Sun's Design Blog

My xDesign team (Software Experience Design team + UCD Product team) is in the midst of setting up a design blog called design @ Sun.

And for some shameless self promotion, i’ve been selected as a blog hero

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Nokia Tube?

Nokia Tube, with a 360 x 640 px touch screen display + tactile feedback is gonna be out soon. However it wont have multi touch function like iPhone. Its also gonna be a quad band phone with build-in GPS, EDGE, WLAN et all.

More >

Unlocked Apple iPhone

Just unlocked my brand new Apple iPhone with a firmware version of 1.1.4

Unlocking iPhone for FREE:

  1. Downloaded and installed the free unlocking software Ziphone version 3.0 (30th of March 2008), from http://www.ziphone.org
  2. Connected iPhone to my laptop
  3. Disabled iTunes and related daemons & services.
  4. Uninstalled Apple update program/li>
  5. Ran ZiPhoneGUI.exe software and clicked on "Do it all" button
    (This would jailbreak, activate and unlock iPhone. It will also downgrade the bootloader if it's v4.6.)
  6. Scrolling Text appeared on the iPhone and after 10 minutes, the system hung!
    Last known system response was "Loading zibri.dat."
  7. PANICKED
    1. Clicked on "Stop Process" and then clicked on" Do it all" button. Still nothing happened
    2. Disconnected the iPhone from the laptop and still it wouldn't shutdown.
    3. I rebooted my system still nothing happenned.
    4. Read the Trouble Shooting document and PANICKED even more.
  8. Venky, my friendly neighbourhood AJAX expert offered to help and connected the iPhone to a Mac. Nothing happenned.
  9. Then we figured how to restart the iPhone by holding the "Home" button and "Sleep" button together for 7 seconds!
  10. iPhone got rebooted. All systems functioned normally!
  11. Removed the SIM card holder using a paper clip and inserted my "Airtel" Sim card. And lo!, ZiPhone really unlocked my iPhone! :)

 

iPhone Unlock Demo on YouTube ZiPhone 2.5

 

ZiPhone GUI

 

Some initial observations

  1. Very impressed with the iPhone's package design.
  2. Displaying progress indicator on Safari's address bar is a cool idea.
  3. Thanks to the Accelerometer, browsing websites, reading blogs, viewing photos, YouTube videos, maps on a mobile never felt so good!
  4. Kept looking for a "close icon" for all the apps. Took a while to get used to the "Home" button
  5. It was a smooth experience flipping through photos, zooming into a blog et all
  6. On-screen keypad was initially a lil' difficult to use. Ended-up pressing the wrong keys
  • To be continued...
  • People's Phone!

    People's PhoneAfter People’s Car, its time now for People’s Phone!
    Nodia based Spice Ltd, unveiled a no frill mobile phone during the Mobile World Congress event recently. Priced at $20 (about Rs 800), it has bare minimal features that might primarily appeal to rural/illiterate users and those who’d be happy with a basic low-cost basic mobile phone. And its devoid of a screen.

    I am skeptical about the pricing, ( it could be priced even less) because one can get mobile phone s for as low as Rs 1000, with additional features.

    Often, we are forced to buy phones with features that we never use. But then, without new features, how could manufactures launch new models and increase sales?. They’d also stop servicing and supplying spare parts for older models.

    I am not sure if this is feasible, but may be, its time for mobile manufacturers to let users/customers customize their mobile phones by choosing a list of desired features and place their order either online or with a dealer. After receiving the order, the manufacturer could assemble the hand- set, install the necessary software and ship it to customers.

    And if a new technology/feature gets launched, users must be able to add them on to their existing mobile and “remove a feature” if they are so done with it.(Not all new technologies and features could be “added on” that easily)

    Nokia Morph Demo

    WOW! Here’s an awesome concept demo of the possibilities of using nano technologies on mobile phones. Some of the cool features of these nano powered next gen mobile phones could be that they are Solar powered, Wearable- Fashionable, Stretchable- Re sizable, Water/Dirt-proofed, with Context sensitive 3D buttons et all. So watch!

    CLI > GUI > CLI on GUI!?!

    Update : Read Enso’s take on Why Quasi Modes are more user friendly than Modes

    And now CLI gets contextually integrated with GUI!

    Atleast, that’s what Jono DiCarlo from Humanized has demonstrated through Enzo.

    All you need to do is press “Caps Lock” key to invoke/trigger the Command Line Interface and start keying in your commands. The good news is that any no of new commands can be written.

    Some of the tasks based on commands are

  • Insert Map
  • Open in a Application
  • Calculate
  • Translate
  • Upper Case
  • See complete command list

    Since I am so used to using the ‘Caps Lock’ key to capitalize, I INITIALLY found it difficult be forced to use the “Shift” key.

    Keeping the ‘Caps Lock’ pressed all the time to type other commands is difficult and creates a state of tension.

    Think there is room to explore other design solutions to this problem. I am not sure if other keys are were usability tested and that they found this one “less difficult”

    A provision to assign short-cuts keys for the most frequently used commands can be considered.

    CLI on GUI

    Sun's Web Application Guidelines goes public

    The xDesign team at Sun Microsystems opened-up its Web Application Design Guidelines recently.

    “They are a set of building blocks for web applications that have been designed by user interface specialists, thoroughly thought through and usability tested. They can be used for developing full web applications, allowing designers and developers to focus on their application’s particular needs rather than the design of all the controls and elements inside”

    Read Chip Alexander’s and Karen Stanley’s interview at Sun’s xDesign blog