James Senior at Microsoft: Like a kid in a candy store

HTC Touch - anything you can do, iPhone can do better?

HTC Touch - anything you can do, iPhone can do better?

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imageNot to be out done by Apple, HTC have released their Touch phone based on Windows Mobile with an interesting way of navigating the phone using your finger and small "gestures" on the screen.  The timing of this is poignant - a couple weeks ahead of the launch of the iPhone.

This is all very interesting and the jury's out on whether interacting with a phone in this way is going to be feasible - especially in the business market where users demand some way of doing email easily (hence the success of blackberry and Windows Mobile).

For a few months I have been using the HTC 4350 which gave me the convenience of a flip out keyboard and touchscreen which I have to say I used sparingly - but this was probably due to the fact the UI wasn't there yet in terms of touch support.  What I did find useful was the stylus which allowed me to use the phone as a notepad which would then sync up automatically with OneNote on my laptop.

Getting back on track, the HTC Touch interface reminds me of something I saw a few months ago - an app that I could load up on my smartphone to change the skin to a Windows Vista style - it was neat and I could navigate around using touch.  This brings me on to another point - extensibility.  Microsoft have been successful because they embraced developers and made it easy for the them to build software on their platform and they are looking to do this with Windows Mobile too - there are plenty of 3rd party apps already out there as proof.  I did a search on Download.com and there was 2335 results for Windows Mobile.

Apple have said that the iPhone will be a closed environment so people can't develop applications for it.  They made this decision because of security and because a platform that allows third-party development would be less stable - and there's your dilemma when building a platform; do you make it open so lots of people can leverage the work you've done or do you close it off hoping that you can bring out enough apps to please your user base.  To be fair to Apple, they are looking at ways round this but it looks like developers will have to wait until the next version.

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  • Love it, love it, love it!!! Now, from Steve's reports with the HTC Touch the serious drawback is the

  • Hey James,

    Thats for meeting me on Monday for the interview.

    Wow, your blog is great. Lots of great stuff!

    With regards to the phones such zs HTC's Touch and forthcoming iPhone. I'm not convinced. The UK unlike our friends in the US are avid texters. Using your finger or thumb is intuitive. But texting with fingers, especially if they are large, is a deal breaker and very slow.

    Jobs was wrong, fixed keyboards on smartphones are better, enable writing mails and texts faster and are more reliable than using a finger.

  • Hey Jas

    Thanks for the compliment!  I think you're right texting (and email) is going to be the defining factor.  It all depends upon software, is there a way to take input very cleverly?  With the amount of screen real estate I just can't see it - someone might surprise me though :-)


  • It is amazing how technology has grown over the years. keep up the good work

  • Thanks David, we will try! :-)

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