Presumably there are Android phones with oldschool physical navigation buttons—at least there were back when the sky was bluer and the grass greener.
Dunno how the launcher is on the configuration side. But in general I'm sorta attracted to the idea of using it myself. There's the rawness and clarity akin to modernism.
It has black letters on a dark grey background, something the author of the post complains about.
I really wonder why they do that.
Some things are lost when everything is touch. I remember writing fast on T9 keyboards, and with time learning the order of suggestions it was trivial to text without even looking.
There are also certain games that are hard to play on touch screens. I remember having a gameboy emulator on my old phone, using the number keys for some fast paced games. The same games are impossible to play on touch without feel for the buttons, a lot of misclicking.
My fingers are not refined enough to reliably hit the tiny hitboxes for regular touch-screen keyboards. This is both with "tap" and "swipe" keyboards.
A few years ago in a HN discussion about phone screen keyboards someone linked the MessageEase keyboard, which uses big buttons + swiping. It sounded very "T9"-ish, so I gave it a shot. It actually helped me avoid typos, and it's my "default" keyboard now (there are some quirks that result in it not working with some inputs some of the time, and it isn't up-to-date regarding emojis)
> There are also certain games that are hard to play on touch screens. I remember having a gameboy emulator on my old phone, using the number keys for some fast paced games. [...]
Same here. I find even something simple as Tetris almost unplayable on a touch screen. I have the impression that kids generally don't have that problem, as they have grown up with touch screens. I don't understand how they do it.
But the drawback was the software. It was slow, had few (decent) third party applications and in the end was not optimized for a touchscreen. I would love to see another, modern device like this though.
I still never managed to learned how to use the keyboard correctly. I guess I have sausage fingers.
I was fine with a blackberry / palm and physical buttons. With any (small) touchscreen keyboard, I always have trouble with wrong entries.
I realize that I must be an exception, but personally I find the move to all touchscreen regrettable.
I can only guess that this is to differentiate the slashed zero from the slashed O used in Scandinavian.
2020 (a bit) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24853550
Indeed, accessibility isn't only for people with disabilities.
I make it so log files load in emacs with a tiny font to allow longer lines. this would help.
Also would be a good early-morning-email or late-night-editing font. :)
Hmmm... could you auto-generate a monospace version with some font tool?
EDIT: seems there might be ways to do this.
See Comic Mono: https://dtinth.github.io/comic-mono-font/
Just saw this: https://github.com/cpitclaudel/monospacifier
But I'm surprised that they're tackling the problem this way rather than getting her cataract surgery. That's what it sounds like and even if she has only a few years to live (statistically) the quality of life improvements are obviously huge. Obviously I have no idea of her actual state of health or if it is in fact cataracts so this might be less than helpful.
One assumes that, if surgery would be both feasible and helpful, she would have availed herself of it rather than continue with the status quo.
I downloaded and installed it.
Did the author try none of those? As for dialing, the intelligent assistants for both OSs provide a robust and easy to use audio interface - "Hey Siri Dial Taxi".
Maybe I missed something in the sentiment of the article?
She also can barely hear, so giving voice commands might work, but understanding the machine-generated audio feedback doesn't work. Also, she can't fix problems, like accidental activation. It's too overwhelming. And that's while she's technologically curious and adopted mobile phones and smartphones to some extent. She just can't use these things properly.
I bet we will have an easier time with these things because we learned how to use them while everything was fine.
My mother is 87. She's still pretty sharp, but anything other than a simple flip phone is very frustrating for her. Things just move too fast, too many things "pop up" (like notifications, etc) and she doesn't know the different types of gestures needed to control it well.
As a blurry eyed person in my midlife period who consumes a lot of written word, text and code I very much appreciate any efforts to make it easier on my eyes and my brain, especially in type that is nice to look at.
I find an extra bit of built in spacing helpful.
What happens when your vision is too poor to read even the best designed font?
At that point 100% success is an unrealistic level and so a discussion about how smart assistants work or even other assistive functionality is a fair discussion and one the author did not mention at all.
Yes. Yes, it is.
For some reason we're sold on the idea of "good enough" for things that are actually "just barely usable under perfect conditions". And this doesn't apply only to voice assistants.
She had a Windows Phone for years because you could zoom-in the tiles and thus increase touch targets for quick dialing. That eventually broke down, too, because of lack of haptic feedback and, well, we all can hardly imagine how hard it is to navigate a device like that when everything's so blurry you cannot see the space between huge-ass tiles on a, what, 6" screen or so.
Other than that, in the real world, they seem to rarely work. You can come up with a curated list and make sure it's all working correctly. But as soon as you do something novel, all bets are off.
In the original post's case calling contacts is a trivial exercise and one that works 99% of the time accurately. Reading and sending texts is also a rock solid feature.
Again my main issue with the article was that these assertive features were not even discussed.
And even if your accent is 100% Silicon Valley denizen, any app that uses your input for searching will possibly have ambiguities or incorrectness on the results, and currently there are very few tools to correct misunderstanding, even if it doesn't mishear.
And that is assuming that search results are even deterministic, many apps either randomize (or "personalize" for business interests) or update their search logic regularly enough for it to be a problem for a casual user.
Calling a taxi to the wrong destination (for example) is very much not acceptable, ever.