about how the scroll wheel might be okay (as opposed to the traditional numeric keypad).

In message mode (text or even e-mail?), a mini keyboard layout appears. Figuring anyone doing heavy messaging or e-mail HAS to be familiar with a keyboard layout (perhaps there could be a preference that allowed the letters to be displayed alphabetically, for those who chose to). Anyway, while in this mode you scroll around with the wheel (as you going through photos on iPods or in the new iPod scroll search) until you land on the letter you want. To enter this in, you click the center button, as you always do on an iPod to confirm/initiate a command or action.

This same method would be used to enter names/numbers for your address book.

Also (I love this part ), while in this mode, the compass points of the scroll wheel trigger familiar keyboard commands most used (and somewhat in relation to where they are on a real keyboard: shift/caps lock to left, space bar on bottom, return on right, and backspace/delete at the top. The red letters there are just for illustration purposes. The user would quickly learn this...

In dialing mode (assuming it's one of the few numbers you DON'T already have programmed in), the old rotary phone dial metaphor is used (which ties in wonderfully with the scroll wheel). A "dial" pops up, you thumb around your scroll wheel to choose your number and hit the center button (also, maybe a message comes up after your call, asking if you'd like to add that number to your Address Book?).

Thoughts?

It's rough and barebones, but just the general idea? Does it work? Is it feasible?

I can easily imagine doing this, and working this way. I honestly don't think I'd miss a traditional numeric phone keypad. I could type a message or e-mail quicker THIS way than the current phone key set-up, that's for sure. Make it familiar to a keyboard, something people using this feature are all too familiar with these days...

I'm not sure how the touchtone "press 1 for Jim, press 2 for accounting..." thing might work...hmmm.
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turtle
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2006-09-14, 16:26

I like the idea and think it would work well. I really like the idea of the rotary dial too, not sure why, but I do.
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einlanzer237
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2006-09-14, 16:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Also (I love this part ), while in this mode, the compass points of the scroll wheel trigger familiar keyboard commands most used (and somewhat in relation to where they are on a real keyboard: shift/caps lock to left, space bar on bottom, return on right, and backspace/delete at the top. The red letters there are just for illustration purposes. The user would quickly learn this...
This sounds like a good idea, but maybe you could switch the caps and backspace directions? My first impression would be to push the left button to erase a letter. Otherwise though, great ideas!

Also, why couldn't you just dial the numbers for options the same way you dial numbers to call someone? Rotate to select, then press the center button to dial it.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2006-09-14, 16:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by einlanzer237 View Post
This sounds like a good idea, but maybe you could switch the caps and backspace directions? My first impression would be to push the left button to erase a letter. Otherwise though, great ideas!
I suppose so, sure. I was just trying to keep it anchored to the familiar keyboard layout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by einlanzer237 View Post
Also, why couldn't you just dial the numbers for options the same way you dial numbers to call someone? Rotate to select, then press the center button to dial it.
You could. I wasn't sure if that was a hardware or software-centric function, but I guess it doesn't matter? I don't really know. But yes, if that method would "take", then of course. You'd have the rotary graphic there on the screen and you could simply spin it around to follow a business' directory system, or enter an extension number or go through the customer service "press 2 to bitch, press 3 to make threats" tap dance.

I kinda had to bash the above drawing out quick and dirty (and on the down low)...but I've got about 3-5 more ideas along those same lines, using the simple scroll wheel (and tied to onscreen graphics, prompts, etc.) to do most of the things people would do on a cell phone: navigate (the iPod has proven that wonderfully...no brainer there), enter numbers, type short e-mails and text messages (no one is going to use this to compose a term paper, so there doesn't need to be every high-end composition feature known to man present ), enter names/contact info, taking photos (surely any Apple-created cell phone is going to have at least a little 1.3megapixel camera built-in, right?). The aspect of dealing with music and photos (navigating, viewing, listening) has already been worked out just fine (the standard iPod method). So it's really only text/numeral entry, making calls, creating short sentences, snapping a pic, etc. that have to addressed.

I think the scroll wheel is more than up to the task.

While in different modes, the scroll wheel simply behaves in different, specific ways: drives a virtual keyboard, "dials" a phone, snaps a photo (and "zooms" using the wheel), etc.

And since it's all software-based, tailoring it for personal preferences and usage patterns (or other languages?) couldn't be a huge ordeal (some people might like a straight A-Z alphabetical entry listing instead of a keyboard layout. That could be a preference toggled on and off at will?

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2006-09-14 at 17:07.
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Kraetos
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2006-09-14, 17:54

Guys. Adding a numeric keypad has no disadvantages and numerous advantages.

So you never use it? Big deal. It stays hidden behind the slider.

But, if you need it and it ISN'T there, you're fucked.

