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View Full Version : Does any one else hate capacitive buttons?




mellofello
Sep 9, 2013, 07:02 PM
Right now I speaking this post to my new 2013 Nexus 7. The placement of the capacitive Home button makes it nearly impossible for me to type on this device. Every time I hit the space bar it we'll shoot me back to the home screen. There is a 5mm gap between the space bar and the home button. I sat down try 2 bang out A few emails and nearly flew this tablet across the room.


What exactly the problem with a physical button? I think that removing button is A answer to a problem that no one asked for. I am seriously considering returning this tablet 4 1 with a physical button. I love everything else about it but not being able to type is a deal breaker.



onthecouchagain
Sep 9, 2013, 07:05 PM
Right now I speaking this post to my new 2013 Nexus 7. The placement of the capacitive Home button makes it nearly impossible for me to type on this device. Every time I hit the space bar it we'll shoot me back to the home screen. There is a 5mm gap between the space bar and the home button. I sat down try 2 bang out A few emails and nearly flew this tablet across the room.


What exactly the problem with a physical button? I think that removing button is A answer to a problem that no one asked for. I am seriously considering returning this tablet 4 1 with a physical button. I love everything else about it but not being able to type is a deal breaker.


Well, the problem is you keep missing.

Try a few alternative keyboards that let you adjust the size of the space bar and space bar height. Plenty of them out there. You can start with Kii Keyboard, one of my favorites. It's free, and it's feature-rich. Think of it as stock Android keyboard plus. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zl.inputmethod.latin&hl=en

And if not, I guess you're not ready for on screen buttons (on screen buttons are different from capacitive buttons, if I'm not mistaken).

mellofello
Sep 9, 2013, 07:11 PM
What is the benefit of removing the physical button in your opinion? Of everything you do with your phone there is nothing more jarring then accidentally going back to the home screen. You should have to hit a physical button so it never happens unintentionally.

sddabrow
Sep 9, 2013, 07:25 PM
What is the benefit of removing the physical button in your opinion? Of everything you do with your phone there is nothing more jarring then accidentally going back to the home screen. You should have to hit a physical button so it never happens unintentionally.

I would imagine the benefit is to not have moving parts. Moving hardware parts, such as buttons are more likely to fail than a touchscreen. Just my $.02

I use that argument when I try to sell Solid State Drives over Hard Disk Drives... Figured it would apply here too :)

linkgx1
Sep 9, 2013, 07:47 PM
I hate softbuttons in many ways because it just seems like more things go wrong. At least with every product I've had that had soft buttons.

Technarchy
Sep 9, 2013, 07:49 PM
I personally prefer a physical home button.

I hope samsung keeps it for the GS5.

Saturn1217
Sep 9, 2013, 07:52 PM
When I first got a smartphone (an old my touch 4g with physical buttons) I thought I would feel the same.

But the truth is that physical buttons are really annoying IMHO. Especially when you are trying to use you phone/tablet quietly in a quiet room (say in bed with your partner asleep next to you). It is also just nice having all interface interactions uniform rather than sometimes touching on screen elements and sometimes having to click a physical button.

Typing this post on my Nexus 7 BTW and I don't have that problem. I think you just need to get used to the device.

strausd
Sep 9, 2013, 08:02 PM
I'm against the soft buttons that Google is in love with, but mainly because it takes up screen real estate when the buttons could be on the bottom bezel. Although sometimes I miss and accidentally hit a button, that is fairly rare.

sviato
Sep 9, 2013, 08:07 PM
I like the physical home button on my iPhone.

I'm surprised that the software on your tablet doesn't disable the button during typing. It should do so if the keyboard is being actively used and then re-enable the button once typing stops for like 2-3 seconds.

Oohara
Sep 9, 2013, 08:20 PM
I'm against the soft buttons that Google is in love with, but mainly because it takes up screen real estate when the buttons could be on the bottom bezel. Although sometimes I miss and accidentally hit a button, that is fairly rare.

Same here. What I really like are capacitive buttons, such as the back and menu buttons on the Note 2, which are invisible for the most part but can be lit up from inside the casing.

Something that could be quite elegant for tablets might be to have capacitive buttons for home, menu and back on two sides of the bezel - one set at the bottom of portrait orientation and one set on the bottom of landscape. Then when you change orientation, the capacitive buttons could follow, activate and light up on the new bottom side.

That would do away with both the screen area stealing soft buttons and the physical home button, which always ends up in a weird spot whenever you turn the tablet over IMO. I've always thought that looks kind of lame even on the iPad.

strausd
Sep 9, 2013, 08:30 PM
Same here. What I really like are capacitive buttons, such as the back and menu buttons on the Note 2, which are invisible for the most part but can be lit up from inside the casing.

Something that could be quite elegant for tablets might be to have capacitive buttons for home, menu and back on two sides of the bezel - one set at the bottom of portrait orientation and one set on the bottom of landscape. Then when you change orientation, the capacitive buttons could follow, activate and light up on the new bottom side.

