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HTC 1 (designfabulous.blogspot.com)
247 points by ecaron on July 12, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 127 comments



Lacks the standard android buttons for a more iphone like single button interface. On android you need to have the home, menu & back button or else most apps won't work. The search button is also needed but the lack of one would probably not break most applications.

Designs like this are great, but often the achieve their elegance by ignoring physics or some other constraint that makes them completely unworkable.


Things that came to mind

the "kick stand" would be hard to engineer due to speaker location.

the UV light while charging thing is a bit off

If you want to design a phone for the ages, it needs to be somewhat expandable, a sd card slot and/or a changeable main board might do the trick


I share your concerns for the kick stand and the UV light. Maybe the UV light could be integrated into a docking station? While it's a strange thing to integrate into a phone, some people might value the perceived hygine.

Regarding your last point: How many people would change the inner workings of their device? I think a big selling point is the sleek look of the phone. You'd have to account for a lot of eventualities: What about a second camera, additional microphones etc.? How thick should it be, given that advances in technology could make it feasible to reduce the thickness significantly.

I'm not sure it's even possible to create a phone "for the ages". Even if you disregard the wear of the hardware: A phone design from even 5 years ago looks dated - maybe simply for the fact that it has been around for so long. And while you remain the same design, every company around you changes their designs.

At this point, the material cost of the outer shell of your phone is pretty insignificant compared to the rest of the hardware. You'd have to ramp up the value of the shell quite a bit to make it economical to keep the hull and change the innards.


I think the last one is a very good point. Why not go the whole hog though and make the mainboard upgradable?

The phone could just be a really nicely designed and well built 'shell' to hold the main board + display etc. Then every 2 years, instead of buying a whole new phone, you just get an upgrade to the internals.

It seems a little silly to pay too much attention to the external design of phones since most people only have them for a year then change.

I'd sort of like a beautifully designed custom phone shell into which I slot the latest internals with the new chips etc. Having the same phone shell for 10+ years, but seeing the internals upgrade would be nice.


> I'd sort of like a beautifully designed custom phone shell into which I slot the latest internals with the new chips etc. Having the same phone shell for 10+ years, but seeing the internals upgrade would be nice.

Maybe we treat our phones differently, but unless it was made of diamond it would be beat to hell well before 10 years passed. Not to mention that mobile changes so quickly that internals will be hardly recognizable in 10+ years (at least 5G and god knows what else).


I think most people keep the same wallet/card case/key rings etc for 5-10 years at least. So I don't see why a mobile can't survive either.

I'd actually quite like a metal/leather one. And no, a case/protector just isn't the same.

Do people here remember the Nokias where you could buy different facias, backs, etc - They kinda separated the case in that way which I thought was a step forward. And if the facia gets scratched you just bought a new one and slotted it in.


Reminds me of the Sandbenders computer from William Gibson's "Idoru":

...he used to tear up her hardware, the designer's, and put the real parts into cases he'd make in his shop. Say he'd make a solid bronze case for a minidisk unit, ebony inlays, carve the control surfaces out of fossil ivory, turquoise, rock crystal. It weighed more, sure, but it turned out a lot of people liked that, like they had their music or their memory, whatever, in something that felt like it was there... And people liked touching all that stuff: metal, a smooth stone... And once you had the case, when the manufacturer brought out a new model, well, if the electronics were any better, you just pulled the old ones out and put the new ones in your case. So you still had the same object, just with better functions.


Replacing just the internals could work. But don't forget that both the battery and exterior gets worn down quickly.


It would require a modular antenna assembly to cover future needs as well.


I always thought those should just be soft keys anyway. Why not make the home button bring up a soft version of the 4+1 (last one actually confirming the "home" action)?

As long as there's no lag, it would be a lot better than accidentally hitting them while typing.


That would be so much slower. I use back and home quite frequently on my phone; I would hate another key press. Also is accidentally hitting keys a frequent problem? On my hero, that has never happened.


I am constantly accidentally hitting the touch buttons on my Moto Droid.


It's a big problem on phones that use touch sensitive keys placed directly under the screen. Your back or home button can be uncomfortably close to the spacebar on the keyboard.


