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[Discuss] [OT] iOS from a power user's perspective

The trend today is toward touch-screen devices, but as we all know you
can get a number of different keyboard options. I tend to use my Android
smartphone quite a bit including the soft keyboard. I love my Nook
Tablet that I use primarily as a book reader, but I can also use it as a
web browser or play games on it. I don't have a psychosis on
fingerprints. The issue is that Apple opened up a Pandoras Box when they
came out with the iPhone and iPad. The portability of tablets is
excellent. While I don't know where the future is going with these, they
have already killed the netbooks. I bought my netbook primarily to use
for presentations, and to use initially at BLU meetings. On my todo list
is to see how my Smartphone displays on MIT's overhead with HDMI. When I
travel these days only my smartphone and Nook Tablet travel with me. I
don't see any reason to use a computer. Microsoft is trying to
standardize to one consumer OS that fits all (Windows 8). Ubuntu is now
available on smartphones and tablets. So far, Windows 8 has not been
very popular, and Android and IOS dominate the tablet and smartphone
markets. Those of us who grew up with keyboards (and punch cards) will
be locked into the old technology as our parents were in a non-computer
environment. The younger kids are growing up with smartphones, texting,
and touch screens. One thing I'd like to see is an Ubuntu smartphone
with a portable plugin screen option (7in, 10in, larger). Use the
smartphone as my only device, then bring out the screen and keyboard for
desktop work, maybe dock it at home with a 24in screen and a full size

As far as my perspective on Android and IOS, I really like my Android
phone, but I also like the iPad I bought my mother, so today if I were
to buy a general purpose tablet, I would certainly consider an iPad, but
the Android tablets are also excellent.

On 01/05/2013 11:03 PM, Rich Pieri wrote:
> I've used several versions of iOS (on iPod Touch) and several versions
> of Android (on HTC Incredible and nook Color). I hated all of them. I
> have problems with touch interfaces in general. I don't like them, and
> some of the problems with them are insurmountable.
> One of my little psychoses is that I hate fingerprints and smudges on
> the screen. They drive me nuts. It doesn't matter how lipophobic the
> glass treatment is, because if I touch it then it will get smudged.
> Repeat until I get so frustrated at it that I wipe it down, and repeat,
> and repeat again, and again....
> They lack precision. It doesn't matter how good the pointing and
> selecting assist is. No human finger can beat a mouse or a stylus
> and a mediocre digitizer plate for precision. Heck, a Nintendo DS is
> more precise than iPhone 5 or Galaxy S III. Which means handwriting
> recognition isn't going to happen ever again that I can foresee. Which
> is a great shame because...
> You can't touch type on a flat surface. It's simply not possible.
> There's no touch to ensure that your fingertips are lined up on the
> keys, no feedback to tell that you've actually typed something. If you
> have to look at where you are typing then it isn't touch typing.
> Given all that I find that I want Microsoft's Surface to succeed.
> Despite my bugaboo about smudges there are time when I feel it would be
> useful to be able to "grab" something on the screen and quickly move it
> somewhere else. Surface can do that. It's a best of everything, with
> keyboard and mouse for general use and touch screen for those occasions
> where gross gestures are quicker or easier.
> A virtual Power Glove using the webcam as input would be better
> mechanism permitting a full range of motion for input. Which actually
> exists:
> There are some superior versions that use the Kinect's multiple cameras
> and depth-sensing capabilities for more accurate input. It's a pity
> that this probably won't ever go mainstream.

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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