That would do away with both the screen area stealing soft buttons and the physical home button, which always ends up in a weird spot whenever you turn the tablet over IMO. I've always thought that looks kind of lame even on the iPad.

You wouldn't even need that. The iPad keeps the physical home button in the exact same position. So if you go to landscape, you know it is on the side. Nobody complains about that. On a Nexus 4 if you turn to landscape, the home buttons are on the side and not at the bottom.

tbayrgs
Sep 9, 2013, 08:37 PM
Same here. What I really like are capacitive buttons, such as the back and menu buttons on the Note 2, which are invisible for the most part but can be lit up from inside the casing.

Something that could be quite elegant for tablets might be to have capacitive buttons for home, menu and back on two sides of the bezel - one set at the bottom of portrait orientation and one set on the bottom of landscape. Then when you change orientation, the capacitive buttons could follow, activate and light up on the new bottom side.

That would do away with both the screen area stealing soft buttons and the physical home button, which always ends up in a weird spot whenever you turn the tablet over IMO. I've always thought that looks kind of lame even on the iPad.

This will never happen, especially on smaller tablets as it would require large bezels all around the screen. The trend is for smaller bezels, not larger.

I personally prefer the soft buttons but do wish they would allow the user to hide them more often--maybe in much the same way the dock can autohide on OS X. Even better would be purely gesture based navigation, as it would allow for minimal bezels and no longer require part of the screen for on screen buttons.

Oohara
Sep 9, 2013, 08:47 PM
You wouldn't even need that. The iPad keeps the physical home button in the exact same position. So if you go to landscape, you know it is on the side. Nobody complains about that. On a Nexus 4 if you turn to landscape, the home buttons are on the side and not at the bottom.

Yeah, it's clear where they are but I still don't like it. Anyway just a pet peeve of mine as noone else does complain about it :D

This will never happen, especially on smaller tablets as it would require large bezels all around the screen. The trend is for smaller bezels, not larger.

I personally prefer the soft buttons but do wish they would allow the user to hide them more often--maybe in much the same way the dock can autohide on OS X. Even better would be purely gesture based navigation, as it would allow for minimal bezels and no longer require part of the screen for on screen buttons.

True, gesture based navigation would be the ultimate method. I'm already planning to use Swipe Home Button if I do pick up one of the Note tablets.

spinedoc77
Sep 9, 2013, 08:54 PM
Why Google wasted screen space with those stupid buttons AND made those humongous bezels on the N7 I will never figure out. I would figure one or the other, but both?

mellofello
Sep 9, 2013, 08:59 PM
Yeah I'm pretty sure this thing is going back. Probably snag a note 8 tablet. Samsung's won't win any beauty pageants but I applaud their determination to put function over form and stick to things like physical buttons, expandable storage, and swappable batteries.

All these things may take away from beauty of the minimalist tablet, but I would rather have function then fashion.

matthewh
Sep 9, 2013, 10:46 PM
Same here. What I really like are capacitive buttons, such as the back and menu buttons on the Note 2, which are invisible for the most part but can be lit up from inside the casing.

Something that could be quite elegant for tablets might be to have capacitive buttons for home, menu and back on two sides of the bezel - one set at the bottom of portrait orientation and one set on the bottom of landscape. Then when you change orientation, the capacitive buttons could follow, activate and light up on the new bottom side.

That would do away with both the screen area stealing soft buttons and the physical home button, which always ends up in a weird spot whenever you turn the tablet over IMO. I've always thought that looks kind of lame even on the iPad.

I believe the HTC did exactly this in the Flyer. Unfortunately it did not sell well. I wish HTC would keep trying. I'd like my N7 2012 had capacitive buttons like the Flyer. On the N7, I often bring up google now when I try to scroll down a long webpage.

Hastings101
Sep 9, 2013, 10:50 PM
YES!!! I hate them, capacitive and onscreen, with a passion but I live with them because there's not really much of an option.

I'd love a high end Android phone with physical back/front/menu keys.

guitarboi
Sep 9, 2013, 10:54 PM
Love how my S3 has capacitive back and menu buttons and physical home button. I catch myself tapping to the right of the home button whenever I use an iPhone. This has been my only experience with capacitive buttons.

alice04
Sep 9, 2013, 10:54 PM
Hahahaha. almost everyone hates the capacitive button :eek:

Oohara
Sep 9, 2013, 11:48 PM
YES!!! I hate them, capacitive and onscreen, with a passion but I live with them because there's not really much of an option.

I'd love a high end Android phone with physical back/front/menu keys.

Well look what Santa has brought for you!

http://cdn2.gsmarena.com/vv/pics/samsung/samsung-i9295-galaxy-s4-active-ofic.jpg

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Hahahaha. almost everyone hates the capacitive button :eek:

Let's not get things confused here though - the thread title is actually wrong, what the OP hates are the onscreen/soft buttons on the N7. Capacitive buttons are those like the back and menu buttons on the S3, S4 and Note 2.

