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How Not to Build a Cellphone

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the now-seriously dept.

Cellphones 326

Jamie found an NYT story about a new t-mobile Shadow phone which starts off by talking about how Apple is changing the phone game by wrestling power from the carriers, and then discussing what could be a reasonable piece of hardware. And then how it is wrecked by software. The phone has wait screens, a task manager, odd error messages etc. Makes for an amusing read.

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326 comments

everything you need to know: (3, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21314853)

Everything you need to know starts in paragraph eighteen:

Unfortunately, after they did such a great job designing the hardware, T-Mobile's chief executive and his ex-Apple designer punted on the software. They equipped this phone with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6. As it turns out, that decision is just as much an impediment to the Shadow's greatness as AT&T exclusivity is to the iPhone.

And, this isn't even Microsoft's fault! It's T-Mobile's CEO who had the hubris to think he could design this thing just like Jobs. Not.

I think the article actually goes a little easy on the critique of the hardware. I doesn't break any ground. It has too many or too few buttons. The middle ground they took with the Blackberry licensed keyboard was just plain wrong. This phone is just a mess. Apple kinda pulled this feat off, designing a do-everything phone (I kinda disagree, btw), and now everybody else thinks they can do it too. They even think it's the right thing to do (it's not).

But, what were they thinking going with MS Mobile? Wth? Sheeesh... it even comes with a Task Monitor? Yeah, I'm gonna help my Dad with his new phone... "Bring up the Task Monitor... now click on the Processes tab. Now click on the CPU column twice. What's eating up the most CPU? ... That's the central processing unit.... ummm... Okay, now highlight the one eating up all the CPU and click the "End Process" button.... " Not.

Another place the article "gets it wrong" trying to be kind in his critique:

Now, there are certainly advantages to having Microsoft inside your phone. For example, this phone can open and edit (but not create) Microsoft Office documents.

Wrong! That's not an advantage, that's insane. At least, I can't remember the last time I was looking at my cellphone thinking, "Damn, I wish right now I could open up a Word document!", not even if one was attached to an e-mail.

I'm still waiting for the phone that sounds and works like a phone.

Bit of trivia, speaking of phones... Know what the little graphic on the Sprint logo stands for? Didn't think so. It represents a stop-motion pin dropping. Remember when Sprint's commercials were about phone call sound quality and how it was so good you could hear a pin drop? Didn't think so. Please, oh, please, let me hear the pin drop again!

Mystifying (4, Interesting)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315031)

I'm still waiting for the phone that sounds and works like a phone.

Why does everyone say this as if it doesn't exist?

I suspect it is because they want their posts to sound as though they possess some real down-home 'Murrican wisdom. Jesus. How [cnet.com] many [cnet.com] counterexamples [cnet.com] do [cnet.com] I [cnet.com] have [cnet.com] to [cnet.com] find? [cnet.com] All of these are "phones that look and act like phones."

Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?

Wrong! That's not an advantage, that's insane. At least, I can't remember the last time I was looking at my cellphone thinking, "Damn, I wish right now I could open up a Word document!", not even if one was attached to an e-mail.

Yesterday, when I got an email from my advisor. Thankfully, I had my iPhone at the ready and it was quite capable of opening the document. I was able to answer her question immediately and it made me look like I was really on top of things. I guess that makes me "insane."

Re:Mystifying (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315105)

Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?

Because they want a good quality camera, phone, PDA, laptop, etc. not a all-in-one gadget with a mediocre everything?

Re:Mystifying (2, Insightful)

Beltonius (960316) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315155)

Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?

Because they want a good quality camera, phone, PDA, laptop, etc. not a all-in-one gadget with a mediocre everything?

Precisely. My phone is my link to the outside world (calls, text and tethering via bluetooth) but I take my pictures with my camera, keep track of appointments and contacts with my PDA (along with using it for GPS) and surf the web etc etc etc with my Thinkpad. My laptop can and will always provide a better internet experience than a device with a weaker processor, less storage space and a ~3" screen. Simple physics inhibit a great-quality set of optics in a reasonably sized phone, and stupid carrier lock-downs prevent most phones from really doing anything that useful. I also have a watch with a built in compass (helps when using my PDA to navigate around cities on foot).

Re:Mystifying (5, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315271)

Ya but for every one of you, there are ten non-technical people for whom the phone/pda/camera/laptop/mp3 player/blender/sink is good enough. For some people the utility of having a swiss-army-phone outweighs that of having a specialized device because they don't care about quality, just something that gets the job done.

Re:Mystifying (2, Interesting)

Beltonius (960316) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315321)

Oh, certainly. I'm not saying that I don't understand why someone wants their phone to do literally everything. It just bothers me that the minority of the populace that do want higher-quality electronics are basically being marginalized. Noone really makes PDA's anymore, except for HP, and their's are worse in every way than the ones Dell used to put out. Palm hasn't updated their line in upwards of a year and the only devices I've seen running WM6.0 have been smart-phones.

Re:Mystifying (2, Informative)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315635)

Most of those 'non-technical' people I've met don't know how the heck to get pictures off their phone, and wouldn't know where to start using a phone as a PDA, I'll admit I know at least one person who uses the mp3 player in his phone, but there are tons more who just use their ipod or whatever else.

Re:Mystifying (2, Interesting)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315123)

Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?
You can't fit great optics in the size of a typical mobile phone, so the camera is a toy.
If the phone has wi-fi and a decent SSH client, I won't mind any PDA-ness. But I don't
ever feel the lack of a laptop, anyway, and just use the phone to be reachable :)

Re:Mystifying (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315141)

For me, the camera is a flashlight. Just set the flash to Always On, go into camera mode, and there it is. I could care less about taking pictures.

Re:Mystifying (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315219)

I could care less about taking pictures.
So, why don't you then?

Re:Mystifying (2, Insightful)

AoT (107216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315261)

because he doesn't care enough to make the effort.

Re:Mystifying (2, Interesting)

gforce811 (903907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315477)

I could care less about taking pictures.
Just a slight point here, but this phrase is so completely botched all the time, that I had to say something. I think what you meant to say was, "I couldn't care less about taking pictures." As in, your level of caring for taking pictures is so low already, that it could not get any lower. I think that is what confused the author of the other reply to your post. Either that, or he/she was just being cynical. Of course, maybe I am too.

Cheers. Oh, and if I'm wrong, please tell me so I may correct myself in the future.

