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back to article Ancient thumb-driven whirly-wheel smartmobe UI ported to Android

The mobile interface designed to kill the iPhone has finally launched, but as an Android freebie rather than aboard the revolutionary handset we were promised in 2009. The handset, known as the Else, was built by Emblaze, a company better known for encoding video and suing Apple than making phones. With the help of Japan's …

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Facepalm

Duhh

"Left-handers just have to use a finger, or learn to be normal"

And what makes the interface so difficult to mirror?

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as a left-hander

OTOH - I agree, but remember that the natural direction of wheel operation would be anti-clockwise too

OTOH - but why pick on them?

Except for the mouse all computer UIs, even the seemingly symmetric interfaces, are right-handed

- "slide to do anything" is always the wrong the wrong direction

- all those sliders on too big for the screen are on the wrong side

- all those tabs on browsers are the wrong way round

I'd always hoped that someone with better skills than I could acquire would produce a left-handed KDE but it hasn't happened yet

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Happy

Re: as a left-hander

I've got to agree, although imagining the the counterclockwise motion it does not seem strange.

I suspect the only mouse that is truly ambidextrous is the original Apple one button, that's all you're getting mate beast. As proud member of the Clan Sinnister I think I have become so confused over left and right edness that I tend not to notice and find myself flipping between the two depending on circumstance - for example I shoot a firearm right handed but a bow lefthanded, I use a conventional SLR camera righthanded and bowl (cricket0 lefthanded. I write lefthanded but use a hammer righthanded.

Yores in much confusion

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Terminator

Re: as a left-hander

I'm so left handed I can't use power cutting tools without fear of cutting my head off or something. Tin-openers were a constant source of frustration.

Wasn't allowed to play the cello, restringing would bring other real world problems. In fact, I'm a disabled minority... where's the Human Rights Act when you need it?

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Coat

Re: as a left-hander

"where's the Human Rights Act when you need it?"

Don't you mean "Human Lefts Act"?

*I'm going, I'm going...*

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Facepalm

Re: as a left-hander

bollocks - I wish I'd thought of that - have an upvote

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Anonymous Coward

Re: as a left-hander

Bunch of "sinister" loonies if you ask me!

I can't eat the "proper" way as my left-handed Mum taught me to use a knife and fork, the wrong way around!

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Re: as a left-hander

You say sinister? I say rectum...

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Coat

Re: as a left-hander

Rectum? Damn near killed 'em!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Duhh

What makes Left Handers so awkward?

Giving support in a large office, I've come across various PC configurations of left and right handed (some with button swapped and some without).

It only takes a few seconds to adjust to the way that PC has been configured and get on with fixing their problem.

I had a left handed flatmate. I used to pick up some of his nonsense gadgets (left handed tin opener, left handed corkscrew) and could use them as easy as a normal one. Just about every right hander who visited could do it.

What is the big deal? Just get over it and use it as they designed it. Don't like it? Design your own. If its better, more people will use it instead.

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Linux

It looks pretty...

... but inability to change default apps a killer for me. Tip: Smart Launcher by Jarvis.d. is a great, slick, no frills launcher if that is what you are after.

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Go

Chu Chu!

UI - whatever.

But thanks for using an image with Chu Chu Rocket highlighted. Brought back some memories and has left me 69p lighter in the wallet department. Cheap at thrice the price :)

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It looks very interesting, I might just try this out...

Oh but look at the permissions! No way am I letting this thing on my device.

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Re: It looks very interesting, I might just try this out...

Never mind the permissions, see what they claim the right to do with all your personal data ... I risked installing it, tried it, hated it, uninstalled it. Nice idea in theory but don't think it will work properly in the real world.

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Bronze badge

cool software bro

needs more hardware: a thumbwheel like the Sony CMD-Z5 and early Blackberrys had. Who knows we might even get back to mobes you can use with one hand.

S

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Thumb Up

Re: cool software bro

The Sony thumbwheels where pretty useful.

Even the old Vaio Laptops had them at one point.

If a handset designer could just go back and take a look at some of the innovations that were around when there were a multitude of handset type available, and rehash/repackage/re-market these as new features: they could make a killing....

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Coat

Re: cool software bro

Dare I say it in these tempestuous times, my original iPod was great for singlehanded us.

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Thumb Up

Re: cool software bro

The thumbwheel on the P910 was great- you could also move it back and forward and click.

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Silver badge

Re: cool software bro

Yeah, those turn-of-the-century Sony UIs were what this put me in mind of.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6710771.html

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Ugh

It's just annoying.

And ugly.

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I'm right handed, but as far as I can tell (not having kept detailed statistics on this), I just as often hold the phone in the right hand and use the left to operate the screen. So... yeah. That.

Still, looks nice though.

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Bronze badge

Slightly off topic, but I winced when I read the bit about the Net Front browser. I had that pile of poo on the stock install that came with my Sharp Zaurus. As for this UI thingummy, it looks like a curved version of the menu system on the Sony PS3.

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Thumb Up

Upvoted for having a Sharp Zaurus.

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Meh

Pretty cool

But I have to wonder how far you have to drill down to get what you want. For me, that's always the issue with any interface.

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FAIL

IF I ever trade my iPhone in, and thats a long shot IF. it would be for a customized Android, not for THIS! I'd even use WINDOWS phone first. Yes I hate this that much based on one screenshot.

Think what this has to be like with a 40-50 apps......

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Black Helicopters

Internet access permission?

Why would a launcher need it? I think I pass.

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Meh

Looks nice for menus

But what percentage of our time on a smartphone is spent navigating menus? I probably spend most of my time scrolling and reading, which this interface doesn't alter. After that the next most common activity is typing, and its hard to imagine a way of using a radial menu with a single thumb would provide a better typing experience, but as I haven't tried it I guess I can't say for sure.

It may well be a better interface in certain situations, but if it only makes a difference 1% of the time I'm using a smartphone it is like Swype - looks really cool, but doesn't make any difference in how efficiently you use a phone.

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Silver badge

Neat

Installed and trying it - quite neat really. I miss some features like my weather widget, but as an exercise in UI design is it interesting.

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