We've been happily buying and adding accessories to our phones for years now, be it cases or external battery packs or lanyards or wallets. It especially makes sense in parts that are damageable, external facing, easily replaceable, and can be manufactured by anyone with some basic geometry specifications.
I would also argue that a $10 accessory is just that: a $10 accessory. It solves multiple real problems, the biggest of which I would argue is that holding a phone stable for a selfie is naturally unconducive due to its geometry. If people want the added use of this device, be it for holding, propping, or hooking into their car, great, go ahead and spend those ten dollars. I would prefer my phone to be thinner and not catch on things in my pocket.
For lack of a better term, this is basic modularity for your phone: if you want a feature, go ahead and add it. If you don't, no problem! Everyone doesn't need to get the same thing. We've been ogling modular phones for a while now here on HN; it just turns out it may be starting with selfie-accessories and not swappable camera units.
My mother absolutely loves hers. My students last semester all had them. About a third of my friend have them. Some of them just see them as another accessory to put on their phone. I don't care for one since my phone fits in my hand just fine and I never take selfies. Point being, if you want one for whatever reason, great! If you don't, great! That's the point of accessories.
Each band lasts a couple months, and they come free with celery, broccoli, and asparagus!
edit: clarified visual description
I think the most curved device I have it on is my kindle. These are pliable enough that they should fit some pretty serious curves.
Used the same kind all the way back to my first smartphone and they still look like new a couple of years on.
The latest one has slots for a credit card and cash so it's more efficient in that I can lose everything all on one go.
Seriously, I would like a larger phone — about the size of a Kindle or an iPad mini (without the bezels / home button). Right now I have an iPhone and a 9.7" iPad that I'm regretting purchasing. They both do almost exactly the same thing. The iPad is a second-class citizen, both for apps (no Health app, weather app etc) and for the physical camera which is always a few generations / features behind. It has a larger screen and a longer battery, and is better for reading letter-size PDFs. That's about it. It will not replace my laptop in any reasonable way. So, now I have 3 things to carry, charge and keep in sync.
The great one-handed experience of the iPhone 4 through 5s/SE isn't lost on me, but I don't spend the majority of my life hanging on to a subway pole (though it seems like it sometimes). I just want a bigger phone. I promise to only use bluetooth for calls and not to hold it up to my face like a modern-day Gordon Gekko.
I am starting to think may be it should have been two separate devices for these two functions.
iphone xs max: 6.20 x 3.05 x 0.30 in and 208g
ipad mini: 8.0 x 5.3 x 0.24 in and 298g
There certainly are still cheap feature phones knocking about for more basic use cases as well. I just can't quite work out what the author is asking for. I mean okay, the author makes quite a good case for popsockets but that doesn't seem to translate into his other, less salespitchy, more "profound" sounding point about smartphones being "too big".
Because the smaller form factors generally have a lot of features pulled: whether it be screen pixel density, compass, camera, or battery/phone time, etc.
More and more I love the old style phones: smaller screen and heaps of battery by having a thicker body... but it seems that no-one else agrees with me on this point, so it's always thinner, thinner, thinner and bigger screens.
I'd love to buy an 'iPhone FatBoy 6' or 'Google Pixel Brick'. In a form factor that is thicker, we have more room for better camera optics, bigger batteries, other goodies, and not to mention - easier to hold!
My personal belief is that the future form factor will be a smaller, somewhat egg shaped device that you can comfortably nestle in your palm. It will be thicker, but about the same weight as current phones, so less denser and more shock resistant. You will be able to operate it with just one hand, perhaps with physical controls on the periphery or the back surface of the device. Perhaps it will support a "squeeze" gesture.
That said, depending on the majority use cases, the iPhone 8 camera is plenty.
I get what you are saying though. I kind of wish Google or Apple would license their tech to one of the companies still building large-sensor cameras (Canon, Nikon, Fuji, etc...) to see what could be done with even more data.
