Thoughts about Antennagate

No, not really.

What a thoroughly boring discussion that has distracted theentire tech industry. So many incredible innovations happening, yeteveryone’s talking this minor bit of errata. Move on!

It is further evidence that smartphones dominate the technologydiscussion now, with desktop technology fading into the noise.Intel is quickly preparing their very competent assault on thefield with the Moorestown processor. It promises some excitingtimes ahead.

Backtracking on 802.11n with the N1

On the topics of product issues, in a prior entry I noted that Ihad been enjoying the fruits of 802.11n with the Froyo update onthe Nexus One. Shortly after that entry, another update was pushed,FRF91, and my connectivity has become almost unusable unless Idisable 802.11n on my wireless router (which was actually the casewhen I first got the phone, but FRF85 had provided salvation). Sonow I run two WAPs, with one to serve the 802.11n devices so Ineedn’t cripple it for the N1, and a 802.11g one just to servicethe smartphone.

On High Density Smartphone Screens

With all of the talk about very high pixel density phones, andthe downside of larger-screen phones, the focus of most discussionsseems to be purely on the visual clarity of the screen. The actualusability of the on-screen content seems to beignored.

On the Nexus One I’m dealing with a 252dpi (there is some fakerywith the pentile pixel arrangement, but ignoring that), 3.7″screen. A site like the New York Times looks fantastic in landscapemode, with a fully readable presentation of the entire real-webcontents. Yet the downside of that high-density, small screenbecomes evident when I actually want to interact with the contenton the screen. Something as simple as clicking on the categorylinks down the left hand side is an exercise of extreme precision:Each link is approximately the size of a single fingerprint ridge,and they’re so densely packed that a mm this way or that way yieldsthe annoyance of a wrongly followed link. Zooming and unzooming just to interact with the screen isn’t very enjoyable, and it erases many of the advantages of the pixel density.

Screensize is important, and smaller isn’t better when you’retalking about a device that doubles as a mini-web appliance. Thereis a balance to be achieved or the experience is compromised.