Re:Mystifying (3, Informative)

p!ngu (854287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315789)

"I couldn't care less" --> literal.
"I could care less" --> sarcasm, or abbreviated form of "I could care less (but I don't know how)"

Re:Mystifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315799)

I could care less about taking pictures.

So you do care about taking pictures to some degree?

Re:Mystifying (2, Insightful)

RattFink (93631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315239)

You can't fit great optics in the size of a typical mobile phone, so the camera is a toy.

So what? Quality is actually not all that important to the vast majority of the population as you make it out to be. The optics used in cell phone cameras are certainly a lot better then disposable cameras cheap plastic optics yet those cameras were extremely popular before, cameras on cell phones and the price of digital cameras bottomed out. They certainly aren't "professional" quality but very few cameras are.

Re:Mystifying (2, Insightful)

winwar (114053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315359)

"The optics used in cell phone cameras are certainly a lot better then disposable cameras cheap plastic optics yet those cameras were extremely popular before..."

Sorry, but the disposable cameras take better pictures than cell phones.

Re:Mystifying (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315373)

Oh, so the cheap disposable cameras has worse quality then the mobile? Then I guess nearly all the pictures from my last open air festival are bad. But then again: on the one taken with the disposable camera you at least can se that there is something on the stage.
Oh, yeah. There are some photos taken during daytime with a good light source (the sun). But the rest of the pictures from my mobile? Forget to see what they are supposed to show you, and it does not get better if you use the flash... And still my mobile is the one of those who had the better quality compared to my friends.

Re:Mystifying (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315495)

You can't fit great optics in the size of a typical mobile phone, so the camera is a toy.
Depends on what you mean by 'great.' I have a few friends who take photography very seriously. They use SLRs that cost a lot more than my phone and one develops his own film (the rest have gone digital). For them, a camera phone is clearly the wrong tool for the job. I, on the other hand, just want something that can take a few snaps. The camera on my phone produces good quality pictures in daylight, as long as there isn't much motion, and I can blow them up to the size of my monitor without seeing any artefacts. Sure, a dedicated camera would give better quality. I actually own a better camera, but I stopped buying film for it because I never took it with me anywhere. In contrast, my phone is always in my pocket.

So, is a phone camera just a toy? Well, yes, but for me (and a lot of other people) a stand-alone camera is also a toy. I don't take pictures for a living, just for fun.

Re:Mystifying (2, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315233)

Well, I do that. On my BlackBerry 7105t. Which is an old phone now in marketing terms.

Heck, I went out and got Google Maps, and an SSH client. People look at me like I'm clever when I drill down and tell them their house is the third light down, not the second. My co-workers aren't in awe any more when I reboot my web server, they are in awe when I can run a macro and suck up the latest patches. And keep them up to date on World Series score. And this is just a BlackBerry.

As soon as I begin wishing for a camera, I remember though, having all your devices in one leads to the inevitable 'all your devices are broken to you' scenario . I like being able to replace my phone, and then replace my camera, and not having to replace both.

ack.

Oh yea, and I open Word docs just fine. Even Excel and PDFs. Take THAT, Windows Mobile!

Re:Mystifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315269)

"Why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?"

Are you saying that you like the pictures that the iPhone takes?

Re:Mystifying (1)

mattsgotredhair (945945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315691)

ummmm... do you have an iPhone? I do, and I've first hand taken plenty of pictures that I like. I don't understand why everyone is hatinnnn

Re:Mystifying (2, Insightful)

sowth (748135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315339)

Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?

Because the vast majority of the time, in the best case, you end up with a device which is a mediocre camera, a mediocre phone, a mediocre PDA, and a mediocre laptop.

In fact, most of the time you get a really expensive device with a crappy camera which takes poor quality pictures and you have to select through several menus, so it takes longer to take a picture than even my crappy kodak C300 I got for christmas, which takes several seconds to start up from off to on. You get a crappy phone which works, but ends up being suboptimal for a phone. You get a crappy PDA, which is not only locked down so you can't run your own programs, but ends up being suboptimal for a PDA, especially if it only has a numberpad for input. Inputing alphabetic chars into the numberpad works, but you have to admit it is a pain in the ass. You get a "laptop", but again, your choice of software is locked down, and are you really going to call such a small device a "laptop"??? Usually the difference between a PDA and laptop is that the laptop comes with a full size screen and full size keyboard, the PDA a small screen and either a tiny keyboard or touch screen for input. Any reasonably small sized phone cannot be considered a laptop. Maybe if you could open it up and a bigger screen and keyboard fold out, but I don't see this happening on anything within a resonable price range. Maybe a pen and ink display may make it happen. How would you fit a fold out lcd into such a small space?

I would like to see a device which functions as a camera, phone, PDA, and laptop, and does all of them well. However, I doubt I will ever see one...within the next ten years anyway...

Re:Mystifying (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315519)

Because the vast majority of the time, in the best case, you end up with a device which is a mediocre camera, a mediocre phone, a mediocre PDA, and a mediocre laptop.
Most of the time, if you don't go for a converged device, you end up with a mediocre camera, a mediocre phone and a mediocre PDA and you have to carry three mediocre devices around with you.

Yes, I still miss my Psion Series 3.

Re:Mystifying (2, Interesting)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315387)

Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?
No. I have no desire whatsoever to carry around a camera or a laptop. I carry around a phone (Nokia 3310 - a real "phone only" phone) and a PDA, and wouldn't want to trade them in for a single device. The only advantage I can see is that I would have a spare pocket, but when I weigh that against the disadvantages of being unable to speak on the phone and skim through my calendar at the same time, running down the battery on the combined device faster than on either of my current devices, and being vulnerable to a single accident, I come down on the side of standalones.

Re:Mystifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315525)

Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?

Maybe some people don't want convergence. I'm sure I'm not the only one here that just wants a cellphone that works well. I don't need a camera, mp3 player, web browser, and PDA all rolled into one sleek package. All I need is a mobile phone that has crystal clear voice quality and doesn't drop calls. Cheap would be nice. Bluetooth would be nice too, but only for a wireless headset. Who here really takes serious pictures with their cellphone and/or uses their phone as their primary mp3 player?

Me, Too! (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315575)

I used to be in the "I just want a phone that's a phone" camp. Then the prepaid phones came out that are small, just a phone, and hella inexpensive. Finally, exactly what I wanted came around. So I paid too much to get a cool convergence phone with a camera and and mp3 player and cable to connect my computer to the internet and a chintzy gps (actually, the gps isn't half bad. Not good enough for hiking, but more than adequate for "the turn's just a little farther, we haven't missed it" type stuff). Turns out I've been a hypocrite the whole time.