How could the market fail to account for consumer preferences in this way? I have a hypothesis: there are only a few manufacturers of top-of-the-line phones, and they want more space for more electronics (including more battery life). If those manufacturers all decide on their own that people want big phones, customers who want up-to-date smartphones will relax their preferences for small phones, and it won't get communicated. And cheaper phones will follow the lead of the more famous and more successful ones. But I think there are lots of other possibilities hypotheses here and the general class of answers of the form "the market is failing to reflect customer preferences" is likely worth investigating.
I generally choose by price point these days and not a single feature.
It's confusing at first searching, because they also made a popular thing to mount your phone on a dashboard. The picture above is specifically their "grip" product.
"Resolved: Apple should make iPhone for the human hands that hold it, not just the eyes and fingertips that invoke its software. ... Now we can update Jobs' "[design is] not just what it looks like ... [but] how it works" for iPhone. What is design for Apple in 2017? ... Design is how it gleams, how it works, and how it shatters."
My old BB Classic was one of the best pure communication devices I've ever owned. I could write long multi-paragraph emails on that thing hardly ever needing correction.
Many of my clients are lawyers, and I noticed that the legal community was one of the last holdouts on BB platform. Namely, because anyone whose job requires lengthy written communication, it provided the best balance of form and function.
Even being careful, it seems impossible to type more than 2 or 3 words in succession without needing to correct something on Apple phones.
Apple has been hiding their bad (near abysmal) ergonomics behind the success of their app store. I wonder how long it will last? Sadly, I think the whole management team now has too much hubris to ever change course and will continue to double-down on ever thinner devices with 1/2 day battery life.
Almost anyone who uses a keyboard at work will become fast on gboard within a few minutes.
You certainly don't need to correct one in three words.
Aside, I really wish there were an open entertainment specification for cars over bluetooth. Where the onboard entertainment/navigation system were incredibly barebones, but when tethered to a device, the device would take control of those interfaces. Only entertainment and maybe a/c, where any onboard control interfaces would just trade screens between onboard/offboard controls.
My 2.5yo car already feels ancient, not that I loved the entertainment interfaces to begin with. And bluetooth has always been a bit of a sour point. Would still be nice to see a well testable standard for integration that worked across devices/platforms.
a) When I tried it with my iPhone, there were a lot of errors (1 or 2 per paragraph; I can make a lot fewer of those)
b) A lot of errors were quite subtle, making it difficult to correct
Additionally, I don't want to send my text to any cloud before even sending it. AFAIK, both Apple and Google send the voice recording to them to analyse it, which makes me say "hell naw" to transcriptions.
Bottom line: not interested in voice transcription.
About half the time when I enter a simple reminder the result is so bad I can’t figure out what was originally intended.
On the other hand as a person who needs reading glasses, the bigger screens have been an absolute godsend, and when I try and use my older Ipod touch everything is miniscule -- especially the keyboard.
I guess it all comes down to preference. I've never thought of a typical US checkbook as being too big for anything, and these "huge" phones are about that size.
And we are also not even able to make apps usable on them.
I have a Samsung S9 now (business phone) and i had a xperia compact before. Why the fuck are so many apps main navigation controles atop and not at the bottom right corner?
I do have big hands and can hold that phone quite okayisch but...
The web link now links to duckduckgo instead of Google, the actually article is not in the first page of result. Where as in Google, it's the first result. I understand the desire to help the little player but seems like this is more discouraging than encouraging people to switch.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KaiOS  https://www.techradar.com/reviews/cat-b35  https://www.gsmarena.com/energizer_hardcase_h240s-8981.php  https://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?nYearMin=2015&sFormFac...
I also tend to set the max font size etc, and don't care as much as most about pixel density. That's just me though.
All of that said, if someone wants a better case or a holder, let them buy it... what's $10 as an after-market item would add $40 to the phone for the people that don't want it.
The only thing I can think of is yoga tablet.
