Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flow vs. Modality, Take 2

Over on MacObserver.com, at least one genius commenter has said he won't be reading my blog because I'm not objective. This post is dedicated to that person, who I won't bother to look up.

In a previous post, I noted that Android flows from task to task, while iPhone goes modally into an app, then out of an app. It's flexibility on the Android side versus simplicity on the iPhone side, with elegance falling squarely on the Android side when the device is in my hand. In the car though, it's a different story. I don't want flow. I want to be able to do the phone things I need to in the car using the minimum amount of attention necessary. Voice dialing with the Nexus One works well when it works, but can fail miserably when it doesn't quite work, requiring you to hit the backup button or choose from a list.

Fortunately with Android, a good developer could write an app that does car thing right. Large text, voice feedback, large target areas. Color to differentiate options. That's probably where I would start.

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