I'd still whine if the small, fairly robust, inexpensive, no frills, prepaid phones didn't exist, though.

Re:Mystifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315739)

"Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?"

Heck, no. But if the convergence device *sucks* at being 3 out of 4 of those (or, heaven forbid, 4/4), it's the kind of "convergence" most people don't want. So far, all the phones I've seen have been 2 out of 4 devices at best. The iPhone had a chance of reaching a genuine 3 if Apple hadn't clamped down on 3rd-party development (which affects the PDA/laptop uses, mostly). Hopefully the February SDK release will allow it to become a genuine 3/4, but even in the most optimistic future the camera will still suck, and it will need a fold-up keyboard to make it efficient when filling a laptop-like role.

Anyway, yes, you're right this is what many people want, but they don't want convergence to equate to so much compromise that it isn't worth it.

Re:Mystifying (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315793)

Moreover, why is ANYONE "against" convergence? Seriously? Do you really WANT to be carrying around a camera, a phone, a PDA, and a laptop?

Sort of. I always have the phone. If it did limited PDA stuff, like email and calendar, that'd be okay, but it had better be a good phone and always available. I have 2 cameras - a casio that works great for quick photos and a DSLR for serious stuff when I want to engage in geekitude. Laptops stay in the car or the hotel on vacation.

How exactly? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315069)

Apple kinda pulled this feat off, designing a do-everything phone
How exactly? Just because ita Apple?
Or by locking up the phone?
By making sure you have to use a desktop to even activate it by using a music management software?
By no OTA updates?
By bricking it with firmware updates?
By having no real keyboard?

HOW EXACTLY?

Re:everything you need to know: (1)

Fluffy Bunnies (1055208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315193)

Wrong! That's not an advantage, that's insane. At least, I can't remember the last time I was looking at my cellphone thinking, "Damn, I wish right now I could open up a Word document!", not even if one was attached to an e-mail.
I wrote parts of my BA thesis (including the whole conclusion) on a Nokia N95 (with a portable bluetooth keyboard). So, what TFA article said is wrong, not because it's insane to edit .docs on a cellphone, but because it implies you need a Microsoft OS for that. There are times when you need to write stuff on the go, and I don't have a suitable laptop for that.

Re:everything you need to know: (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315355)

Of course you could have made yourself a favor and bought a cheap second hand laptop (or a new desktop even) for a couple hundred dollars. A thesis sounds like a project where you'd want proper tools before you start. Doing the work on a PDA-sized phone is not reasonable.

Re:everything you need to know: (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315615)

I wrote a couple of articles this summer sitting on a bench in the park with my Nokia 770 and a ThinkOutside bluetooth keyboard[1]. Sure, I could have taken my MacBook Pro, but it doesn't fit in my pocket, and is massively overpowered for running Vim (EMACS, on the other hand, would probably struggle...)

I didn't write my thesis on the device, although I did write parts of a couple of papers. It's great for killing dead time. I can get some work done in the pub while waiting for other people to arrive, which gives me more time for being sociable.


[1] One of the few devices I've used recently which are truly beautifully engineered.

Re:everything you need to know: (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315289)

For example, this phone can open and edit (but not create) Microsoft Office documents.
Wrong! That's not an advantage, that's insane. At least, I can't remember the last time I was looking at my cellphone thinking, "Damn, I wish right now I could open up a Word document!", not even if one was attached to an e-mail.
I sort of agree with you. Editing office docs on a phone is just bad for your blood pressure. Opening them on the other hand is sometimes a necessary evil. If you have a company issued smartphone, the reasoning is that you'll be able to more promptly answer emails. Quite often, I've gotten "Take a look at this, tell me what you think. (X.doc, Y.xls attached) emails, and every now and then it's time sensitive and I'm not at a PC. I'm not sure I can picture a scenario where I'd need to edit (but not create!?) an office file on my phone. It's just an unreasonable expectation for someone outside the office to unexpectedly receive, edit and return an office document. View it, write back an email saying "Correct X, Y, and Z."

I could see mobile spreadsheets being useful somewhat. I mean "mobile spreadsheet" too, not a PC spreadsheet crammed into a phone. Taking a document designed for printing and/or viewing on a PC and squeezing it into a 2-3" phone with a micro sized input device breaks the whole WYSIWYG [wikipedia.org] philosophy that modern office software is based upon.

There is no need for palm sized word processing, unless your country's standard business letter is about half the size of a US postcard. Spreadsheets are versatile enough to be useful, but not being able to create them (you're forced to view PC designed spreadsheets??) doesn't really give you mobile-spreadsheet capabilities.

Yaaargh, Microsoft's mobile "PC" platform is so backwards. Taking concepts that don't even make sense on desktops anymore and ruining phones with them too.

Why Is 'Not' Not Funny Anymore? (1)

TechnicolourSquirrel (1092811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315303)

That whole 'Not.' thing isn't considered a cool way to end a sentence anymore by most people. It seems to have gone the way of 'Psyche.' I kinda wish it hadn't, because I like it, but I don't make these decisions. I don't know who does, but there it is.

Re:everything you need to know: (5, Insightful)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315461)

And, this isn't even Microsoft's fault!

According to the article, it is:

Unfortunately, after they did such a great job designing the hardware, T-Mobile's chief executive and his ex-Apple designer punted on the software. They equipped this phone with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6. As it turns out, that decision is just as much an impediment to the Shadow's greatness as AT&T exclusivity is to the iPhone.


(The 20 key hardware is the same used by Blackberry and Sony, by the way, and generally works pretty well... certainly a lot better than T9.)

But, what were they thinking going with MS Mobile?

For the US market, what choice did they have? Apple, PalmOS, and Blackberry can't be licensed, Symbian is likely expensive and nearly as messy as Windows Mobile. And they didn't have the time and resources to do their own Linux-based system. So, for a smartphone like that, Windows Mobile is the obvious choice for companies like HTC and T-Mobile right now. You can't fault them for that.

With Android, of course, they do... let's hope that T-Mobile is smart and makes that choice. HTC (the maker of the Shadow) is already on board with Android...

Re:everything you need to know: (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315681)

Neither.

It is a HTC phone. This says it all.

Regardless what they are given as requirements they will produce garbageware. It took 1 year and nearly 200 minor revisions of the O2 XDA code load for it to stop crashing. Even after that it was a piece of garbageware. Their recent Blackberry ripoff (Escalibur) when released crashed left right and center several times a day just by being connected to the network. And so on.

