Despite my general preferences toward Apple products–I am, after all, a tech geek.
Which means–sometimes I want something with the features I want. If I were Tony Stark I could just create my own device. But, since that’s not going to happen, I’ll have to go with what’s already available.
I should probably take this opportunity to reveal a secret fetish–no, there’s no need to herd the kids into another room. Here it is: I’m a stylus guy. I own a Sharp Zaurus ZR-5800, an HP iPAQ rx-3715, and several Apple Newton MessagePads. The common denominator is, they all have styli and a touch screen to enable intelligent stylus input.
I like the Newton so much I’d even created a website devoted to it…it’s (shameless self-promotion) NewtonPhoenix.org. There’s tips on fixing them, how to better utilize resources and software, and so on.
There’s just something about writing something directly on the display and have the device act upon it, usually with HWR (handwriting recognition). It just feels unforced and natural.
I am also a member of The NewtonTalk Network. It’s here that those of us that still use and love the Newton–the world’s first PDA, by the way–congregate over the Internet and share stories, answer and ask questions, and so on.
If you go to that site and do a search around, say, January 2010, you’ll see how many of us were hoping–secretly and otherwise–that the iPad would be the next generation of the Newton. However, it’s well known that Steve Jobs hated styli, so that wasn’t going to happen. Still, many of us are always on the lookout for a worthy successor to our aged devices.
Could this be one? From the site iAfrica.com:
“The [Galaxy Note II’s] S-Pen has been enhanced significantly, so we built a lot of new actions into that space,” [Craige Fleischer, director of mobile communications of Samsung SA] continues.
Indeed, the company has introduced a load of new features making use of the stylus, such as AirView, which lets users preview content by simply hovering over a file or folder.
You won’t have to worry about losing their stylus either, as they can now activate an alarm within the stylus, alerting you to its location.
Additionally, the company has incorporated palm recognition into the equation, preventing accidental input and making for a more comfortable experience when using the stylus.
When it comes down to a standout feature, Fleischer was quick to point to the Quick Commands feature.
The new feature, activated by holding the stylus button and flicking up while on the homescreen, allows you to draw gestures to activate different apps and services.
For instance, drawing an “@” symbol and someone’s name will open up an email draft to that person. Drawing a “~” symbol and a name lets you text that person, making for some neat tricks.
It’s a great idea and one that works as advertised, but in our very brief time with the handset, we found that adding our own gesture commands was a bit complicated. Hopefully more hands-on time is all we’ll need to get the hang of it.
I’ve mentioned before how good this device looks…but since how things appear and how they are in real life are often different, I’ll wait until someone here in the US can review it (no offense whatsoever meant to iAfrica)…or I can see it for myself.
Meantime, I am excited to learn more about this. It has a reported October 25 release date, two days after the expected iPad Mini and one day before Microsoft’s Surface RT and Windows 8.
I have the tech equivalent of drool.