Really curious to see if this prototype becomes available; I'd like to see it have a chance to succeed. The better contrast levels and refresh rates have made e-ink more viable as a phone display. Unfortunately, e-ink seems to be more expensive than the color LCDs in cheap, low-end candybar cellphones, and the refresh rate and lack of color is not widely appealing. If you're after awesome battery life, it's probably easier to just get one of those and carry a spare battery or buy some sort of battery-pack case.
The dealbreaker was the sms UI: it was absolutely horrible because of the super limited amount of characters on screen at a given time (from memory, it was around 7 or so), it was impossible to text and receive texts in a coherent way.
But for the rest, I loved it.
I find I use my tablet and cellphone mostly for reading (articles, books, texts, emails), and the e-ink screen is much more pleasurable for me. Also, I love having a laptop, cell phone, and tablet, but I hate having to charge 3 devices at the end of every day.
I think "mobile web" has taught us that. Increasingly we are finding that our toaster can run firefox and our heating system can run word but Firefox and the websites it displays weren't meant to run on a toaster.
Btw there's a chrome extension of Send to Kindle so you don't have to email articles. Also if you like reading Hacker News on the kindle browser check out http://bit.ly/hnkindle :)
It's actually amusing that since back then I've used ipod touch, android phone, android tablet, and now the kindle, for specifically reading articles from the web.
When I was in college I was actually printing web articles in batch during weekends, I just paste the plain text to MS word arranged in 3 columns in uniform font so it looks like a newspaper. Those were fun times since everything was so new to me :) that's way before all the instapaper/pocket came out.
I'd love to try one out for programming. Text interfaces (emacs / vim) and a large e-ink display could be a perfect match.
BTW, don't use "test" as the name for your throwaways. test(1) is a thing.
$man -k test
test (1) - check file types and compare values
There's a lot of conjecture in this article - it mentions it "may" be able to make a shatterless e-ink device, or e-ink "could be" made more responsive. Not promising.
In addition what does this gain? Apple pretty much set the standard with glass multitouch displays years ago, and I have yet to see a popular plastic touchscreen phone display recently (scratching and smears are two big problems).
It will be interesting to see what the prototype can offer (as I await my Pebble as well).
This is the display the Pebble uses:
Do you know if this is what is done for the displays on jump drives as well or are those true e-ink?
As we've seen with the GS3, though, what people really want are bright and oversaturated displays for occasional media use, rather than the 99%-of-use task of monochrome reading and browsing.
Same here. Though an eink display would be almost as nice and seems much easier to get ahold of. But we might not have to wait much longer... Quoting Mary Lou,
> We will be announcing at least a half-dozen new devices with our screens in them in the next sevreal (sic) weeks.
Hopefully the new products will cost less than a grand.
Forced simplicity is always interesting. Kind of a "didn't have the time to write a short letter" principle.
Working well with e-ink would have been a good point of differentiation in the mobile market given e-ink's advantage in energy efficiency.
I think there were 2 big "opportunities" to create OSs. IE times when the hardware existed & the demand existed: netbooks & "mobile." The latter wasn't really an opportunity because the company that built the hardware & generated the demand also made the software. Still it was enough of a gap that android snuck in.
Ubuntu & Mozilla had a wide open chance with Netbooks for a couple of years. There was demand. Manufacturers were keen. Vista was bombing. Users would have excepted an OS that didn't run everything as long as it had some lite browser, lite office app, Skype, media player and a few other bits and pieces optimized for the little display. You could have gotten away with not having MS office or Apple itunes, especially on the first generation Eee.
Both of those opportunities existed because of the millions of apps also know as websites that they could run before any developer even knew they existed. I don't think there will ever be an "in" that big.
e-ink phones?.. Maybe. Battery life would definitely be a selling point. Some people need phones that last longer. But it's predefined as a niche market. It wouldn't be very good on the web (try using a browser on an e-ink to see what I mean. It's cute, but that's it.) so it would need custom apps. Without apps I would love to see music players and email clients for e-ink, it'd be super futuristic. But, to get developers you need scale and excitement. Would a niche player be able to get that?
That's a big win. If the cost is low enough I think this has a lot of potential.