None the less, they continue to produce phones for operators for a simple reason - They do exactly what the operator tells them as far as look and feel. It is a classic case of outsourcing in its worst form - a company which will respond to any query with "yes". From there on its actual product quality does not matter.

No Design Experience (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21314923)

"A locking feature, which prevents the buttons from being pushed accidentally in a purse or pocket, is nice. But it should be optional. And one button press should suffice to unlock it; two in sequence is just annoying."

I was actually taking this article to heart until I read this paragraph, then I realised the author has probably never had any real mobile OS design experience. There are a lot of things wrong with WM6, but I'd like to see an article written by someone with a little more consideration for mobile design necessities.

Re:No Design Experience (4, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315027)

then I realised the author has probably never had any real mobile OS design experience.

You don't need mobile OS design experience to figure out that a phone has a terrible user interface. While I agree that his comment on a two-button unlock sequence is uncalled for (why have a lock function that unlocks with a single, accidental keypress?), but other than that I think all his gripes are perfectly justified because they deal with the end-user experience.

Re:No Design Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315433)

While I agree that his comment on a two-button unlock sequence is uncalled for (why have a lock function that unlocks with a single, accidental keypress?),
Uhh.... maybe the device could unlock when the keyboard is slid out?

Re:No Design Experience (3, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315057)

What "necessity" is there to require two button presses? This sounds like pre-iPhone thinking. Not that I'm a huge fan of the iPhone, but one thing it has done is forced people to rethink both what's practical and what's "necessary" in a phone.

I had a Siemens candy-bar style phone about 5 years ago that only required one button press to unlock. I mention that it was a candy bar because that means its buttons were unprotected, and I walked around with it in my pocket. Never once did I unlock it by mistake. All it takes is a combination of the right resistance on the buttons and requiring a certain length of a button press (1-2 seconds) in order to successfully unlock it.

People have a tendency to get tunnel vision, and to get locked in to a certain way of thinking (no pun intended) just because "that's the way it's done". This is probably why, after 5 earlier iterations, Windows Mobile still requires going into a menu to hit "delete" on a text message. The one thing I will give Steve Jobs credit for is looking at things like this and saying "why does it have to be done this way?" If there's no good answer, he throws everything out and starts over.

That kind of questioning needs to be done at every level of every single product design. You can't just continuously carry things over from iteration to iteration without any justification as to why.

Re:No Design Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315309)

Well my experience with one-key keylockis pretty bad. Often they are "press this button for a lenght of time". But that did not only my thumb but also my doorkeys in the pocket with the mobile. ...and do not get me started on when the mobile was a bit worn and it sometimes had problems thinking I had held the button for the appropriate time. But then again if you can buy a new mobile every year then that is not an issue.

Try SonyEricssons or Nokias solution to the lock/unlocking of the keys and you will soon understand why it is superior. Things are not necessary more complicated becouse they require one more button push (I still think my mother has not find out how to lock/unlock her Siemens cordless home phone, but her SonyEricsson mobile was never a problem).

Re:No Design Experience (2, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315427)

Yes, I had a siemens candy-bar phone with a one-press unlock. In the eight months it lasted before its power circuit broke, I recall numerous instances of arriving at work (after walking for 30 minutes) to find the boss expecting me, as he'd already been talking to my pants.

Steve Jobs didn't do diddly here. The basic design principle is: If you have a mechanical sliding lock, cool. Otherwise, you have to use buttons, and if you use buttons, use more than one. Because a "phone lock" that regularly unlocks in a situation where uncommanded forces are applied to the keyboard is no lock, but a nuisance.

Re:No Design Experience (2, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315479)

Two button presses have a very good reason for existing. A single button is not sufficient when you're trying to protect against accidental presses. Even if you don't have a problem with it personally it is a problem. Making the buttons difficult to press is a terrible solution too, since it means wearing your fingers out to solve the accidental press problem.

Personally, I find the two button press option to be a pretty good solution in the case where your only controls are buttons. The op mentions how Apple came up with a new method to solve it, but apparently fails to realize that Apple was forced to come up with something like that on account of having only a single button on the phone. Frankly, the button press and finger motion on the iPhone seems like more effort than the two button press the op is complaining about. The article's author is dead wrong about two button presses being too many however, but I agree with him on pretty much all of his other points.

Re:No Design Experience (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315643)

My last phone had the single-button unlock thing. Great, until I heard a noise coming from my pocket and discovered that it had unlocked itself and dialled 999 (that's 911 for any Americans). I was very glad my next phone required two button presses to unlock.

Re:No Design Experience (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315671)

I'm not sure if there's a law about it or something but every phone I've had lets you call 999 without unlocking it. I think the idea is that you don't have to mess with the phone too much when you need it.

In the same vein (4, Interesting)

mike260 (224212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21314925)

Joel Spolsky does an entertaining job of ripping another phone with poorly-designed software to pieces here [joelonsoftware.com] .

Right, "wrestling power" (4, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21314933)

...talking about how Apple is changing the phone game by wrestling power from the carriers...
Right. Apple has certainly wrestled control away from the carriers. Now, instead of just paying the carrier blood money and selling our soul for two years, we get to pay both Apple AND the carrier... and still sell our soul away for two years. Maybe Nokia can compete with Apple by coming out with a phone where I need to sign a 5 year soul sucking deal with the hell (like AT&T, but more pleasant), have the phone chomp on my balls while it is in my pocket, eat my first born child, and get a direct hookup to my bank account from where it funnels money into everyone's pocket but my own.

Come on Google, buy the damn spectrum, open it up, and lets say fuck you to the ass pounding consumers are getting in the US cellular market.

Re:Right, "wrestling power" (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315035)

Right. Apple has certainly wrestled control away from the carriers. Now, instead of just paying the carrier blood money and selling our soul for two years, we get to pay both Apple AND the carrier...
Haha, that was my exact response to that statement as well. Actually, I think there's a better chance of Nokia ending this madness than anyone. Their N800/N810 holds some great promise. I really wanted to like the N800 but it just wouldn't connect to the wifi at work. It's not exactly a phone, but I will be keeping a close eye on those devices. I would love to use one as a skype phone (and dump AT&T completely) if the wifi connectivity gets better. The N810 really does look like a great product, and it's completely open.

Re:Right, "wrestling power" (1)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315311)

Right. Apple has certainly wrestled control away from the carriers. Now, instead of just paying the carrier blood money and selling our soul for two years, we get to pay both Apple AND the carrier... and still sell our soul away for two years.


