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Cellphones Communications Software Hardware Technology

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Navigate Your Smartphone? 66

There are many different ways to navigate a smartphone. Some devices employ capacitive touch navigation buttons in favor of on-screen navigation buttons for the back, home and overview commands. Others, such as the recently released Moto Z2 Force and Moto Z2 Play, feature a mini trackpad under the display that lets users navigate their device through a series of swipes (on-screen navigation buttons are used by default, but the option to use the "one button nav" mini trackpad can be enabled in the settings). The upcoming iPhone 8, for example, may feature a software bar in lieu of a physical/virtual home button, introducing new gesture controls for returning to the home screen and switching between apps.

How do you navigate your smartphone? Given the many different options available on the market, do you think there is one method of navigation that trumps the others, or is it a classic case of "different strokes for different folks?"
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Navigate Your Smartphone?

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  • I use the live tiles set up on the home page of my Windows Phone. Super simple.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I navigate with maps.

    • by hughbar ( 579555 )
      You forgot the obligatory 'you insensitive clod'. But seriously, I don't have a smartphone and live quite happily without 'apps' they are insecure, data-thieving, usually badly-written, unnecessary and break the 'universalist' philosophy of the web. As usual, when I comment on this, here's a list of possible permissions:

  • I use the keyboard, damnit.

  • put it in my pocket and look out the window of my car.
  • I just talk to it: []
  • by ThomK ( 194273 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @08:38PM (#55126881) Homepage Journal

    I was in repair shop once (because my iPhone's phone jack wouldn't take the stereo mini cable I was trying to stick into it anymore. I thought something was bent inside the hole, turned out it was just jammed with pocket lint.) and the clerk did something I now do every day.

    She took my phone, and instead of hunting for the settings icon, she swiped down, hit the letters "se" and the settings icon presented itself! She f*cking searched for it! I do that with spotlight on my mac all the time, I don't know why it didn't occur to me to do that on my iPhone, but I sure do now.

    So to answer the question:
    1. I try to delete apps aggressively, that helps.
    2. I put the most used stuff on the first page, leaving empty space if that's required.
    3. I group games together and tuck them away.
    4. I search for stuff I use once in a while.

    Its an ongoing process. The problem is there's a long tail graph of usage of apps. My iMessage, phone and Skype apps get used a ton, my sense app and a few games get used once a day, settings etc, once a week and a hand full once a month. The remainder probably need to be deleted.

    The iOS app/interface manager isn't that great. Sure I have full control, but damn, help me out a bit. Doesn't the windows phone sort apps by usage? That would be amazingly helpful. So would a notification of what apps should probably be deleted.

    I don't want that much fine grained control & it's stressful to see all that crap on your phone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You insensitive clod!

  • It's not really a trackpad but instead a fingerprint reader which also recognizes just two rudimentary gestures - touch for home button, touch & hold for fingerprint reader, swipe left to go back and swipe right for recent apps. But, still, I like that in normal use I don't need to wear out a physical button. Something else will break, anyway, I suppose.

  • I was doing a PC refresh project that required getting underneath desks to set up the cable for the file transfer between old and new PCs. I had a touch screen smartphone that was getting wonky. Every time I put the smartphone in my back pocket and got underneath the desk, an ass swipe would call my boss. He would hear nothing but me grunting or farting from the hard work. That would happen four or five times a night. I had to leave the smartphone on my cart to prevent the ass swiping from happening.
  • I've had bad experience with touchscreens. Right now, I have a software back button on the corner of my touchscreen and it just won't recognize any touches. Sometimes I can tap at it for five or ten seconds to get it to register, but most of the time is is just.... dead.

    However, my phone has a single hardware button, and that allows the phone to still be usable.

    This is the second phone this has happened on, so I think physical buttons are now a requirement for me.

    • by skids ( 119237 )

      Yeah I am forced to get a new work phone more often than I want and have had to grit my teeth lately and go with the soft buttons due to other features. Really would prefer the haptics of a button with a contact behind it so I can feel it click and then know whether the phone is just being slow or it ignored my touches.

      As to TFA, I disable the lockscreen pin or whatever other trash and have it only wake up during a side-button press, to keep it from turning on the screen in my pocket, then I combine the ca

  • By yelling at it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr.CRC ( 2330444 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @09:53PM (#55127119)

    I navigate my Moto E go-phone mostly by yelling and screaming at it, threatening to toss it, and uttering lengthy expletives about the programmers who created its perplexing and idiotic UI.

    It took me a few weeks to figure out how to answer the damn thing. It's still unreliable, as hitting *anything* by accident instead of performing the correct touch gesture makes it leave the answering context. I had to look up the manual (yeah the freakin' *manual*) to learn how to answer my phone! You would think they could have printed a little "swipe that-a-way to answer phone -->" on the screen to give new operators a clue. But no... If you fail to answer it with the right gesture, then it provides a menu of options including everything EXCEPT "Answer the fucking phone." There is some way to get back to having a chance to answer it, but I forget what it is. Then of course it always turns on the camera as the side button activates it.

    It is a hideous thing!

    If I didn't have Linux for my PCs, I would be extremely unhappy with the computing world, because everything else is borderline unusable by comparison.

    I would rather just have a simple phone. Maybe with an .mp3 player feature. Of course, such a thing no longer exists :-(

  • And sometimes a finger.
  • Even if I touch "home", it's just to hold it and bring the assistant up without saying "OK Google". I then say "open xxxxxx" where xxxxxx is any app on my phone and it does it - even if it is nowhere to be found as it often is on my spouse's phone (who hates icons covering the background).

    With the assistant, I do a lot now without even looking at my phone.

    More complicated things like sending messages have become "text xxxx to yyyy" followed by answering "yes" when it verifies whether I'd like to send it - o

  • Siri (Score:4, Funny)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Saturday September 02, 2017 @02:46AM (#55127693) Homepage

    I use Siri for all my phone navigation. You learn a lot about the world that way, because most of the times she doesn't understand me.

  • I am MUCH more efficient on a real computer.
  • I use the touchscreen, but I also use swipe. Way easier and faster than typing (most of the time) but can suck if I mix English with German in one textarea.

  • I use a Blackberry Thumb Operated Trackwheel on my 7290, you insensitive clod!!
  • Have a Moto G5, I navigate using the finger sensor. One quick touch, main screen. Swipe to the right, shows background running tasks, swipe to the left closes or return to the prior screen. That's all, folks!

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin