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General Capacitive buttons will be gone forever, do you miss it?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by lvt, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. lvt

    lvt Android Expert
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    Starting maybe two years ago, capacitive buttons are gradually replaced by on-screen buttons, and for good reasons, they are fully customisable, allow larger screen/body ratio, less flex cables running inside, saving a bit of battery...

    The last thing that keeps the capacitive buttons alive is that some phones still use 5" or smaller screen so the use of on-screen buttons is not prarical.

    What do you think about capacitive buttons? Personally I prefer them over on-screen buttons, love the backlight that grow in the dark, they don't mess with apps's interface.

    I'm kind of missing them.
     

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    It started longer ago than that. But no, I don't miss them. Longer screens mean they are not needed, and they were often placed too low for comfort (maybe people who use phones two-handed wouldn't notice, but stretching your thumb across and down while trying to maintain a grip on the phone is asking for RSI or a broken phone). And it's worse on a wider phone.

    Even on my old-style 16:9 phone I prefer the placement on-screen and the fact that I can customise their position (Google don't provide that, but it's easy to find apps that do). Just better ergonomics.

    Anyway, Android is moving to fewer buttons + gestures, so a set of fixed buttons will become a relic. That is what will finally render them obsolete.
     
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  3. Rico ANDROID

    Rico ANDROID Android Expert
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    Same as physical keypads like the HTC Tilt and SideKick (ahh remember those days?). Took me a while to get used to onscreen keypads but now i love it. Looks like the days for no-buttons are here
     
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Single capacitive button but multiple function based on gestures, that's how it seem to be going now on China phones, like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, etc. and I do like it.
     
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  5. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    Do you think that button will survive? With even a modest bezel attracting comments of "oh yeuk, look at the chin on that!" from the ignorati of the internet it's probably only a matter of time until there's no space for that button.
     
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  6. lvt

    lvt Android Expert
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    Yes you are right, I first saw it on my HTC M8 (2014), but I thought it's because of the front speakers on that phone. Until another phones come without capacitive buttons like my LG G4 Stylus (2015).

    Strange thing, the HTC 10 Bolt I bought in 2016 has the capacitive buttons again, maybe they don't want the finger scanner to be alone there.

    I only know an app called "Simple control", not sure if there are better alternatives.

    Just wondering when the volume buttons will disappear...
     
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  7. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    I don't think HTC's tooing and froing on the buttons was anything to do with the speakers. The M7 has buttons below the screen (but, bizarrely only 2), the M8 and M9 had on-screen buttons, the 10 had capacitive buttons again but no front speakers (though it had a fingerprint scanner) and they returned to on-screen with the U11+ (their first 2:1 display). If anything it might be that their original adoption of on-screen was because that was the way the OS was going, and their reversion might have been based on adding a front fingerprint scanner and deciding to use that as a home button as well (no inside info, just speculating).

    I currently use Custom Navigation Bar just to move the back button nearer (especially since there is no longer an overview button on the other side, so it even looks more unbalanced putting it 3/4 of the way over, never mind being more awkward).

    HTC have tried replacing the volume keys with pressure-sensitive pseudo buttons in the U12+, but it's not been universally welcomed...
     
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  8. lvt

    lvt Android Expert
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    It's correct, the finger scanner also acts as home button once the screen is unlocked.

    HTC was known for going with crazy stuffs on their phones, I guess that the edge sense feature is not an exception :)

    I probably will get the U11 or U12 in the coming months, still debating between the two.
     
  9. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    i like .. front being as much screen as possible.
    so get rid of anything that might stop that from happening .. i am for it.

    we all resist against change... even good change.
    but we will still march forward... sometimes kicking and screaming
     
  10. lvt

    lvt Android Expert
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    Good news for you is that manufacturers are currently racing to make smartphones with 100% screen / body ratio, the best ratio belongs to the Vivo Nex (~93%).