Using Nexus One for 6 months, and have total of may be 6 accidental hits to those keys.


Using Droid Eris for 6 months, and probably do it every 2nd time I type something.


Based on all of these responses, I'm wondering if the Hero's key layout (2x2 matrix of buttons) is better than the droid/N1's. The hero's buttons are farther from the screen, therefore impossible to ever hit accidentally.

(Also those who have issues with accidental keypresses should give swype a try -- since you rarely tap keys, the accident rate should drop.)


Could search be a double click of the home button like the iPhone?


Yeah, having to know Morse code to use the phone will make it easier to use.


Funny you should mention Morse code. At some point someone suggested adding a Morse code interface to cell phones in order to speed up text messaging. A decent "Morse coder" apparently can beat the best teen texter in speed and accuracy. I can't remember where I read this but I'll post a link if I find it.


I saw a demonstration of that on Letterman one night awhile ago.


Search is not a double click on iPhone. To search, you click to get to home, a second (regular) click takes you to search.

Double click invokes multitasking panel (iOS 4).


Please, HTC, no more ad-libbing your own user interfaces They suck and are hard to remove. We all call it nonSense for a reason. Stick to making hardware, and let Google handle the software. It's cheaper and your users will be happier. (Just once I would like to buy a phone that I don't have to reflash as soon as I bring it home. Should have gotten an N1, I guess.)

Hardware-wise, this concept is not too compelling. Needs physical buttons. Needs the trackball. I don't want to pay for stereo sound or the ability to turn into an alarm clock. Give me battery life and a higher-res screen instead. I don't want gimmicks, I want a solid phone that always works and doesn't get in my way.

I agree that they should make their "premium" phones out of metal, though. I think Apple is leading the way here (with a metal case and a very high-res screen), and that HTC is just going to copy. But that's fine, an Android-based iPhone 4 clone with WiMax will be phenomenal.


HTC had high-res screens WAY before Apple did. The Touch Diamond had a 286PPI screen in June 2008, which is a month before the 3G came out, with it's meager 163PPI screen. The Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Touch HD, Touch Diamond2, Touch Pro2, HD2, Evo, Desire, Droid Incredible, and Nexus One ALL had >200PPI screens before the iPhone 4 was even announced.


Meh, the "cool" point is >300PPI.


By "we all" you mean a tiny number of hard core nerds who hang out on obscure forums. I know several people who own HTC android phones, and not one of them has re-flashed their phones or expressed any desire for removing Sense.


Do any of them know there is any other way? Ignorance is bliss.


I've had an HTC Incredible for a couple of weeks now. The Sense UI has felt better-implemented than the Moto Droid UI, to me at least.

I've also had (and still have) an iPhone 3G/S for a couple of years. While I still think the iPhone is overall a better UI and better app store, the HTC phone is the first Droid-based phone I've owned or played with that didn't come across like an unfinished experiment in cellphone design.

I'm vaguely aware there are other options to the Sense UI, but I do not dislike it enough overall to warrant an investigation into any of the other options.


If it wasn't for HTC's horrendously slow release cycle (not as bad as Sony Ericsson's though) I wouldn't care if it's nonSense or not.


> Please, HTC, no more ad-libbing your own user interfaces They suck and are hard to remove. We all call it nonSense for a reason.

No, people on XDA developers (phone nerds) use the tern 'NonSense'. HTC sticks to common UI principles, ie:

* Identifiable icons (eg, using a globe, rather than a blue and white sphere, for a web browser)

* Known color schemes, eg, black, green, and white, versus Googles white, blue, orange and green.

* A home screen which can host animations. Google's can't, which is why the widget selection is poor and those that exist don't do as much.

* Always visible phone function, something Google themselves did in 2.2

* Widgets that don't waste space, compared to the default 2 x 4 widgets for Twitter and Facebook with the massive stip between.

I could go on. HTC have UI designers. Android clearly don't - it's not a matter of personal preference, it's a matter of basic design principles.

Edit: Fixed 'Apple' rather than 'Android'.


Actually, HTC's icon for the web browser confused me. It said "Internet", not "Browser", so I thought it was some dumb app that Sprint put on to show me how amazing a phone with "Internets" was. Nope, it's actually the web browser. Why not just call it that?

