My experience with the Freerunner

Matt Mets matt.mets at
Thu May 29 01:14:46 CEST 2008

>Matt Mets wrote:
>> I tried out the ASU software update on my GTA01 tonight, and took a 
>> short video of it:
>Cool video!


>> The keyboard seems quite nice, and worked well with a stylus (better 
>> than the video might suggest, I was working around the camera).
>What about the finger usability?
>AFAIK the Qtopia predictive keyboard has been projected also to help in 
>finger usability...

I wasn't able to use the keyboard with my finger.  Once a letter is pressed, you can't slide to a neighboring letter to change it, so it was difficult to correct mistakes.  There was a different keyboard on the original Qtopia builds that had a magnifying-key feature that seemed to make this easier.  It is entirely possible that I missed something here though.  I do like the gesture support (slide left to backspace, forward to insert space, down for enter, up to switch keyboards), but I would like to see something that indicates that gestures are being performed (perhaps a line that shows a trail of where your finger has been?).

The predictive keyboard bit might help but I haven't become proficient with it yet.  It seemed weird that it shows two lists of possible words (one horizontal across the top of the keyboard, one in a dropdown box).

Also, when running a regular X application (remote xterm), it seemed like I had to press enter (or tab) to get the characters to be sent to the app, which made it very difficult to enter things into the terminal.  But usability in actual phone-apps is probably more important :-D.  Perhaps a direct-input mode is/could be implemented for that sort of application.

The whole interface was very smooth though.  I'm suddenly much more optimistic about the project!

>Treviño's World - Life and Linux

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