Thoughts from the clay guru.

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Volume silent/quiet times

We have smart or programmable thermostats in our houses that “know” (and I use that term loosely) our schedules and can turn the temperature up or down based on our daily schedules…so why can our smartphones do the same?  There is the word “smart” in the name itself!

The idea I am getting to here is the ability to set a “quiet” or “silent” time for our smartphones.  In my example, I would like a way to turn my phone volume down to 5 (WP7 goes from 0-30….so you get the picture…it is fairly quiet) when I am sleeping from between midnight and maybe 5 or 6 am.  I don’t want it completely off, but when alerts come in frequently, I don’t always want to be woken up if I left my volume at say 30.

I know my company’s voice mail and phone forwarding services allow me to set times in which the forwarding is effective.  Outlook lets me set my office hours so that people know when I am typically in the office.  So it only seems logical that I would have some control over at least the volume on my smartphone when I am sleeping.  Maybe this could be extended to other services on the phone.

If you have an idea on a service or function of your current smartphone that you think should be controlled if your smartphone knew when you were sleeping…please leave a comment.


Power button on side vs. top?

I really do like my Samsung Focus.  In fact, I went to the AT&T store last week to check out the new Samsung Focus S (bigger screen and faster processor), but decided that there was not compelling reason to upgrade.  The Focus S did not “seem” faster, nor did the bigger screen really “do anything for me”.  The one thing I was kind of hoping for, and this may seem trivial, was for a change in the placement of the power button.  I really dislike (thought about using the word “hate”) the placement of the power button on the side.  And not just that, but completely opposite of the volume rocker switch seems particularly short-sited.  Now you may know from reading an earlier post, that I use the volume switch probably more than the “average” person (and I am sure there are some “above average” folks out there too), and I often accidentally hit the power switch when operating to volume controls or even pulling it out of my belt case.  Maybe it is because I a right-handed.  Maybe I am supposed to use 2 hands when operating the volume switch.  Or maybe I am just weird.

My previous phone, the iPhone, had the power button located on the top (top when held in portrait mode – which is how I hold my phone most of the time) of the device.  Although, at the time, I never really thought about them, I think that is the right placement….at least for me.  This has gotten me to really think about going out to AT&T next week and checking out the HTC Titan when it comes it…they put the power button on top.

And it may seem like Nokia is not sure what the right answer is.  The new Lumia 710 has the power button on top, and the Lumia 800 has put it on the side.  But Nokia may be onto something, they did not put the power button across from the volume switches (they realize that people need a spot on the other side of the device to support when pressing buttons), and they have placed the power button below the volume switch.  I may like that answer.  I do now vaguely remember using my left hand to hit the power switch when holding the phone in my right hand because the power switch was not easily reached or used with a single hand.

Please use the comments to vent or add your 2 cents about power button placement.  What do you like or dislike about your current phone’s power button?

For today’s poll, I am asking where you prefer to have the power button on your smartphone.

iOS 5 on iPad (v1) underperforms

Okay, I just need to vent/rant.  Anyone else with an iPad version 1, that has installed iOS 5 think that these two were not meant for each other?

I am experiencing the following issues with iOS 5 on my iPad v1:

  • Crashes often with 3rd party apps AND build in apps like the Safari browser?  I don’t think I am a heavy iPad user, but experience at least 3 application crashes per day.  A lot of times, it will simply be watching a YouTube video on a Safari page.  The app just closes down.
  • Performance has taken a major hit with the new iOS.  This is especially obvious in the AppStore application where clicking on the search field will often take 3-5 seconds to get the I-beam to appear so I can type.  And yes, I have fully shut down and restarted the iPad…and it is still slow…with no other apps running.  Also, switching between Updates, Categories, etc. is sluggish….and I am WiFi with 30+Mbps connection.
  • The new fancy notification pull-down seems buggy.  At times, some of the items will flash (appear then disappear then appear….).

Anyone else experiencing issues?  Maybe it is just operator error (but I doubt it).

Just a simple rotation lock….

I admit it, I am a little addicted to keeping up to technology, gaming and other news via RSS feeds.  I get hundreds of new “articles” per day I try and keep up on, so I am constantly looking at them when I have even 5 free minutes.  The one place I do reading on a daily basis is in bed, for 5, 10…okay 30 minutes, before I turn off the lights.  I would love to use my Windows Phone 7 to do this…but I constantly reach for the iPad for one reason…and one reason only…the rotation lock.

Yes, I do read while on my back…sometimes, but I also like to turn on my side and continue reading.  I need to keep the screen orientation so that the top stays at the top of the device…because for some reason, reading sideways is not all that enjoyable.  So my feature request for this week is a screen rotation lock option on the Windows Phone 7.  I don’t need a rotation lock switch, although that would be really nice, I just want a way to lock the screen in portrait mode.

Not sure the best way to implement a screen rotation lock is, but just an option in the Settings seems “to far away” from my daily tasks.  Two suggestions would be:

  1. Maybe on the task switcher page.  I hold the Back Button to pull up my running tasks…then press a button on the screen with all the running tasks to lock the screen rotation in the current orientation.
  2. Maybe implement a “hold” option on another button like the back arrow bringing up the Task Switcher.  For example, I hold the “Windows Logo” button for 2 seconds to lock the screen.

Is this something anyone else is looking for…or am I just weird?  (Don’t answer that second part 🙂 )

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