Apple gained design control over the device, not contractual control. Your contract with the carrier has nothing to do with Apple (except to the degree that Apple could and should just sell the phones unlocked, but that doesn't solve the problems of cell phone contracts).

Re:Right, "wrestling power" (4, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315645)

I just can't believe people still take Apple's side on this. The phone is not really open, you can't make your own ringtones from MP3s. You can't see the filesystem. Both of which you can even do with a MS WM phone. All iPhone got is Visual Voicemail from the carrier's side.

I am just going to repost what in a post below.

Lets do the math on Apple "wresting power" from the carriers. Carriers typically discount the phone from the retail unlocked price. For example, a HTC Mogul(a 3G phone with a ton of features) has a retail unlocked price of around $550. Sprint sells it for $300 with a 2 year contract. In fact, many companies deeply discount phones to such an extent that you can get $50 BACK with some phones(check on Amazon or Wirefly). The phone manufacturer makes a fixed profit and moves on.

But what did Apple do with the iPhone? It charges a hefty premium(note how they were able to drop $200 off the phone in just 2 months) and makes a nice profit with the price($400 now or whatever) and then makes about $450 MORE over two years from the $60 a month that AT&T charges the consumer who takes up the 2 yr contract. The user gets a nice phone, visual voicemail etc. in return, at a VERY HIGH premium.

After a ton of iPhone articles and about a hundered +5 insightful comments on Slashdot about how Apple will "change the game" and make it better for consumers, that is the bottomline. This is the real reason why Apple hates unlockers and not just because of exclusivity contract with AT&T. For every unlocker they potentially lose close to $400.

Apple did change the game of carriers ripping off customers and ushered in the golden era of carriers AND phone companies raping consumers. All this right under the noses of otherwise wise and intelligent people who seem to have been taken in by the "RDF.

Re:Right, "wrestling power" (2, Insightful)

sowth (748135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315509)

If you want to get google involved, you shouldn't ask them to "buy" a buch of spectrum and open it up. You should ask them to bri...oops...I mean "entice" (is that what the telecom companies call it today) the FCC to do their jobs and define standards with which the general public can fairly share the radio as the FCC should. Wasn't that their original stated purpose? I doubt it was to allow communications and entertainment companies to control how the spectrum is use, which more or less seems to be what they are doing today.

If the FCC really was working for the public, wouldn't we have much more bandwidth for WiFi and on freqs which have longer range? Instead of having to share a small band nobody wants where microwave ovens interfere. We got screwed.

T-mobile designe something ? Not (3, Informative)

S3D (745318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21314967)

It's not designed by T-mobile of cause (if it was sarcasm on the part of TFA, it was too veilded IMO) It was designed by HTC. It is in fact HTC Juno [boygeniusreport.com] . As the HTC is a part of Google led Open Handset Alliance may be their next phones would fare better.

Article in a nutshell... (4, Funny)

diesel66 (254283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21314973)

Windows Mobile 6 == teh sux

This message brought to you by: Article in a Nutshell (TM)

How is this news? It's just WM6. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21314995)

Windows Mobile 6 behaves like... Windows Mobile 6, not OS X. Shocking.

Re:How is this news? It's just WM6. (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315065)

The news is that measuring a device's "goodness" based on feature checklists only works as long as actual design sucks. When someone comes along and DESIGNS things to be elegant, it's a better product, even if it doesn't have all the boxes checked. And that's exactly how the iPod has kicked the butts of the iPod-killer-of-the-month for years now.

The meta-news is that Apple's competitors still do not understand this. Which is good for my stock investment.

Re:How is this news? It's just WM6. (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315361)

The iPhone does not behave like OS X, either. The iPhone behaves like the iPhone, because Apple actually put in the effort to design the phone as a single thing, not as a box that runs an OS.

Windows Mobile Classic (2, Insightful)

MLopat (848735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21314999)

In all fairness, his comments assume that all Windows Mobile 6 editions are created equally which isn't the case. On this phone, we're looking at Windows Mobile Classic, which is a phone only implementation (without touch screen/stylus interface). While I for one don't have the patience (and nor does the author of the article) to click through menu after menu on a cell phone, I have moved to an interface that I find pleasing to use -- Windows Mobile 6 Professional. Being able to directly interact with the screen on the phone is the same as adding a mouse to your desktop PC. Imagine if the author was given a copy of Windows XP and only a keyboard to navigate... can you imagine the complaints? So as sexy as he perceives the hardware to be, clearly it needs additional functionality to be the powerhouse that he's looking for.

Looking forward to him eating his words when he reviews the HP iPaq 910 with Windows Mobile 6 Professional.

Not Classic - It's WM Standard (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315165)

Classic is touch, but no phone, Touch and phone is WM Pro. No touch and phone is WM Standard.

Classic is your regular PDA, albeit with a 624 MHz Marvel 310 processor, 128 MB of RAM, 320 MB or more of flash, CF and SDHC, 4" 480x640 ...

http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/handheld/PC/1/storefronts/FB041AA%2523ABA [hp.com]

Pro is usually constrained (carriers, you know)

http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/handheld/Phone/1/storefronts/FA990AA%2523ABA [hp.com]

is small one (610). There is a larger one (910) not currently listed there.

Re:Not Classic - It's WM Standard (1)

FataL187 (1100851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315217)

I personally think this Motorola Ming A1200 (Unlocked) [amazon.com] is the best smart phone out right now. Except the the lack of WiFi, but it runs linux so that makes up for that!
-FataL

Re:Windows Mobile Classic (4, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315195)

He's not assuming anything about other versions of the software. He's saying the software on this phone sucks, which you seem to agree with. If MS released a version of XP without mouse support...that would suck, too. The existence of another version would not in any way invalidate the suckiness of the mouseless version. If the software is only good for touchscreen devices (which I would disagree with, it still sucks even on touchscreen devices), then it sounds like MS's big mistake was licensing it for use on non-touchscreen devices.

Why would he "eat his words" about a device he's never written about?

Re:Windows Mobile Classic (1)

grossvogel (972807) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315429)

I've heard this before.

The problem with a particular piece of M$ software is always the same:
If you'd paid more to get the (Latest | Professional) version, it would work properly.

Journalists should not be designers (1)

TheCodeFoundry (246594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315689)

FTA: "A locking feature, which prevents the buttons from being pushed accidentally in a purse or pocket, is nice. But it should be optional. And one button press should suffice to unlock it; two in sequence is just annoying."

