Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Comparing touchscreens - Capacitive V Resistive

There are two main types of touchscreens used in mobile phones

They are: Capacitive and Resistive.

Capacitive (wikipedia)
Capacitive screens detect a single point of contact between two layers when they are pressed together.

Resistive (wikipedia)
Resistive screens detect electric fields (such as the one in a human body) coming into contact with the electircal current passing through the screen.

Why might you be interested?
  • Resistive screens work best when used with a stylus.
  • Capacitive screens work with a finger.
  • Capacitive screens don't have to have contact made to detect input.
  • Capacitive screens are commonly acknolwedged to be easier to use and more intuitive.
  • Windows Mobile only officially supports resistive screens. While there have been examples of Windows Mobile running on a device with a capacitive screen, such devices are not available and are unlikely to be so in the foreseeable future.

Finger frustration, not finger fun!

What's new in Windows Mobile 6.5?

The short answer is not a lot.

Last week there were several announcements relating to Windows Mobile.

One of those announcements was the release of a new version of the operating system, version 6.5.

It really only brings two new features of any note.

1. An improved interface for touch screen devices.
2. An improved version of the IEMobile browser, which adds support for gestures.

It's not that big an announcement for a number of reasons:
  • It was totally expected.
  • It won't be on any devices that you can actually buy until then end of this year.
  • It feels like some minor changes to keep it in the running until they can get the next version (7) out.
  • It doesn't make me excited about it or particularly want to own a device that runs the OS. (Though I probably will in time.)
  • There are better third party UIs available.
  • Upgrades for existing devices are unlikely to be available.

Here's hoping for more from Windows Mobile 7 - Expect that announcement in February 2010.

SMS Déjà Vu - Interested?

Do you find yourself sending the same messages to the same people regularly?
Do you have a mobile phone that uses the Windows Mobile operating system?
Are you interested in some new software to make sending those messages simpler?

SMS Déjà Vu might be just what you need then.
It makes it possible to send a predefined message to a person in just two clicks - subject to a mapped hardware button to launch it.. (That's faster than anyone can type!)

At the moment the app is usable but far from perfect.
I'll happily send you a copy if you give me feedback/suggestions while I make changes to get it in a state where it can be widely distributed.

Drop me an email (matt [at] mrlacey [dot] co [dot] uk) if you're interested.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vista "Program Files" Virtualization

Just a quick note to self to remind me where Vista virtualizes "Program Files" to.

C:\Users\......\Appdata\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\

Remember to have hidden files shown.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PayPal - make it easier

I have a long and frustrated history with PayPal.
The above seems to sum things up quite well.  After struggling to work out which email address I'd used to register with. (They won't tell you that an email address hasn't been registered with them, only send emails to ones that have.) I hit upon this issue when trying to change the password to something I'd remember. Yes, no OpenID :(.

OK, it's foolish of me to try and change it to the value it already is, but why prevent this change? Or don't change it, becuase it doens't need to be, but don't tell me that. Just say it's been changed and carry on. No unnecessary extra effort.

As a user they should be trying to make everything as easy as possible for me.  But it just feels like I run into frustration every time I try and do anything.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Windows @ MWC

These are my notes from watching the Microsoft keynote at MWC.
  • Global Smartphone penetration in developing world to increase to 50%
  • People want a single phone, not one for work & one for personal
  • Windows Mobile needs to move to another level - MS want to put the full Windows experience on a phone.
  • Make phone unique to the individual
  • A Windows phone which meets everyones needs.
  • End to end connectivity experience
  • What are now being called Windows Phones.
  • 1st announcement: Windows Phones will run the Windwos Mobile 6.5 Operating System
  • It's not how the phone works by itself but how it combines with PC and Internet
  • 2nd announcement : MyPhone - web backup of device settings & storage
  • 3rd Announcement : Windows Marketplace - freedom & convenience to allow developers to distribute apps

  • "Windows Phone" is a "Strategy"
  • "Your life in your pocket"
  • Improved Finger navigation
  • Latest IE Browser? - but what is it really? Pocket IE 6? More than what's on 6.1.4 (gestures)
  • WM6.5 = 1st generation Windows Phone
  • Time, appointments & notifications on the lock screen
  • Same experience as on Windows PC???
  • Gestures in IE
  • Trying to create exact same browser experience on Phone & PC

New HTC devices: Touch Diamond 2 & Touch Pro 2 - free upgrade to WM6.5 when available. (Subject to operator support no doubt!)

LG & MSFT R&D partnership

MSFT - very committed to mobile computing.

All devices - at least 3 buttons: windows button, call & hangup

Professional, Standard, Classic names to go.!?

WM7 not on the same time frame as Window7