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The Importance Of One-Handed Usability

devb (3)

We are busy people these days. Whether you’re a soccer mom, a hockey dad, a traveling executive, or a combination of these, you’re constantly on the go, going places, doing things. More and more, we depend on our mobile devices to organize and expedite our lives. More and more, we depend on our mobile devices to reduce the number of things we have to carry around with us.

It’s a losing battle.

The more efficient technology makes us, the more we cram into our busy lives, the more stuff we carry. The more time we have, the more we try to do. Our calendars are full, and, frequently, so are our hands. This is why it’s important to me that I be able to use my mobile device with only one hand, something BlackBerry has always excelled at. With BlackBerry 10, RIM has kept this concept solidly in mind.

I asked Gadi Mazor, President and CEO of Nobex Technologies Inc, makers of Nobex Radio Companion and Nobex Contacts, what feature or features in BB10 were convincing him to stick with the platform. Nobex has been partnered with RIM for several years, through the good times and the…not-so-good times, so I was interested in what he had to say on the subject. His answer was a bit unexpected. I was expecting a technical answer about HTML5, or the Cascades framework, something along those lines. His answer, in a nutshell, was ease of use.

Gadi talked about Peek and Flow, about how, in BB10, your information is rarely more than a single click away, and easily accessible with just one hand. Everything from waking the device to putting it to sleep, and everything in between can be accomplished easily with a single hand. Even typing one-handed is easy, especially with the BB10 keyboard’s combination of text prediction and word suggestion placement.

This level of attention to detail is one of the things that has me excited for BB10. RIM is listening, and that bodes well for the birth of this new OS and those eagerly awaiting its arrival.

7 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This was one of the problems with the galaxy note. The device was so large it’s hard to reach the opposite side of the screen even with large hands.

    • Bingo! You said it. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. For myself, it’s about finding the right dimensions and I think 4.2-inch display is the sweet spot — perhaps those with smaller hands, they might need a smaller device to cover the display territory. RIM ingeniously moved most of the widgets and buttons at the bottom of the display to allow for one handed use of the device.

  2. I absolutely love my Bold, and one-handed operability is a big part of the appeal. I sincerely hope they will keep this going with the next generation of BB.

  3. I’d like to see a side by side of the Dev Alpha B and the 9900 so I really gage the size.


  4. Hello Tim

    Could you find out if the Shortcut apps – Quicklaunch, Shortcutme will make it to BB10. I use these apps daily. Thanks.

  5. @dpr: Your best bet would be to email the devs. I haven’t heard from CheetahAce (QL) in a long time, and I don’t even know if he’s here. Don’t know about ShortcutMe.

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