Don McDougall has a review of the new Motorola Q phone on the Mobility Site. The “Q” looks a bit like a Pocket PC but is actually a Windows Mobile-based Smartphone with a high-resolution screen. Thanks very much to Don for his kind words about our NewsBreak RSS reader.
Our second product, back in 1997, was called PhoneTone. It generated touchtone sounds on a Handheld PC, so people could hold up their handhelds to a phone, and have it dial the number. This was before everyone had a cellphone (though they did exist). The program was fairly popular, given that there weren’t all that many Handheld PCs in use at the time. I’m mentioning it today, not out of nostalgia, but because I just ran into information about how to do the same thing on an iPod.
I should have some profound thoughts about lasting 9 years. But I don’t.
My less-than profound thoughts are:
9 years is a long time. It probably feels a lot longer to me than it would for many people (I keep hearing people say “time flies” but around me it never does), but it’s a long time in softwareland. Especially handheld software land. We’ve outlived a lot of companies – every time I go through old papers or business cards I’m amazed at the companies who have quietly disappeared, or dropped out of the PDA market.
I have no idea what the next year will bring, except change. This has been true every anniversary (OK, every day) so far, so this isn’t anything new.
I’m sure some of what’s helped us last so long is the fabulous support from our loyal users and friends in the press, so even though this blog isn’t really public yet, I have to say thanks so much to everyone who’s helped. You know who you are.
We’re getting a lot of nice coverage today:
Quite a few sites covered our anniversary sale. Just look at this list of people we have to thank for helping spread the word of our celebration: Pocket PC Thoughts, Mobility Today, SmartPhone Thoughts, Clinton Fitch, Pocket PC Magazine, Aximsite, Daily Gadget, Boston Pocket PC, Pocket Goddess, GadgetMe, Mobile Gadget News, Pocket PC Louisville, The Gadgeteer, 4WinMobile, and Geek.com.
I was reading – OK skimming – a book about user interface design. Much of the theme was that too much UI mirrors the underlying design, rather than the users’ mental model. Which I completely agree with. But then the author (whose name I’ve already forgotten, along with the book title) at one point gave the example of that when you drag a file in Windows to somewhere on the same drive, the file is moved, but if you drag it to another drive, it’s copied.
He said this was bad design – reflecting that in the first case, the file doesn’t need to be copied; just the pointer updated, but in the second case, a copy needs to be made.
I’d always thought this was excellent design – when I drag a file to a different folder on my hard drive, I almost always want it moved, but when I drag it to my backup flash memory card, or to a CD or to the network, I usually do want it copied.
I don’t know which explanation is right, and maybe it’s even both (the design originally came from the function, but then someone realized what a good idea it was and left it in, maybe even adding the changing mouse pointer to help users understand what’s going on), but I hope no one reads the book and decides to “fix” it.
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