yeah, this is great news for everyone. the competition between google and apple is just warming up, android 2.0 is out with the world’s thinest slider full qwerty, gps turn by turn navigation, slick facebook integration and more. check out the link to egadget for videos and photos.
here is the thing that popped up very quickly. this phone is designed for right handed people almost exclusively. bummer. no big surprise, but a bummer. as you will see, the keyboard has a navigation pad at the right side of it, for you to use with your right thumb.
this is a normal situation for all left handed people out there (yours truly included). from the door handle and direction it opens to cameras, scissors, pens and cell phones.
while this phone is very impressive and it definitely seems that it is worth checking out and maybe it will be able to bite into the iphone’s market share, i cannot help but think about the 10% of us who are left handed. not only our life expectancy is ~8 years less than right handed poeple, we are also singled out when it comes to consumer electronics. we are just not an important enough a market, sorry, let me rephrase that: we are not a profitable enough a market to create a whole new manufacturing chain for.
so what we have done for years is learn how to use equipment as right handed people do. is it a big deal? i think it is. as an amateur photographer i need to hold and snap with my right hand. only some guitars are made for lefties, and internal designers rarely ask their client if they are left handed, and then go about adjusting all the nitty gritty details to accommodate that.
how can this problem be solved?
i understand the manufacturing cost, and the fact that the left handed market is not big enough to produce phones for. one option is to create a neutral phone, one that caters to neither camps. another, is to make the differences software adjustable. for example: the iphone. i can re-arrange the apps as i see fit, so they are within the comfortable reach of my left hand thumb.
so far i have not seen a worthy left handed smart device besides the ihpone, which still does not really cater for us lefties. the address book scroling, the maps button layout etc.
here is a crazy idea: why not create two separate layout for each application (developers pay attention pls), where i define the left/right setting from the preferences menu. each application checks for the value there (0 for right and 1 for left) and uses a different layout to match my preference.
can that work?
in any event, enjoy the new phone’s preview in the link below and expect greater things from this market in the very near future.