2008.08 - First Impressions

Dale Maggee antisol at internode.on.net
Fri Aug 8 22:11:34 CEST 2008

I've been playing with 2008.08 for a little while now, and I thought I'd 
share some first impressions.

Firstly, it's *gorgeous* - eyecandy city! I *really* like the look and 
feel of it! It's much more friendly and less 'clunky' feeling than 2007.2.

I had a couple of issues on first boot - It seemed _very_ slow - I'm 
talking 5-10 seconds between me pressing something and getting any 
feedback on the keypad at the PIN entry screen. After a reboot this 
seems to have gone away. Also I find the default sleep time painfully 
short, and I don't think it should go straight into sleep - there should 
be a period where it dims  / turns off the screen but doesn't actually 
sleep, like in 2007.2

The graphical installer is great! I really like this, although I agree 
with the opinion stated elsewhere that the text is too big, and I'd 
really like to see the 'description' text on the package details screen, 
so that I know what the package is (names aren't always that informative).

Pet peeves / suggestions:

* Power management - still doesn't work properly - exactly the same 
problem as 2007.2 - the phone wakes up when a call comes in, but doesn't 
make any noise. If I answer the phone, I can't hear the other person and 
they can't hear me. This leave me with two options - turn off power 
management, or be prepared to reboot the phone and call people back, 
neither of which is particularly good.

* keyboard
     - Predictive text is annoying as hell. I really don't think this is 
neccessary for a qwerty keyboard. I love the predictive text on my nokia 
phone that I have for work, but it only has a numeric keypad. The whole 
point of qwerty IMHO is being able to type quickly, and the predictive 
text just seems to get in the way of this. There should at least be a 
way to turn off the predictive text. also I find the way it 
automatically inserts spaces frustrating - it took me *far* to long to 
enter the address of my mail server when setting it up for email - the 
lack of consistent copy and paste also attributed to this.

     - I'd like to see letters on the numeric keypad screen. For 
example, the PIN on my sim card is a word typed using the numbers on my 
phone keypad, not a number - I have no idea what the numbers in my PIN 
are! in order to enter my pin using this numpad, I have to get out my 
nokia and look at it's keypad and then type in the numbers. I also think 
that the conventional numpad layout (123 \n 456 \n 789 \n *0#) would 
make it easier to use, although this may just take a bit of time to 
adapt to..

     - Enter Key - I'd really like to see an enter key on the qwerty 
keyboard, in addition to getting rid of the predictive text. This would 
make using the terminal MUCH easier. I'd also like to see a period and 
hyphen on the qwerty keyboard, for the same reasons (would vastly 
improve using the terminal).

* The clock should be an application, not hidden away in settings
* Installer should be in settings, I don't really think it needs to be 
on the home screen

* using the Aux button for lock is nice, but I think it should be harder 
to unlock - there's a chance (admittedly small) that aux might get 
pressed in my pocket. Personally, I really liked the screen lock on 
2007.2, where you had to drag one icon onto the other - I thought that 
this was a novel and very functional unlock mechanism.

* The home screen needs a way to set up categories/ folders - I can see 
it getting *very* cluttered if I install alot of applications

Overall, I think that openmoko have made a *big* leap forward with 
2008.08, keep up the great work!


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