As a younger person, I used belt holsters for my cellphones. Around the time of the iphone 5, (incidentally, when I jumped on the apple phone bandwagon) i switched to wearing pants with a special cellphone pocket, which isn't big enough for the big cellphones, but velcros closed (which I think is essential, for phones are slippery and are far more likely to slip out when sitting in chairs designed for short people than a wallet or keys are) - also, the special pocket means no fishing around in your pocket for the phone.
Now that I carry a separate phone for work, man, I've had a hard time of it. but... why don't I just order a belt clip for the work phone? Done. $15, and it will be on my desk, most likely, when I get in to work on Tuesday.
My Note, I can do all sorts of work in a hurry and it feels fine. The iPhone I can do all the same but the size of screen means I prefer not to use it excessively unless needed.
I admit, I've always these devices to be so perplexing. Why would I want to make my phone awkwardly thick in just one spot?
I had an iPhone 7+. Hated it. Easily the worst iPhone I ever owned; replacing it with an X, which actually fits in my hand, has been the best phone decision ever, particularly because it's also my favorite iPhone ever.
But mostly-- buy a phone that fits in your hand and pocket.
So you have something that snaps out that you can use to hold it in a one-handed grip somewhere nearer the middle of the phone.
Also it give you something to use as a tiny stand if you wanna prop the phone up to watch video/read/otherwise use it hands-off.
> "Are paywalls ok?"
> "It's ok to post stories from sites with paywalls that have workarounds."
> "In comments, it's ok to ask how to read an article and to help other users do so. But please don't post complaints about paywalls. Those are off topic."
"A $10 Accessory Proves Smartphones Are Too Big"
Paste it in to google, and click the first link that takes you back to that website.
Due to google's requirements of the search bot seeing what normal people can see when coming from google, they have to honor this...
I'm not sure if you have to have a Facebook account - I think you don't.
The way HN reacts to paywalls is beyond ridiculous. It's like if every comment thread on a story about a Netflix original series was nothing but questions and answers about where to go to torrent it.
Edit: the last 'is' added.
In other words, someone that says "I don't care much but I looked anyway" is not a hypocrite.
Relatedly, I think it's worth 0 cents to go flip my phone over on the table. But I'm going to do it anyway.
A lot of people on HN dislike advertising, but content creators are going to need to get paid if they want to create good content, and paying for it seems like a great alternative to advertising.
WSJ is having a deal right now where you can get the subscription for $1 for 2 months, which IMO is more than reasonable.
In an environment where everyone consumes just a few articles each from a very large number of sources, it's not reasonable to expect a monthly subscription to a particular source just for the sake of reading one article. I do pay for an online subscription to one newspaper, but I'm not willing to go back to the days of reading only one newspaper.
I might put up with a reasonable amount of advertising, if it didn't track me around the web, attack me with malware, double my bandwidth usage and run scripts that bog down my computer.
I like journalism, but it would be really nice to have a better model (I'd even go with pay per article). Subscriptions that you may or may not use have always been a dark pattern, whether it's for journalism or apps or gym memberships.
I honestly don't know how it all works with WSJ, but I figured I'd just point out the deal they are having.
Until it does those who are stuck in the old economic model will suffer.
The concept that you can contain information and retain some value in the distribution of it is obsolete and asking people to pretend that model will still work is silly.
Second, the mental fatigue from signing up and putting up with their spam for the rest of my life makes me sad just to imagine. Having a business relationship with hundreds of sites is complicated and not fun to manage.
If there was a way to pay a penny and then maybe 10 cents if I like it, I would gladly do it. But publishers value their content higher than that.
Flattr has a good idea where they would divide up your monthly media budget across publishers, but that didn’t take off. Brace Browser is similar.
I think the biggest issue is that I don’t trust publishers because all my interactions with them are unpleasant (eg, intrusive ads, spam, AstroTurf, etc).
The only real action I can take is to Adblock/corcumvent paywalls. That’s something I can do. Hopefully publishers will adjust models and stay in business. But if every paywall site goes out of business, I’m ok with that as well. I think the world would be net better off if we only had BBC/NPR/etc. definitely some downsides, but a net positive.