Do people like HTC's random animations? Do I really need to see lightning flash when I unlock my phone because there was a thunderstorm at the airport an hour ago? I much prefer Google's more tasteful weather widget -- a simple icon representing the weather and the temperature. Then I don't have to use more than half my screen for an extra clock and a huge picture of a cloud. Looks great in advertising materials, looks terrible in real life. (Of course, you can just remove the widget, so that's not a big deal.)

But it does show you the overall idea behind sense -- stupid gimmicks to make phones more exciting to people that can barely afford the monthly contract fee for a smartphone. Good for them, not good for me. So I kill it.

My biggest beef with Sense is that they put so many gimmicks on the keyboard that there isn't any room for the letter keys. I want to type on the keyboard, not be impressed that they have half-working text-to-speech. On the stock android keyboard, I can get a fucking comma without having to go to the alternate keyboard. On the sense keyboard, nope.

If HTC wants to see how to improve, they should look at the Droid X keyboard. That thing is great. (And it's what I use now :)

Anyway, "basic design principles" my ass. "Basic bling principles" maybe.


Unfortunately, most people don't know what a browser is. Google's shown that in their own research for Chrome.

> But it does show you the overall idea behind sense -- stupid gimmicks to make phones more exciting to people that can barely afford the monthly contract fee for a smartphone.

Sense for me gives me instant access to my friends activities (via FriendStream, which won't work on normal Google home as animation isn't allowed in widgets - see the vanilla Facebook and Twitter one-at-a-time widgets), my investments (same thing), and a visually driven music player that takes advantage of the fact I can find a picture a lot faster than I can a word.

I can do all of these without leaving my home screen. On regular Android, I can't.


After removing sense, the only thing I missed where the widgets. It detects vertical scrolling in widgets, which works well with twitter.

Also agreed on space efficiency - their weather widgets are much better done (fortunately tons of alternatives exist in the market).

There are plenty of things that annoyed me though. 1) The UI is slower and any of its minor gains is not worth this trade-off. 2) I dislike the iPhone style time select (android's key input is quicker to use, though it too has flaws (not selecting the existing text automatically)). 3) The clock that is a direct rip off of the iPhone. Its features are quite lacking (a stopwatch without laps, etc.)


> HTC have UI designers. Apple clearly don't

Wait, what?


Oops - wrote 'Apple' when I should have written Android. Corrected.


Pretty sure he meant Google, which wouldn't be true either...


Well per the post, there's more evidence of Google either not adopting or ignoring well known UI design principles throughout Android, in terms of making common functions widely available, consistency in UI, not using a color scheme with two colors directly sitting across from each other on the wheel.


They famously eschew design ideas from design "dictators", favoring data-driven design (e.g. choosing a blue that yields more ad clicks); I wonder if they do this in the Android development cycle or once it is in users' hands.


> Needs physical buttons. Needs the trackball.

No. Really, no.


Physical button = tactile feedback. I was wholely unimpressed by the soft buttons on the Nexus One and Moto Droid.

As for the trackball? Still the best precision text selection device I've used on a mobile.


This is why I cannot use my G1 as a music player in the car. I cannot manipulate it without looking at it, which I really do not want to do while driving.

My Sansa E500 thing is easy to manage by touch only (except if I want to see the name of the song playing); my eyes don't leave the road if I want to skip or repeat or pause a song.

Likewise, if I need to make or take a call while driving, and pulling over isn't an option, I want to be able to do a much as I can by touch, and not worry that a misplaced tap or glide on smooth glass has triggered some unwanted behavior.


Yes! I tried using my iPhone as a music player in the car and... useless. But it extends to more than that, I could make calls on my late-90's cellphone call friends with a flip and a button hold without looking, and mashing end-call always worked because it's a real button.

Now it's squint at the damn phone and tap around. Hanging up is just the tiniest bit more annoying without a hardware button (yes, I'm aware that many smartphones have a physical end-call button).


You should use the included headset or get a car dock. Either solution would give you the controls you need to use it as either a phone or music player without needing to look at the screen.


This is a problem best solved by the car UI, rather than phone/music player. Steering wheel controls (and/or voice commands) are FAR less distracting than any ipod sized device.