I'm failing to see how one button to unlock the phone would be any different than an accidental button push in a purse or pocket. Most cellphones I have ever used have unlocked by pressing a "menu" button and then the asterisk button. How is that difficult or annoying? Have we really gotten to the point where one extra button press is beyond acceptance?

On the other hand, FTA: "A cellphone should auto-format phone numbers with parentheses and hyphens when you enter them in the address book. When the cursor is in a number box, like ZIP code, the keyboard should automatically start typing numbers. The owner should not have to press the alternate-symbols key."

I can't agree more with this statement. I have the same problem on my Motorola Q . The design choices are nearly laughable. There are many inputs in the phone where the edit box will only take a numeric input. And yet, the phone design (specifically, the OS) forces me to press the Alt button to allow me to enter numbers.

Cell phones are pieces of shit. (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315009)

I've never found one that's well-designed. They may exist, but I've never had or seen one.

What I want:

1) The ability to turn the volume up or down in a wider scale than they give us. If I can't hear someone with the volume at max (usually when they're on a landline), the scale needs to go higher. My phone goes up to five; it should go up to eleven. It's a device whose principal function is the capture and transmission of sound, yet it has ONE thing you can control about the sound: inbound sound volume, in a limited range. This is ridiculous. This is stuff that could be included essentially for free, since it's all software that doesn't take much processing power. For instance, it'd be nice to have some sort of intelligent parametric EQ. Sometimes you get someone on the other end with a sucky headset and it'd be nice to be able to fix it yourself or have the phone do it for you.

2) The phone to tell me what the hell it's doing signal-wise. I've been standing on top of a mountain and looking over a canyon at a cell tower (~2 miles distant) and have no signal. Sometimes calls get dropped even though I have four "bars" of signal. Is it a SNR problem? The phone trying to do a tower swap and failing? Who the fuck knows? Give me frickin' iwconfig, please. It's like the Windows boot sequence. Either it works or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, who knows what went wrong. But Windows at least has Safe Mode...

3) A phone that doesn't fucking break. My old phone had a keypad that kept going bad. My new phone now thinks that there's a headset plugged into it when there's not. Sometimes it thinks I don't have a SIM card in it.

4) I hesitate to suggest this since they seem incapable of getting even simple things right, but replace SIM cards with SD cards (they're effectively a commodity now, $20 for 2GB). Poof, instant long-play pocket audio recorder!

MOD up. (1)

SPQR_Julian (967179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315049)

If I had mod points, I would totally use them on this.

I have the same problem with #1. I have a hearing impairment, and while sometimes I can hear fine, some people speak softly or I'm in a noisy area and it would be great to turn it up louder.

Re:MOD up. (1)

ocdemonseed (1167065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315491)

I have to agree with this as well. Being someone who is also hearing impared I find the lack of volume controll to be very disappointing. I have used the registry hack which gets me by, but I really feel like the cellular company and mobile phone developers are ignoring the fact that hearing impared people do exist and sometimes have a need for the technologies that the mobile smartphones have to offer. I work in the IT world and I use it very heavily to stay on top on e-mails and emergency support calls. One other thing I have to add is the lack of battery life. My phone, which is a AT&T 8525, gets only about 6 hours of active use. So on a very busy work day my phone is just about dead before the day has even come to an end. I think that the mobile phone manufacturers should focus on decreasing power consumption so that you can at least depend on the phone to operate within a 8 - 10 hour timespan. I would find this to be adequate. OCDemonSeed

Re:Cell phones are pieces of shit. (1)

FataL187 (1100851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315121)

I had 2 blackberry's and a palm treo before I settled on the Motorola Ming A1200. It runs linux (yes I am a *nix fanboy), I can view info on the cell tower I am on, including SNR and location, ect. I can run a ton of software, emulators, ect. It also has a touchscreen interface and it's not something everyone else on the block has.

The only gripe I have is that it doesn't have WiFi but it does have Edge through a software hack so the internet is useable. Plus it is reasonably priced compared to the others in it's league at $245.00 with no contract.

If your looking for a good smart phone I highly recommend it to anyone.

-Fatal
 

Motorola Ming A1200 (1)

ion++ (134665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315285)

The Motorola Ming A1200 is interresting, but where's the keyboard?

Re:Motorola Ming A1200 (1)

FataL187 (1100851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315439)

It has a virtual keyboard similar to the I-Phone. The stats on it and a few review can be seen here.
Motorola Ming A1200 (Unlocked) [amazon.com]
-FataL

Re:Cell phones are pieces of shit. (0, Flamebait)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315197)

I use a Boost Mobile i730. It does everything you're talking about, to be perfectly honest. I can hear 99% of the calls I send or receive, I have a "trace mode" I can use to sort of debug a connection, and it just works. I've only ever munged one Nextel / Boost phone in my life, and that's when I dropped it into the damn storm drain I was walking past. LOL. I know Nextel service sucks (mainly because it's now Sprint/Nextel), but other than the "cage" I have to work in sometimes, I even get signal inside the metal building I work in. And after I install my cell phone range expander, it should work even in the cage.

Sure, it's not an iPhone or some other similar piece of garbage, but what's the difference? I have a calculator, datebook and contact list. I have custom made ringtones and applications. It uses J2ME, so I can bang out my own code if I choose. The only downside to the phone is it will only work on the Nextel system. The newer ones, I have been lead to believe, can be made to work on any network, with the exception of the Direct Connect. Hell, the i930(?) uses a version of Windows Mobile now. The only reason I haven't messed with it is I have to get new software to do any of the hacking I do on the older Nextels.

Re: obBoost (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315473)

Where you at ?

Re: obBoost (1)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315549)

LMAO. I only use Boost because it's actually cheaper than a Nextel account, and all the people I do business with have Nextel. Why not use Direct Connect for a buck all day instead of spending more money calling them cell to cell? And the i730 is more hackable than any other cell phone that I've used.

Re:Cell phones are pieces of shit. (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315201)

I hear you. Still, my Blackberry Pearl works for me...

But, like so-called other 'smart' phones, (windows mobile, nokia, palm), you're stil limited in how 'deep' you're alowed to go in accessing the firm/hardware. I suspect this is deliberate, to stop people from bricking the device, and thus being unable to make (emergency) calls, just because they were trying to add the latest 'turn the volume up to 11 freeware widget by team warezlol!!!!' bit of shitware.

The answer to your prayers may finally come with the much-lauded, (and awaited, and awaited...) Linux/FOSS phones. Then you'll be able to fuck up your boot sequence all you want.