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Love how my S3 has capacitive back and menu buttons and physical home button. I catch myself tapping to the right of the home button whenever I use an iPhone. This has been my only experience with capacitive buttons.

I'm the same way. I thought that was something people just said to exagerrate things but now I actually do find myself tapping to the right of the home button on iPhones. The back button is the best invention since sliced bread. And the menu button is pretty nifty too, I have it bring up an app that sets all system volumes using longpress on Nova Prime.

ReanimationN
Sep 10, 2013, 01:48 AM
100% agreed, I hate capacitive and onscreen home buttons with a passion. The reason you gave is one of the big reasons as to why onscreen home buttons are awful, especially when you have huge fingers and when the home button is always located below the space bar- it makes typing a horribly clunky task. It also makes turning on a device an unnecessarily fidgety process. Not to mention that if an onscreen button is being unresponsive, you can't tell if it's your error (I.e. not pressing the button properly, missing the button etc.), or if it's the fault of the system. You always know if you've pushed a physical button (that doesn't have anthing wrong with it, before anyone jumps in with broken home button stories)

Samsung and Apple, please never drop the physical home button.

Fernandez21
Sep 10, 2013, 03:52 AM
I don't like on screen buttons because also, I'd prefer to have that extra screen space for content and have the buttons on the bottom bezel. If you look at the LG G2, the buttons could easily fit where the LG logo is on the bottom, giving you more screen space.

As for capacitive over physical? I don't care either way, I like the clean look and reliability of capacitive, but I do get more accidental presses than I would with a physical button.

JaySoul
Sep 10, 2013, 04:28 AM
Agreed with OP. I prefer at least one proper physical home button.

Capacitive is fine when it works but unfortunately the design is sometimes a bit counterintuitive.

steviewhy
Sep 10, 2013, 04:55 AM
I actually prefer the software buttons on my Nexus 4 to the capacitive and hardware buttons on my Note II. Nevertheless, the Note II is still my daily driver for now. A Note II or III with software buttons would make me a happy man. Here's hoping the Nexus 5 has a larger screen than expected.:D

kasakka
Sep 10, 2013, 05:00 AM
The problem is that on bigger devices it's a lot easier to hit the capacitive buttons by accident because of the way you hold the device. Part of my palm often brushes either of the capacitive buttons on the S4, resulting in annoyances.

Basically what would be needed is to make them less sensitive or the software to be able to discern between a finger and some other part of your hand.

Jibbajabba
Sep 10, 2013, 06:01 AM
Bloody hate the softbuttons on my Nexus 7 - funny enough - I love the Google Keyboard on my S4 and I am darn quick with it - the N7 version is just useless ..

onthecouchagain
Sep 10, 2013, 06:53 AM
Or just go full gesture base. No buttons, no problem. The only on screen buttons would be the "menu" button in some corner.

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What are people's thoughts of the LG G2, then?

5.2 inch screen, the extra .2 inches are there specifically for the on-screen buttons. You get to still technically have your 5" screen.

I'm in the camp of on-screen buttons. It's just more dynamic and adaptable (swipe up from Home to access Google now is neat. LG's also expanded on this, you can swipe up from home to the left to get Google Now or to the right to get Quick notes or something), it's more the future (moving away from physical buttons that can fail), and honestly, it's easier to press. The physical button requires -- little though it may be -- resistive force to press. When I'm laying down or otherwise using my device in an non-ideal position, pressing physical keys suck (i have to make sure the back has resistance to some degree). With soft keys, it's just a tap.

Having said that, I recognize a few growing pains of soft keys and can appreciate people asking for the soft keys to temporary slide away (like TB's mention of the OSX dock sliding down) to allow for more screen space. I get that.

What we shouldn't do, however, is go back to physical keys. And I'm glad Google isn't acquiescing here. They (and others) have to keep improving soft keys, that's all.

LG's "double-tap" to sleep/wake feature is great, too, and another step in the right direction for a button-free world (or more specifically a world less dependent on physical keys). As is Blackberry's fully gesture base Z10.

Gestures are, and should be, the future. In the mean time, soft keys > capacitive > physical buttons.

mattopotamus
Sep 10, 2013, 07:15 AM
I love capicitive buttons. It makes the phone look so much cleaner! Plus, it works great with google now.

lolkthxbai
Sep 10, 2013, 07:57 AM
Right now I speaking this post to my new 2013 Nexus 7. The placement of the capacitive Home button makes it nearly impossible for me to type on this device. Every time I hit the space bar it we'll shoot me back to the home screen. There is a 5mm gap between the space bar and the home button. I sat down try 2 bang out A few emails and nearly flew this tablet across the room.


What exactly the problem with a physical button? I think that removing button is A answer to a problem that no one asked for. I am seriously considering returning this tablet 4 1 with a physical button. I love everything else about it but not being able to type is a deal breaker.

Return it and never look back. I HATE Android devices that have capacitive buttons with a passion. Get a device with a physical button like the iPad mini.