No, because the car is just one example of where I really do not want to have to look at a device in order to use it.


> Still the best precision text selection device I've used on a mobile.

I've had no problem with the iOS method so far, and haven't been longing for the return of the trackball at all.


I like the incredible buttons. Flush, but the phone vibrates a bit when you hit them.


One problem is that they all vibrate in the same way. If they had a bit different vibration patterns, you could simulate the type of feel you get with actual push buttons (e.g. you might feel that there's a right edge on the right button)


When it comes to text selection, how often do people use it? I ask that in sincere curiosity. I know personally that I only select text once, maybe twice a week on my Palm Pre. Holding shift and dragging through the text works great for me. Perhaps you meant in terms of positioning the cursor? Anywho...

Tactile feedback from keyboards/button has always been an issue with me, but I find that a slight vibration from the phone when a softkey is pressed does the job just fine.


> When it comes to text selection, how often do people use it? I ask that in sincere curiosity.

I do that pretty regularly to quote in mails and forums on my iOS device. But I think the issue isn't about how often it's used, but how seamless it is. If you can do it without thinking about it, it's good. If you have to stop when you need to select text, it's not.


Well as a counterpoint, my father returned his Droid for a Droid Eris because he liked the Sense interface much more than the stock Android one.


>Please, HTC, no more ad-libbing your own user interfaces They suck and are hard to remove. We all call it nonSense for a reason.

SenseUI is an excellent interface. I say this as a fairly hardcore user. It's a bit of a UI stepback using my N1 instead of my Magic+. I'm a fairly hardcore user so I like it vanilla for other reasons, but I guarantee that doesn't matter at all for about 95% of consumers.

> I think Apple is leading the way here (with a metal case and a very high-res screen), and that HTC is just going to copy.

HTC Legend was out before the iPhone, largely composed of a single piece of aluminum. HTC has absolutely kicked Apple around when it comes to screen resolution. So how, exactly, is HTC copying Apple? Quite the opposite.


I'm not at all impressed with this design concept. It's sophomoric design school work, the functionality is not fully thought-out and the UI is HORRIBLE - except for the 1/2 diamond arrows which are trite. It also reminds me that industrial design and interface design are two separate specialties.

That being said, I dig the design language and the inspiration found in fine old cameras and watches.

What I really want is the industrial design and hardware of Apple running the Android OS with the user experience and UI design of Palm WebOS. That's my sweetspot.


> What I really want is the industrial design and hardware of Apple running the Android OS with the user experience and UI design of Palm WebOS.

Well, let's not be too kind to Apple. The new phone is already behind the greatest and latest. Apple just has a brand name.

HOWEVER! Lucky for you the lead OS designer for Palm WebOS just switched to Android. Expect greatness from the next OS update (assuming you already have 2.2).


>> What I really want is the industrial design and hardware of Apple

> Well, let's not be too kind to Apple. The new phone is already behind the greatest and latest.

I agree. I was talking about case/glass/build quality/materials "innovation"/etc. rather than the chip specs. Didn't make that clear.

Expandable memory is awesome and the Snapdragon et. al. seem good like it's pretty good albeit maybe power hungry.


honestly, it's a big amount of work that is also presented in a very nice way (nice graphics, really), but the main-ingredient of this whole project, the designed appearance of the phone, lacks proper proportions, is undynamic and caused either by unawareness of what makes great design, or it is caused by fear of revealing the authors unawareness.

Just criticizing the appearance though.

As far as the usability goes: - is it a good idea to have a curved touch screen? - will constant uv-raying create super germs? - i like the idea of the built in stand, at least on those graphics it looks interesting, but i simply wont buy a mobile where u could flip, twist or slide party away, around or off - because those parts decrease the life-expectancy of the object dramatically and are the first things that wore off and take away all this fancy feeling, that a high priced designy object gives you in the beginning.


the main-ingredient of this whole project, the designed appearance of the phone, lacks proper proportions, is undynamic and caused either by unawareness of what makes great design

what makes great design?


still, if he were my design student - i think this is what this project is all about - i would give him an a+


Sure, give it a design award. Lots of awful devices are explained by "it must have won an award"


Steve Jobs said the iPhone 4 evokes the feeling of an old Leica camera, designer makes a study of a phone supposed to evoke the feeling of a Leica camera. Where is the originality in that? It's way not to beat Apple.

