Geekend: Blackberry's Passport & Phone Design's Future - InformationWeek

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Geekend: Blackberry's Passport & Phone Design's Future
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jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 10:22:19 AM
New Shapes

"The more I think about this, the more I'm done with rectangles. It is time for someone to come up with a bold new shape to the phone."

Well then, do I have a phone for you! Check out http :// www.pomegranatephone.com . I think it will be everything you ever hoped for in a new phone design.

 

(An oldie but goodie)

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 10:19:12 AM
Re: I'll stick with the rectangle
@PedroGonzales>

how about instead of looking for a specific shape, may be we should have a phone that changes sizes.  When we need to put it in our pocket in becomes small and when we need to watch videos of talk to our friends it becomes bigger.

Congratulations; you just described the Flip Phone!  *lol*

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 10:18:05 AM
Re: Clever Keyboard
@Broadway0474> This keyboard is the first good bit of R&D I've seen come out of RIM/BB for years. With the wonderful benefit of 20-20 hindsight it's clear that they waited too long before they recognized the size of the smart phone threat, were very slow coming up with a competing device, then delivered solutions that nobody seemed to want. So personally - with no business head on me whatsoever - I don't care what they do because at this point, they're an irrelevant company to me. It saddens me to see a giant fall so far, but when even the long term BB fans are changing platform, you know they missed the boat by a mile.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 10:00:02 PM
Re: Clever Keyboard
jgherbert, is there hope for BB? Should they bother to try to rescue the company? Perhaps they should have dismantled the place while the IP still has some value?
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 6:39:03 PM
Square Screens
I think we have established in the desktop world that square screens are just so last decade. I don't see what the advantage is of this shape. Rectangular has clear advantages - two orientations, it matches photography norms so photos and video make the most of the pixel space you paid for, a portrait rectangle is a comfortable form factor for holding, and it pushes the ear piece to the ear while bringing the microphone towards the pie hole. Square just seems to fly in the face of all logic and ergonomics. Of course, as noted in other comments, who uses these as phones any more, let along by holding up to their ears? Maybe that's true, but you should still be able to, and comfortably.

Of course if you're a heavy Instagram user and like your square photographs, you have just found your perfect phone. Perhaps they need to market this as the HipsterPhone 7 or something?
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 6:33:57 PM
Clever Keyboard
Credit where it's due - at least, I've not seen it before - that keyboard is genius. Sadly I don't want it, but from a pure technology perspective, I watched the video and marveled at the fact that the keyboard was able to act as a large touchpad on the bottom of the phone, meaning that you could select autocomplete entries without having to "leave" the keyboard, and you could select text without your finger being in the way. 

So there's the positive - I think that's really smart. Better than a touch keyboard? I guess they're hoping it is, but I'm not so sure. The fact that the keys area aligned perfectly rather than offset like a regular keyboard would probably drive me mad in short order. But a hearty bravo for innovation in keyboards - I like to see that.

Beyond that, sadly, I see BB as a company drowning in its own irrelevance. It had a captive market for years because of the push mail capability and physical keyboards. Now the smartphones have very usable touch keyboards, and they all have push mail capability. Take those away and, IMO, BB has very little left to offer, and such a small ecosystem that there's nothing to pull me in.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 10:58:44 PM
Re: I'll stick with the rectangle
You are right. So far the rectangle beats them all.  The idea of the hour glass is really interesting.  how about instead of looking for a specific shape, may be we should have a phone that changes sizes.  When we need to put it in our pocket in becomes small and when we need to watch videos of talk to our friends it becomes bigger. 
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 6:45:24 PM
I'll stick with the rectangle
THe problem is that the rectangle, while boring, is essentially reaaly functional. It grants you HD aspect ratios, fits in your pocket and with rounded corners doesn't jab you when you sit down. (sorry the triagle phone is out, I mean ouch! i don't want to accidently sit on that. Since we already havea functional shape the only thing you can do is smooth it out add a couple of curves for design's sake, but for that design I'm betting we end up paying for just like that sports car. I think I'll stick with my boring rectangle. Now what other shapes can everyone think up for a new phone?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2014 | 6:27:44 PM
Re: Phone Shapes
@Alison- I suppose Apple thinks they've reached the final evolution of the phone. Maybe they have. Maybe the next major change is putting the phone in our heads. I did a geekend a few weeks ago about computer-assisted telepathy. Maybe that's the next major phase.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 3:55:08 PM
Re: Phone Shapes
@dave -- Amen! Smartphones are at their worst as telephones -- both for quality, design, and function. But I can play a great game of checkers on my expensive Android. None of them, except for the old flip phones (imo), ever deliver good voice and convenient voice management tools. Ray Ozzie makes some good points recently on the importance of voice and voice collaboration tools with his new company Talko.
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