Forcing people do things their used to the "new, better, and Apple" way has caused some serious flops for Apple in the past, and at the very least, stalemates. Granted, sometimes it works wonderfully (Apple definitly sped up the abandonment of Floppys and the use of USB with the iMac) but I don't think abandonment of the numeric keypad is a good idea because its not like its a flawed method to begin with.

I text FAST with a numeric. Almost as fast as I type. I know others who text FASTER than they type. Its a combination of not having to move ones thumb too much and predictive input (e.g. T9). I don't see the iPod search method being faster than a 9 button numeric with predictive. Ever.

Plus, there is no reason you couldn't have BOTH. Enter typing mode with the slider shut, it uses the iPod search method. Slider open, use the numeric. The scroll wheel method is probably easier for someone who isn't used to a numeric w/ predictive. You should see some of the texts my Dad sends me...

Yes. For a lot of people, a scroll wheel is the most efficient and intiutive way to perform 90% of phone tasks. But you need a numeric for the other 10% and if your a chronic texter, you need it even more.

So, the solution is simple. Hide the keypad under a slider. There should be no problem keeping even a slider under .5 in (13.7 mm) which is definitly thin enough. Think mini sized. The mini is definitly small enough for a cell phone, especially if it replaces your iPod nano in the process.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-09-14, 18:46

Then don't be a chronic texter. What are you saying/sending that's so important?

Seriously, yeah...maybe both is smart. I don't know.

But who knows...it might be the very thing that set Apple's phone apart from the rest? After all, there's certainly no law saying you have to buy one.
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Kraetos
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2006-09-14, 19:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Then don't be a chronic texter. What are you saying/sending that's so important?

Seriously, yeah...maybe both is smart. I don't know.

But who knows...it might be the very thing that set Apple's phone apart from the rest? After all, there's certainly no law saying you have to buy one.
Most of the time I am responding to my friend's texts!

But I prefer text messaging a lot of time:
-It is less urgent. A phone call you have to answer but a text can just sit around for minutes or even hours.
-It is discreet.
-It can make it easier to convey data such as phone numbers or instructions because it leaves a more permanant record.

My main point is that one of the iPhone's largest potential markets very much relies on a numeric keypad, and it would a pretty poor decision business-wise to omit one.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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Kickaha
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2006-09-14, 19:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
My main point is that one of the iPhone's largest potential markets very much relies on a text entry system, and it would a pretty poor decision business-wise to omit one.
T,FTFY
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Messiahtosh
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2006-09-14, 19:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
Most of the time I am responding to my friend's texts!

But I prefer text messaging a lot of time:
-It is less urgent. A phone call you have to answer but a text can just sit around for minutes or even hours.
-It is discreet.
-It can make it easier to convey data such as phone numbers or instructions because it leaves a more permanant record.

My main point is that one of the iPhone's largest potential markets very much relies on a numeric keypad, and it would a pretty poor decision business-wise to omit one.
This is a great post and everything you say here is just plain....true. A phone without a numeric keypad would be a watch without numbers - it would needlessly complicate and make things confusing.

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Kickaha
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2006-09-14, 19:57

Even though it would make the most common functions more effective.

*shakes head*

I just don't get it.
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Engine Joe
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2006-09-14, 20:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
But I prefer text messaging a lot of time:
-It is less urgent. A phone call you have to answer but a text can just sit around for minutes or even hours.
-It is discreet.
-It can make it easier to convey data such as phone numbers or instructions because it leaves a more permanant record.
That's what voicemail is for. You don't have to answer the phone, and the message they leave on voicemail can just sit around for however long you like, messages are discreet, and leave a nice record of phone numbers and the like.

So...
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MacGregor
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2006-09-14, 20:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
Most of the time I am responding to my friend's texts!

But I prefer text messaging a lot of time:
-It is less urgent. A phone call you have to answer but a text can just sit around for minutes or even hours.
-It is discreet.
-It can make it easier to convey data such as phone numbers or instructions because it leaves a more permanant record.

My main point is that one of the iPhone's largest potential markets very much relies on a numeric keypad, and it would a pretty poor decision business-wise to omit one.
Except for pscates' mock-up, I think most people see a need for alphanumeric buttons, the question is: which is better for you, a number pad or a blackberry keyboard?

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billybobsky
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2006-09-14, 20:33

The word entry would be easier as well, instead of hitting a key three or four times you would scroll quickly to a letter and press one key -- or even type a few letters and SCROLL through common words that have that combination of first letters.

In fact, ergonomically, I would argue two repetitive motions (scrolling and clicking) is faster than moving your finger or thumb about a number pad and hitting a key some random number of times, move the finger to the next letter etc...
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MacGregor
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2006-09-14, 20:33

Sorry pscates, but I don't see how a scrollwheel and qwerty would be anything but incredibly confusing. QWERTY only works because people have "muscle" memory from typing, not because they have a visual idea of the keyboard. The most used keys are near the center, but that doesn't end up being really useful when you have to scroll. I see even the terrible cellphone number pads as easier to figure out.

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