Thursday, August 27, 2020

Form Follows Function: Phones

There are two schools of though in Design. There is Jony Ives pathological hatred for buttons, and there is my pathological hatred for lack of buttons. He made and makes a lot more money than me, so I assume more people are of the school that design is more important than ease of use.

Even though I have a Mac and iPads, I'm an Android phone user, for example. The is not a security position, but it is a functional one. I like fingerprint readers. I like back buttons. I dislike intensely faceID, and that was before Covid and face masks made faceID worthless.

My iPads are the older ones with home buttons that let me unlock them that way.  Rumor has it the new Air might put a fingerprint reader in the power button. I support that! The Galaxy S10e has that and it works nicely.

Related to that is the love affair with bezels, or lack thereof. Why? My fingers did not get skinnier just because the phone did. I know I am going to put a case on it anyway, but lately that means I look for big fat cases because the phone is all screen all the time and I have to hold it somehow.

I never really understood the curved screen thing Samsung did for a while either. How does holding your phone at angles to be able to read things make it better? No idea. Sure made me touch the edges a great deal though.

What never bothered me is notches. They had to put the front facing camera someplace. They were dumb enough to get rid of the bezel, so they left behind a bezel vestige. So? 

I never use the selfie cam or faceID unlock so I don't care about any of that stuff inside the bezel either, but I know there are entire YouTube pages that live and die by the selfie cam. 

I'll pay for the lack of bezels with fat cases, and the lack of headphone jacks with D2A converters (because wired headphones are still better) but please phone designers: Ignore the people calling for all phones to have smaller screens! They have small hands, and that's a good reason for them to get small phones, but bigger is better for the big handed out here! 

Function: Easier to read. Simple. 

I have a 6.9 inch screen on mine, and it barely fits most phone holders, but I would go with bigger still if it was out there. Hell: If my 7.9 inch iPad could make phone calls, that would be great!

A bigger phone has room for a bigger battery too, so even better. I have range anxiety on my phone far worse than I do on my electric car.

A feature that matters not to me: Wireless charging. Why? Slow. Range anxiety maps to wanting the phone to charge as fast as it can. USB-C fast.

An appalling number of people online whine about the big camera bumps on phones, but I love a good camera, so I don't care about big Camera clusters. The one on the iPhone 11 is big, but that phone takes a nice picture so worth it. Have to buy a big clunky case anyway, so easy to hide.

Function over Form is a lonely place to live...

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