Instead of thinking "how can I make a phone look like an iPhone", better think "how do I want my phone to look". If all you can come up with is an iPhone, change your job (and get an iPhone).


I designed a phone that looked exactly like this - black body, metal end caps - as part of a hinged phone concept I was working on in 2005. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on industrial design.


No, but putting the image of a Leica camera in there just seems cheesy to me.


True - Apple have claimed Leica. Evoke the feeling of some other camera - not that big of a deal.


Has someone thought of asking Leica's thoughts on the matter?


what would you propose? Hasselblad?



"One of the big flaws with Android is the music player"

Huh? Why? What's wrong with it? Seems great to me :/


There are some beautiful design concepts in this. I think the number one thing lacking in software design is the gap between the software and the device it's running on. It's something that often breaks that metaphor that the software is supposed to provide. It would be really interesting to see more software that takes the broader context of the environment the sotware is running in into account.


Can you elaborate?

Right now, you press the calendar button and you see your calendar. You press the phone button, dial, and you make a phone call to the number you dialed. I am not sure what's missing here.


Not all Android phones have a phone button. The G1 does, the Nexus One (which I have) doesn't. Mostly, there isn't really a standard for what an Android phone should look and operate like. I don't really expect this between manufacturers, but even within manufacturers there can be pretty significant differences between devices.

Also, because Android doesn't have a particularly strong stance on how UIs should work and should be laid out, there also hasn't been a very strong stance on how buttons on the phone should be laid out and what the device should look like. For instance, the back button can change functionality quite a bit between apps. Or also, the G1 has a camera button but the nexus one (foolishly) doesn't. Most devices have a UI completely unrelated to the phone hardware.

I wouldn't just pick on Android but I think it's a problem that Windows and Linux have had as well. The experience just isn't that cohesive and it makes them more difficult to use. I'm not really a fan of Apple, but it's definitely one place where they've put in a lot more work than others.


Shouldn't there be significant differences between devices? What's the point in a single manufacturer making multiple devices if they're all exact clones of each other.

Apple isn't necessarily more cohesive, they make a single model of phone. By definition, everything they do is 100% cohesive.


> Apple isn't necessarily more cohesive, they make a single model of phone. By definition, everything they do is 100% cohesive.

There are five iOS devices (iPhone 3GS/4, iPod Touch 2nd/3rd generation, iPad). Two of those are phones and the rest aren't, but only because they can't make calls. Who wants to do that, anyway?


There are 3 devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. All three have the same buttons in pretty much the same spots, as I recall.


Making different devices that are being sold at the same time serving different types of usage scenarios is a good thing in my view. But that's not what CitizenKane was getting at I think.

The issue is that providing a physical back button or not isn't meant to facilitate different types of usage. It's just constantly changing the way the exact same things work for no reason other than, I don't know, maybe just time passing?

It's similar to notebook keyboards. I have never bought a notebook that had the keys in the same place as the one I bought before. Every time I have to relearn. It's just a waste of time. Hardware designers should have an idea about what they're trying to achieve when they change something and that has to have something to do with what the software does. I totally agree with CitizenKane on that one.


> The issue is that providing a physical back button or not isn't meant to facilitate different types of usage.

It may facilitate different form factors and different price points. I suspect most Android phones are used the same, but people prefer different sizes of devices. I prefer having a hardware keyboard but currently most devices do not have one.

> I have never bought a notebook that had the keys in the same place as the one I bought before... when they change something and that has to have something to do with what the software does.

I'm not sure how the keyboard layout has anything to do with the software running on your laptop?


Nothing. So why do they keep changing it? That's the point.


>Or also, the G1 has a camera button but the nexus one (foolishly) doesn't.

Note that a trackball press will take a picture on both of these devices (and because of the shitty design of the regular camera button on my G1, I end up using the trackball anyway).


Very striking design. For me, it brought back a flood of memories of my grandfather and his piezoelectric cigarette lighter, of which looked quite similar to this phone.