As a final thought, if these things ever do get released, how long before we have rootkits & black botnets on our mobiles? If you're not on an unlimited data plan, could get expensive quickly, let alone the security implications as they rip all your personal data off your phone. Let's not forget that mobile phones are being trialed as methods of payment, too...

Re:Cell phones are pieces of shit. (2, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315241)

1) The ability to turn the volume up or down in a wider scale than they give us.


God, yes. Every other audio device I own has a scale from "only dogs can hear it" up to "you're going to go deaf if you listen at this volume". There is no, NO reason this should not be the case on cell phones. Sure, it'll eat up battery a little faster if you crank it up all the time, but no worse than any of the other million battery-draining features you know for a FACT that 95% of the phone's users will never use. And listening to phone calls is the ONE feature you can be sure 95% of the customers WILL be using.

Re:Cell phones are pieces of shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315287)

Also, fuck smartphones. We want real phones that just work. Voice, text. No bells and no whistles. Monochrome is very good. Long battery life. Indestructible design. Light & small. Very snappy response. Open source software on it so we can fix any bugs ourselves and design the interface so that it's our phone...

No money can buy this it seems... Fucking idiots designing phones.

Re:Cell phones are pieces of shit. (2, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315371)

"4) I hesitate to suggest this since they seem incapable of getting even simple things right, but replace SIM cards with SD cards (they're effectively a commodity now, $20 for 2GB). Poof, instant long-play pocket audio recorder!"

I do completely agree, but only if you substitute SIM cards by Micro-SD or something like that. SIM cards are common practice within the industry; you cannot just replace that by flash (imagine your phone breaking, you have enough experience with that it seems). Furthermore, they also act as a secure key store. Copying of SIM cards to gain access to your account is not something you want to see happening.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315039)

It's not like we didn't already know that the iPhone is garbage.

suck my dick (-1, Troll)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315041)

suck it long and suck it hard. deep throat it if you can.

don't forget to swallow!

"wresting power from the carriers"? (3, Interesting)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315071)

I fail to see how "wresting power from the carriers" is a bad thing. They do evil things with it. Two year contracts with "early termination fees". Phones locked into their service. Phones with software or hardware they've deliberately crippled (Verizon I'm looking at you). Phones that have had a nice GUI replaced with their branded crap. Charging absurd prices for downloads. Padding HTTP headers with data so you use more of their outrageously overpriced data plans. I could go on and on. But if you ask me, the more power the phones wrest from the carriers, the better off we'll be.

Re:"wresting power from the carriers"? (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315589)

Uhh what? Lets do the math on Apple "wresting power" from the carriers. Carriers typically discount the phone from the retail unlocked price. For example, a HTC Mogul(a 3G phone with a ton of features) has a retail unlocked price of around $550. Sprint sells it for $300 with a 2 year contract. In fact, many companies deeply discount phones to such an extent that you can get $50 BACK with some phones(check on Amazon or Wirefly). The phone manufacturer makes a fixed profit and moves on.

But what did Apple do with the iPhone? It charges a hefty premium(note how they were able to drop $200 off the phone in just 2 months) and makes a nice profit with the price($400 now or whatever) and then makes about $450 MORE over two years from the $60 a month that AT&T charges the consumer who takes up the 2 yr contract. The user gets a nice phone, visual voicemail etc. in return, at a VERY HIGH premium.

After a ton of iPhone articles and about a hundered +5 insightful comments on Slashdot about how Apple will "change the game" and make it better for consumers, that is the bottomline. This is the real reason why Apple hates unlockers and not just because of exclusivity contract with AT&T. For every unlocker they potentially lose close to $400.

Apple did change the game of carriers ripping off customers and ushered in the golden era of carriers AND phone companies raping consumers. All this right under the noses of otherwise wise and intelligent people who seem to have been taken in by the "RDF. Apple did change the game of just the

How not to icon the cellphone. (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315087)

Whats up with that ancient brick like thing with an antenna sticking out being used as an icon for cellphones in slashdot. Jeez can't they get a more recent pic? If not iPhone at least something from the stone age like razr or a clamshell? They are still using that fossil from Jurassic!

Re:How not to icon the cellphone. (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315171)

Whats up with that ancient brick like thing with an antenna sticking out being used as an icon for cellphones in slashdot.

Hey, that looks just like my first cellphone!

Oh, wait.....

Re:How not to icon the cellphone. (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315353)

Easy fix for you:
  1. Go to preferences
  2. Click on the Homepage tab in preferences
  3. Scroll down a tiny bit and check "No Icons"
  4. ...
  5. Profit!
:-)

Windows Mobile is the Achilles Heel (4, Insightful)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315173)

Frankly, Windows Mobile 6 is a mess. Common features require an infinitude of taps and clicks, and the ones you need most are buried in menus. Apparently the Windows Mobile 6 team learned absolutely nothing from Windows Mobile 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

I wholeheartedly agree: I received a low-end HP PDA years ago for Christmas. Windows Mobile worked so poorly that I didn't even bother to get the thing replaced on warranty when it broke within two months (battery couldn't hold a charge to save its life).

I already miss the 'antiquated' Palm OS that ran on my Treo. The article was nice enough to bring up a couple of my favorite reasons as to why...

First of all, a cellphone should not display a "wait" cursor. Ever. And definitely not almost every time you change screens, as on the Shadow.

One of my favorites: I run a nearly stock version of WM6 on my HTC Mogul phone, with the only additions being the free version of Epocrates and an SPB Diary application. My phone has a more-than-adequate CPU, yet still lags while switching screens.

Do I need to "wipe and load" my phone to make it run faster? Sheesh.

A cellphone should not have a Task Manager. You should never have to worry about quitting programs because you've used up too much memory.

Amen! I also love how the phone has a knack for running out of memory right when an important call comes in. There's nothing more frustrating than a ringing phone that won't show me the phone screen and where the buttons suddenly don't work.

Re:Windows Mobile is the Achilles Heel (2, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315561)

Amen! I also love how the phone has a knack for running out of memory right when an important call comes in. There's nothing more frustrating than a ringing phone that won't show me the phone screen and where the buttons suddenly don't work.

This is one of the brilliant things about PalmOS: you can write a program that will run on it _without using any memory at runtime_. Because it can run programs straight off flash, without having to load them into RAM.

