The iPod Touch, the iPhone, the iPad. All Apple touch screen devices. And people absolutely love them. It seems like just about every mobile electronic device coming out these days is incorporating touch functionality. Cell phones, in particular, are the main culprit here. Although the iPhone wasn’t the first touch screen phone, it seems like since the iPhone debuted, the competition is constantly releasing the next new big touch screen sensation: Sprint’s Palm Pre, the Google Nexus One, the Motorolla Droid, the Blackberry Storm, the list goes on and on. These are all great devices and I wouldn’t be disappointed to own one, but as one of our previous blog entry’s stated, pitted against some of the best and most popular touch screen phones in the market, Apple’s iPhone smokes the competition when it comes to the actual functionality of the touch screen. But I digress. I’m not here to bash other phones or other touch screen devices, rather, I’m here simply to talk about touch screens in general.
What is it about using a touch interface rather than buttons that people love? Is touch functionality a novelty or does it serve a true function? Is this the wave of the future or is it simply a fad that will go by the wayside in a few years?
I guess there is no real answer to this question as of now. I know some people that simply do not like touch screens at all. They just prefer having physical buttons to press instead of going through the hassle of incorrectly hitting the wrong letter when typing a text (and I must admit, even with the iPhone I do make quite a few typos. But the iPhone more than makes up for my mistakes with the automated spell check and predictive text. Thank you for that Apple!). But if it wasn’t for the iPhone, I probably would hate touch screens. I owned a touch screen phone before the iPhone and typing on it was a nightmare. No matter how hard I tried typing a message, I always made a typo, and it didn’t have spell check or predictive text. If my judgment on touch screens were based simply on this phone (which will remain unnamed), I would abhor touch screens. Thanks again, Apple, for creating the iPhone.
My wife, for example, loves the iPhone, but just doesn’t like using the touch screen for texting. She prefers having a phone with a full keyboard as opposed to the traditional keypad, and I can understand her reasoning. On the other hand, my parents just recently purchased themselves touch screen phones and love every thing about them. The argument goes both ways but there is no argument about this, touch screens are everywhere and will be here for a while.
With Apple’s release of the iPad, mobile touch screens devices are getting bigger, faster, and smarter. If this trend continues, things will be better. Imagine being a student and not having to purchase or carry texbooks but rather an iPad. Or what about being a doctor and not having to carry medical records around but just having one iPad to pull up whatever patient record they need. Just think of the possibilities. If you ask me, touch is here to stay and it is for the better. Just try to count all the touch screen devices you see in an episode of Star Trek TNG.
That said, I’ll leave you with this nice pic.