• "There’s a lot of great technology imagery… Here’s a sampling of stills depicting the awesomeness:" Beautiful. (If I had to have a favourite film, it would still be The Conversation).
  • "Normally, one of the first things that admin will do when they set up their blog is to go and remove the Hello world! post. But for this blog, we’ve decided to keep it. The feeling a coder has when they see “Hello world!” for the first time on the tool or system they’re creating is a great feeling. You’ve just given birth to something. It’s still young, fragile, and only a hint of what it someday will be. But it’s alive. Something you’ve made with your own two hands is starting to breath. It has begun."
  • "Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks." That's interesting.

S60 Touch: flip-to-silence

02 November 2007

So, the latest version of Nokia/Symbian Series 60 has been previewed. There’s even a swanky video for it:

I’m still thinking about a lot of it. It’s clearly aiming at a slightly different market to the one Apple’s gunning for. There’s an interesting separation between “stuff that needs a stylus” and “stuff you can do with fingers/thumbs”. In reality, I think people veer towards thumbs if possible. Does that mean they’ll ignore the UI elements that are so small they need a stylus? Not sure. I haven’t given that enough thought, as I said.

The best bit of the video, though, is nothing to do with touch. It’s the bit where the model silences the phone ringing on the coffee table simply by physically flipping the phone over.

As an interaction, that presumes a lot. It presumes you leave your phone out, and if you do, you leave it face up. Many people leave their phones out (so they can see them skitter across the table when a call/SMS comes in) but face down, so the screen doesn’t annoy them. (Blackberries, with their persistent flashing light, are a prime candidate for face-downing). At the same time, it embraces that behaviour: when the screen lights up, you hide the screen and the phone silences. I like that.

Of course, you could do that on any old phone with a cheap accelerometer inside it. I wish it wasn’t part of some “premium” touch interface, but part of a lowest-common-denominator combination of hardware and software. Oh well.