OK, so PalmOS has/had a lot of problems, but why are mobile operating systems still being developed that treat their flash devices as if they were just a disk...?

apple may be changing the power-structure (1)

LukeCrawford (918758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315175)

of the cellphone market- but they certainly are not giving more power to the consumers. Look at how much we (USians) pay for txt messages. Insane, especially as the carriers can always de-prioritize the txt data and send it whenever there is a lull in voice traffic; nobody will notice even 10 seconds of lag on a txt, and 100 seconds of lag is acceptable; on a voice call, 500ms lag is nigh unusable. It seems that if one had a proper packet prioritization scheme, the bandwidth for txt messages should be free. do you know of any cellphone provider that will give you a discount OR a month-to-month contract if I bring my own (or pay full price for) an unlocked phone? I don't mind paying a lot for a good phone, but I am annoyed by provider lock-in- and most providers don't offer discounts on the phones I would want anyhow. While I'm asking for ponies, is there any provider that sells you unlimited data and txts and then pre-paid (or otherwise minimal) voice minutes? my cellphone is largely used as a pager (sms txts from an automated system that watches 60,000 servers- once I got 1500 pages in a single day) and as a data device (I have a 9300, and am connected via ssh all day)

Re:apple may be changing the power-structure (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315667)

You know that 160 character limit to a text message? That's because they are sent at the end of the data packet that the cell phone sends to roam from tower to tower. It costs the cell company exactly zero, since the phone is going to send the packets anyways.

What an idiot reviewer... (2, Interesting)

Xenious (24845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315187)

I have an iPhone, I also have a windows mobile 6 smartphone. I use one as a wifi ipod and the other as my communications tool. Why? Cause the iphone doesn't sync up with my corporate exchange server and push email to me from it. It's just a tool and as much as I love my iphone I have to use the other to get the functionality of the tool I need. For what its worth I think WM6 is pretty decent and I can work without a laptop and have access to my corporate address list, email, contacts, office documents anywhere I've got reception. not bad.

Where the t-mob shadow really sucks is the half azz keyboard. ;)

Re:What an idiot reviewer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315277)

Which one you use to make phone calls?

Ex-Apple (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315225)

There must be a reason why he is an Ex-Apple designer. Maybe it is because he designed shitty software.

Re:Ex-Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315559)

Maybe it is because he designed shitty software.
Nah, Microsoft software doesn't need to designed shitty. It just comes that way out of the box.

The GIMP Phone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315245)

"The phone has wait screens, a task manager, odd error messages etc. Makes for an amusing read."

At least you don't access it through a command-line, has a name that sounds like a cripple, or RTFM is a requirement just to dial.

Comment on the keyboard lock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315273)

Never ever seen any phone where to turn the lock off you only pressed one key, its always been two
If it was one the thing would come unlock in a purse/pocket/bag etc

I live in the UK, where looking at the crap phones you yanks have is most amusing

Re:Comment on the keyboard lock (2, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315325)

Err... the early Philips (C12/Savvy) phones ALL had this - they were the first real phone that BT (back then Cellnet -> BTCellnet-> O2) released when mobiles started taking off. Trying to dial 999 or 112 was given as the reason - pressing 1 or 9 would undo the key-lock.

And yes, it was incredibly dumb. And more than once I nearly dialled random 4-5 digit numbers because it had activated in my pocket. It wasn't the only model to suffer from it, though. And I shouldn't think many modern phones emulate this "feature".

How about another opinion? (2, Interesting)

gurulegend (515697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315365)

Matthew Miller from ZDNet's The Mobile Gadgeteer: http://blogs.zdnet.com/mobile-gadgeteer/?p=679 [zdnet.com]

This is basically a blow-by-blow refutation of Pogue's article. Enjoy.

HTC Juno (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315401)

The device is called the "HTC Juno", related to the "HTC Vox". I doubt it was "designed by" a T-Mobile executive, although he probably had some input.

In any case, the problem with those phones is the Windows Mobile software; since HTC is part of the Open Handset Alliance, hopefully, all that great hardware will be liberated soon and run with easy-to-use Google services.

Buh? (2, Insightful)

ilikejam (762039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315511)

"A cellphone should auto-format phone numbers with parentheses and hyphens when you enter them in the address book. When the cursor is in a number box, like ZIP code, the keyboard should automatically start typing numbers. The owner should not have to press the alternate-symbols key."
I, for one, don't want hyphens or parentheses in my phone numbers, and my zip code starts with a G, so I wouldn't want my keyboard to type numbers in my zip code field.

"A locking feature, which prevents the buttons from being pushed accidentally in a purse or pocket, is nice. But it should be optional. And one button press should suffice to unlock it; two in sequence is just annoying."
Sort of defeats the purpose of locking the keyboard if it can be unlocked with an accidental keypress.

"...looking stunning in your hand..."
Uhh, what? Are phones in the US really that ugly that this plain-at-best handset is judged stunning?

TFA written by Apple Fanboy (1, Interesting)

Yahma (1004476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315535)

To summarize the article:

T-Mobile [tmobile.com] has great hardware on their hands. But this phone could have been so much more... if... and only if...
They had used apple's Iphone software... and since the software wasn't designed by Apple, but instead by big bad microsoft, it sucks!

Personally, I am getting sick of the argument that everything that Apple does is the work of God. While I admit, the Iphone introduced some better concepts in UI, it still has no SDK, is locked, and will be bricked by apple if you try to unlock it. It is a closed platform that is strongly controlled by the almighty Apple.

Had Apple released the Shadow with Windows Mobile, the author of this article would have found some way to justify Apples actions.

David Pogue and his Interests. (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315637)

I don't even bother to read Pogue's reviews since the hard drive recovery service review he did and was discovered it was paid for [wikipedia.org] .

Pogue's review is wrong on so many counts it isn't even funny. From methodology, description and so on. People interested in communication technology should read websites that specialize in this kind of things like gsmarena.com [gsmarena.com] , mobile-review.com [mobile-review.com] and see how a review should be done. For example he compares it with the Iphone on a regular basis, though they are not in the same category, or still not because Apple won't release a SDK untill february.

A real review of a phone should be made like this [mobile-review.com] (for you iphone lovers), or a Nokia N81 review [gsmarena.com] , and i will shut up now and not comment on Pogue again in my life. :)

Seems picky (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315775)

I have the SDA which as Windows Mobile 5.0. I like the phone. This new unit looks like the logical next step. Sure, it takes several mores to get to through all the start menus - but I can assign shortcuts to them. And I have a nifty last accessed menu at the top, so things I use a lot are easier to get to.

I, too, would like someone to give this a better review.
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