Thursday, January 08, 2009

Amusing iPhone Sound Volume Interface

I waited long enough to be almost the last multicellular organism on the planet that did not have an iPhone. Well, we share our phone plan with my wife's parents and my father-in-law was hot for an iPhone and so here we are.

Some of the interface ideas in it are amazing. Then some are, well, something else.

Everybody has seen the thing where you turn the iPhone on its side and the app that is running rotates. I was looking at the calculator in portrait mode and I was just, literally, seconds away from pointing out I would need some scientific calculator stuff and then turned in sideways and there it is. Very cool.

But the interface for setting the sound volume has a strangeness. For one thing, you do not hear a tone that increases in volume as you increase the volume. You just have to eye-ball the volume indicator. Really. There is no auditory feedback for changing the sound volume. It really boggles the mind.

Then you turn it sideways. The hardware does not change its behavior. So, picture this. In portrait mode you press the down side of the toggle and the sound goes down and a visual "volume progress bar" thing slides to the left. Push on the up toggle, the volume goes up and the "volume progress bar" thing slides to the right. So far, so good. But turn it sideways and you press on what is now the right side of the switch and in my "right-hand-is-right-ish" view, this should make the sound increase. But the volume decreases and the "volume progress bar" slides to the left. And if you press on the left hand side of the toggle, the volume increases and the sound goes up.

I cannot decide if it is my brain that is wrong or, is it possible they just thought it would be ok to respond backwards?

2 comments:

abi said...

Haha. Aza wrote about the same problem a while back. http://www.azarask.in/blog/post/in_my_recent_article_about/

MarkC said...

There's a similar issue with XUL scale widgets, IMO:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=443609