I am so disappointed this phone isn't real, but simply a concept. Still, I appreciate Andrew Kim's talents.


Once I got to the last slide I realized it was a joke.


Yes, that reminded me of http://pomegranatephone.com/ - which is old but brilliant.


Looks like the iphone version of an Android phone. Doesn't seem like a really good phone. Although the UI seems less cluttered. That is my one big complaint about Android. None of the phone manufacturers have wrapped Android UI in nice way either.


A pretty nice design. The built-in tilting mechanism is genius: First reaction was "why would I want that?" but after thinking about it for a while, I could see using it a lot.

My only gripe with these mockups is the typography on the world clock. Why is there a period after the place:

  new york.
  9:00pm
  seattle.
  6:00pm
Very confusing image. But overall, good.


I thought about that a little, thought "yeah, that's kinda weird...", and then looked again. I actually think I like the periods: they break up the lines. An important difference between the mock-up and your example is that they're right justified; the period makes the locations stand out.

  new york.
     9:00pm
   seattle.
     6:00pm
    london.
     2:00am
     tokyo.
    10:00am
vs

   new york
     9:00pm
    seattle
     6:00pm
     london
     2:00am
      tokyo
    10:00am
note the wall-o'-text effect in the second, and the organization implied in the first.


I think it's more weird that no one's objected to the four clocks. Even as a member of the jet-set elite, I'd think that local time is still most important in the general sense. Feature that. Have the global times underneath; gotta know when the markets open after all.


Better yet, would be to make the city and time different sizes. Currently they carry the same visual weight so it's a list of

new york,9:00pm,seattle,6:00pm

instead of the intended

new york-9:00pm, seattle-6:00pm


That image reminds me of the Zune HD interface, actually. Same "wall of text" approach. I've noticed it's a love-it-or-hate-it approach. I happen to like it.


because.

lowercase.

and.

short.

sentences.

are.

beautiful.

or something.

don't.

you.

see?


Looks great. I feel like there must be a dozen real world reasons why it's infeasible. Antenna performance, cost, size, weight, etc. At least I want to believe that, that explains the reality we live in where objects like this generally don't exist. The only other explanation is inept companies who don't hire or listen to good designers.


The UV light is interesting. I like the idea bit it looks like it'll only kill bacteria on the front part of the phone.


The bacteria would never harm you, so it is pointless either way. I suppose it might make some people feel better regardless.


Will it give me a sunburn if I'm talking on the phone while it's plugged in?


I think it's a bit silly BUT if it makes my phone glow a cool blue in the dark, I'm all for that.


I love it. I would buy it in a heartbeat.


Stereo sound isn't going to be much use when the speakers are only 4 inches apart.


That depends highly on how directional the speakers are.


Or how small your head is.


The screens are a bit hit and miss for me. The alarm clock, music player, and bottom half of the home screen (messages) are beautiful. The top half of the home screen (weather and time) is horrible. The others - meh.


I personally like the design of this. Actually, when I saw the first picture, I thought, "I want one...". Plus I love the idea of the stand. Use cases were already flowing through my head when I saw this!


I like the stand idea also. But, does it mean I need to remove the case/bumper if I want to stand it?


make it WATERPROOF already


Looks like a sexy gadget prototype, underthought and overdesigned. Lack of buttons, alarm clock stand bullshit introducing moveable parts for no particular reasons, curved screen, etc.


If HTC can pull this off, I (a huge apple fanboy) might consider switching. I love developing for the android platform, but the phones that have come out so far just irritate me.


Would love to see a screen at the back also -- dual screens, if you will. That way I can have one app running on the "front" screen and another on the "back" screen.


If I'm holding the phone in landscape with thumbs on front and fingers on the back, what I'd really like is buttons on the back so I'm not limited to just my thumbs. Shift, spacebar and an 'alternate layout' button (switches the onscreen keyboard to symbols/accents) come to mind. Maybe navigation buttons so you don't need to constantly shift your hand to reach the hardware buttons.

That said, many flip phones do actually have dual screens. Never seen them used simultaneously though. (Woz's solution for multitasking also comes to mind - just have two phones.)


