12 thoughts on “SmartPhones, Facebook and the Button Madness”

  1. Om,

    From a design perspective I fully agree with you. A branded button is abhorrent.

    However, if I look at this as a neutral “share” button, this could be useful. It will be most interesting to see if such a button changes the sheer number of occasions that people share simple experiences. Even if apps exist, that provide similar functionality, a hardware button has a different level of presence: no matter what I currently do, watch a video or any such thing, I have this dedicated share button. It is always available, always at the same place, just like the camera-button.

    In a related matter, I *hate* not having a simple “tweet this page” in my iphone safari browser – having one would make sharing so much easier.

    Depending on how simple the follow-on dialog is, a simple one-click-share could prove addictive. That is, if it works like a camera-shutter-button (first presss: open app, second press: shoot photo) this would make sharing simple. However, if I am sitting in a restaurant listening to music, does it accurately guess if I want to “like” the music or the place? What place – indoors geoloaction is quite inaccurate – having to select one of ten nearby places would kill the simplicity.

  2. Wont’ sell. If you use a phone like that, you look like a tool who’s addicted to facebook. Few other manufacturers might follow, but I think they will be targeted at low-end market. I can’t imagine bringing a facebook phone to work, unless you’re a “social media marketer”.

    1. If you play Zynga games, you look like a tool that’s addicted to facebook. Hasn’t stopped 100 million of them from being active on Cityville though.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with this point of view. Dedicated buttons are in any case redundant when you have widgets that can do the same thing in addition to giving you a choice. It’s undemocratic to put in a Facebook button — and very gimmicky.
    As for a sharing button, again no end of widgets and shortcuts that will do the same. Tweetdeck’s widget is a great example. Let’s you share to Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare exceedingly quickly. I’m all in favor of hardware buttons being replaced by software ones, leaving more real estate and room for comfort while using a phone.

  4. Windows Phone 7 is the real Facebook phone. Your contacts (Poeple) are regularly updated with what people put on social networks including windows live and xbox live… thus taking away the need to launch a Facebook app or an internet browser.

  5. Lightning rod – unless it is used to lighten an image / area.

    My myTouch 3g has SIX dedicated buttons, although Android 2.2 introduced touch-screen unlock and sound on/off. It would make more sense to have fewer buttons, especially when using the phone in the car and in the dark.

    Facebook button? Boo. Hiss.

    Contrary to common misconceptions, not everyone has succumbed to Facebook fever. Some of us are content with keeping our private lives private.

  6. Thanks for the info about TuneUp. Ever since the upgrade to Android 2.2, my tunes for which I have no album name are all lumped together as SD Card, and I have no quick and easy way of accessing those tunes. I’ll have to see if I can use it to get album names.

  7. Buyer beware…free version only allows 100 songs, bait&switch…full disclosure needed. Turned me off, otherwise it sounded great…

  8. Completely disagree with this, I think that it’s a fantastic move by HTC, especially as they have a large enough range of other devices.

    For my *personal* phone, my main criteria for choosing it are:
    – Decent camera & photo library
    – Great Facebook experience
    – Threaded SMS
    – Good browser
    – Good maps

    I really don’t need or want a “blank canvas” smartphone. I’d much rather have 3 or 4 of the most important apps done well, than access to a zillion lousy ones. Given there’s 200m-odd users of FB on mobile, I’d imagine that there’s enough scope for an FB-optimised one to do well in the market.

    Sure, it’s not ideal for an enterprise-grade product, but then neither is one in a zebra-print case, and I still see plenty of those.

    Dean Bubley

  9. If the buttons were preloaded as Facebook, Foursquare etc. with a useful function (location checkin) but could be re-assigned (to Gowalla) and that meant a different logo showed up on the button, then we would be on to something.

    But then again that could begin to further splinter the world for app developers.


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