Archive for October, 2008
Morten Hjerde has posted a discussion on application postures, and what software developers can and can not do with them. Since I was planning on writing about this, you might go there so I don’t have to. Besides, he used more pictures than I would have.
One of Morten’s points is that the current batch of tools doesn’t enable us to do the right thing for a particular task or application we want to develop. Instead, almost everything has to be sovereign posture. This is bad: a task that the user wants to peripherally monitor, such as weather alerts, has to take over the entire screen.
We are hoping that widget technologies such as Nokia’s web runtime engine will help us move to a richer, and more appropriate, user experience.
This is post #401 for Little Springs Design. I’m occasionally amazed at how much we’ve written.
Post #395 was linked from this week’s Carnival of the Mobilists.
The constant bip, bip, bip… one I was able to isolate pretty fast, but another took me fully 10 minutes. Every two minutes: Bo-up! Is it the headset? Not sure. Is it something I am hearing through the headset, like the GPS? Doesn’t seem to be. Is it this radio? Mm… no. Is it the other radio? Yes! It’s a low battery warning.
My phone also spends a fair amount of time beeping in a seemingly random manner. Some seem to have simply have no on-screen notifier. Sometimes this notice is hidden, as when in a browser, and even worse the timer for the notification expires even though it is not visible; by the time I get to the idle screen, there’s nothing to see. Sometimes the phone is in another room, and I can’t tell if a beep is from the phone, an alarm, the microwave, the stove, a computer, etc. etc.
A few tones are pretty unique and designed to elicit the right emotional response; sad and dying means Alison’s phone battery is indeed sad and dying. Pop it on the charger. But far too many are essentially arbitrarily different tones, and very similar to other, unrelated tones.
Increasing use of multi-tasking mobile devices, and always-on applications – like a lot of the contextual ideas we come up with around here – will add to this confusion if the current trends continue. So, when you next design or specify alerting tones, put some extra thought into it; consider not just the application, but the entire device, and the whole electronic ecosystem in which your user operates.
This is slightly outside my area of expertise, but if I understand correctly many of our clients will be affected.
Verizon is about to start charging content providers 3 cents per text message. Do look at the comments on this entry: you’ll get a much better understanding of the move.
Verizon mostly doesn’t support WAP Push, so SMS is the only way for a content provider to push information to a customer. Expect huge numbers of content providers to drop services to Verizon. Any full free service will either have to stop supporting Verizon customers, or go to an uncontrolled (and lower quality of service) SMS gateway.
Don’t forget, Twitter had to drop SMS updates in the UK due to costs. The Verizon fees are much higher.
All this is on top of the problem that most Verizon devices won’t support clickable URLs in SMS anyhow. What I fail to understand is that our WinMob Smartphone on AT&T wouldn’t let me click on a URL either. Perhaps it was a technical glitch: there was no http:// in the URL. At least, that’s what I hope.