Seems easier to long-press the home key than to lock my current screen, turn the phone over, and unlock that screen. I don't think you've really thought this through...


Mightn't that be a bit of a UX nightmare when you factor in a touchscreen? Yes, you could use orientation to decide to only take input from the 'topmost' screen, but you'll regret that when you're trying to set an alarm/check email while lying back in bed. Or, put another way: you know how annoying it is when auto-rotate doesn't get it right? Double that.


That way you could be talking to a friend while you gchat a friend, and facebook another friend. Summary: Multi-task while you multi-task.


weight, my friend.


There's almost no side margin next to touch screen. I wonder how difficult it is to grip without accidentally setting off touch events.


The iPhone 4 featured next to the caption "Humans have two ears" is wrong: the volume buttons and silence toggle are on the wrong side.


Who else also got to the "the mobile phone is home to many microorganisms" part, stopped, took out his own phone to wipe it clean?


Is there anything Helvetica can't fix?



The UV light is completely hilarious. It would be far more effective in a UV container.


I just got an xperia x10 and I don't care for no htc phone no more


great designs. and your blog is truly awesome!


I don't understand this "the software and hardware have to work in harmony". This argument makes no sense with any other OS/hardware in existence. The OS should look good. The hardware should look good. Does the wallpaper match the casing? The user is going to change it anyway. I simply don't understand this logic.

This concept encourages further vendor UI overlays, custom icons, and the 4x4 app icon grid. It's clear that it was inspired by the iPhone and it simply removes the innovation of the Android homescreen paradigm in order to look more like the iphone.

That having been said, why a manufacturer hasn't stepped forward and created a piece of hardware to rival the iPhone is beyond me. Until the hardware is compelling, all Android phones will be interchangable. For example, how many Android users would jump at iPhone-like hardware running Froyo/Gingerbread?


You don't understand how it's a good idea to match the aesthetic of the software to the hardware framing it? Do you believe that any good looking shirt looks good with any good looking pair of pants?


And this is ostensibly an Android phone, yet it throws out fundamental functionality of the software in favor of aesthetics.

Form matching function is absolutely a good thing; form over function is foolish.


Do you believe you should only watch shows that match your television?


No, I think that the "software matches the hardware" means literally nothing. What does it mean in this context? Almost all phones are virtually the same shape. Gray or dark gray, what part of the OS do you change to tailor it to the hardware.

No one ever explains what it means, they just reference it as if the iPhone possesses it as another of its magical abilities. Your analogy does not translate to hardware and software. How does Windows 7 match up with your monitor, or unibody desktop computer? What, specifically, makes OS X beautifully tailored for the unibody MBP. Nothing. It's just a way of saying "I think the iPhone has a prettier interface than Android" which is a tired argument so it's dressed up under a new guise.


The iPhone homescreen has (or at least had until the introduction of wallpapers in iOS 4, ironically) been very much intertwined with the hardware design. The combination of vivid icons on a black background meshed beautifully with the dark glass of the unit's face, and was a large part of what made the original device so iconic.


Addressing this line: No, I think that the "software matches the hardware" means literally nothing.

It means aesthetically the texture, color, or lines fit together. In this case the lines are the most important part. Maybe it's not important to you, but it's not a hollow statement.


"The lines fit together"? I'm sorry but I still don't hear anything concrete about what is unique to a 4x4 grid of icons and the same rectangular profile of a phone.

Throughout this thread, I keep hearing "its magical beautiful design" and nothing concrete. Please give me some examples.


Please don't take this HTC 1 as a good example of the interface fitting with the hardware. Look to some of the other examples cited elsewhere in this thread.

Like it was mentioned above, it seems that Kim's desire was to match the simple lines of the phone with a flat, simple interface. I think his proposed interface is poor at best. If you gave a really great UI designer this hardware to design against, you'd quickly understand the cohesion.


Let me put this a different way. How would iOS need to be changed if it were on the Droid? How would the optimal "software matching the hardware" differ in appearance between the iPhone 4, Droid and Nexus One? Which "lines" have to change?


what i want is my live wallpaper to be projected onto the casing, so that it looks seamless.


machined brass, oh come on now.

Android CTS demands that hardware design have standard minimum UI buttons.




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