    Maybe in 20 years the entire phone is built directly into the tempered glass, just like in the movies.
     
  11. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    It won't be tempered glass though. More likely a flexible screen that can be unfolded or unrolled to use it. ;)
     
  12. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    i think the .. glass phone... where you can see through the other side...
    and people from other side can see what is on your phone.
    is STUPID!!!!!.. in so many ways. look cool in movies, but idiotic
     
  13. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    The ability to see through would also mean that it would be harder to read what was displayed. But a display where people on the other side could see the image would have to be specifically designed for that end:

    * An LCD works by shining a backlight through a set of cells, each of which has a coloured filter plus an electrically-controllable polariser (the liquid crystal) to control how much light passes through. So for someone behind the panel to see an image you'd need to put a second set of liquid crystal cells on that side; otherwise all they'd see is the backlight (if you made everything else transparent).

    * An LED display sounds more promising: if everything is transparent the LEDs can be seen from both sides. The problem is that such a transparent LED panel cannot display black. The "black" in a LED display panel is the colour of the substrate when the LED is not emitting: if that is transparent then turning the pixel off just means you have a clear pixel, not a black one. The manufacturers would have to come up with a different marketing line from the usual "AMOLED blacks" because that's precisely what this panel would not provide.

    So actually I don't see it ever happening. It's fine as an overlay where it's important that people can see through it (a heads-up display), but as a media display panel it would be utterly hopeless. In other words, one of the major things people use phones for today would not work with a display of that sort.
     
  14. lvt

    lvt Android Expert
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    @Hadron : you can't use today's technology to predict tomorrow's gadget. For example, the format of the micro sd card didn't change since it was released decade ago, but it can now store more than 400GB and it will be able to store 2TB in the coming years. In the IT field things get smaller and more powerful all the time.
     
  15. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    I can make the prediction about see through displays because it doesn't actually depend on the technology, I just used those to illustrate the point. If the display is transparent then "black" will be see-through, i.e. not black, because the only way of producing black is by absorbing light, which is the opposite of transparent. That's all there is to it, the technology used to produce the display doesn't matter.

    You could do it with a transmissive display, which produces an image by selectively blocking light passing through the panel. But the LCD works on that principle, so the same comments I made would apply to any other transmissive technology: if you use a backlight it will be just like I said for the LCD, and if you don't use a backlight it's only usable when there is enough light passing through it, which will limit the usefulness.

    And being able to see through the display means only blocking some of the light, so reducing contrast, no matter whether it's emissive or transmissive. Looks cool, but limits usability.

    And in case you think "ah, you've talked about emission and transmission but what about reflection?", that has the same problem as emission: you produce black on a reflective display by not reflecting any colour. But if the panel is see-through then "not reflecting" means transparent rather than black. This is why I say that a non-backlit transmissive panel is probably the closest you can get to a usable see-through display, since of the three possible options it's the only one that can produce blacks. But for most purposes we use displays for being see-through is actually a drawback, so I doubt there will be much investment in making these.
     
    #15 Hadron, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  16. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    Hardon... glass -see through device.. seen on TV/Movies...
    is what i was referring too. and how it works is beyond my point.

    it is about how it is shown to be used. and based on that... it is STUPID!
    it would be hard to see clear.. if the light on other side environment is bright
    and others can see your display... no privacy or secrets.
     
  17. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    Sure, it's a gimmick for movies rather than a practical solution.
     
  18. lvt

    lvt Android Expert
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    Samsung already made transparent, see-through OLED TVs.

    If people want it, I guess they will sell it.
     
  19. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    ...and apparently people don't want it.
    https://www.techradar.com/news/tele...-off-its-line-of-see-through-oled-tvs-1325392

    Maybe it could be useful as a sales novelty for store displays? Like placed in front of the item they're trying to sell, with the transparent OLED showing the price, or "SALE", or "BUY NOW", or animations, or whatever.
     
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  20. Hadron

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