Anyone else think the new volume buttons on the 4G/G4/HD will be multi-functional?

SiftWinnow

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 25, 2010
49
0
Grand Rapids, MI
If the prototypes of the new iPhone we've seen are generally accurate, I really think the move from the rocker volume switch to two dedicated volume buttons opens up a lot of possibilities. I can see being able to navigate through lock screen information like missed calls, e-mail, or texts (if that's added eventually with OS 4 or later), or have each button serve as a quick launch replacement for favorites or add further customization such as being able to call a single contact or launch a particular application.

I have never had any issues with the current volume rocker and I think it works great. The only reason to make the change to dedicated up/down buttons would appear to be to add functionality to them by allowing them to easily be used as two distinct standalone buttons.

I think Apple realized they couldn't add any additional buttons to the iPhone, so the only way to increase options/functionality was to take existing buttons--the up/down volume rocker--and increase their usefulness and functionality.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
Steve Jobs does not like buttons and would avoid them at all cost. You have to understand that before making assumptions base on ideas of what other phone manufacturers find acceptable.
 

vizkiz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2008
874
0
Long Island, NY
How does the move from a rocker to two buttons open up any possibility that was not there before? The volume rocker still contains two separate switches underneath, and you can press them both at the same time. The only reason for the rocker instead of two separate buttons is aesthetics.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
How does the move from a rocker to two buttons open up any possibility that was not there before? The volume rocket still contains two separate switches underneath, and you can press them both at the same time. The only reason for the rocker instead of two separate buttons is aesthetics.
Yes, but the rocker buttons cannot be pressed at the same time. Additionally people aren't used to using rocker buttons as function buttons, replacing the rocker with separate buttons makes more sense if they will have new functionality.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
Yes, but the rocker buttons cannot be pressed at the same time. Additionally people aren't used to using rocker buttons as function buttons, replacing the rocker with separate buttons makes more sense if they will have new functionality.
Somehow that seems VERY unlikely, considering that Apple doesn't have public API relating to any buttons.

If Apple finds it necessary to have "physical" buttons, I expect them to deliver in better fashion than utilizing the volume buttons.
 

vizkiz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2008
874
0
Long Island, NY
Yes, but the rocker buttons cannot be pressed at the same time. Additionally people aren't used to using rocker buttons as function buttons, replacing the rocker with separate buttons makes more sense if they will have new functionality.
Are you kidding? Have you tried it? Yes, they can both be pressed at the same time.
 

SiftWinnow

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 25, 2010
49
0
Grand Rapids, MI
Steve Jobs does not like buttons and would avoid them at all cost. You have to understand that before making assumptions base on ideas of what other phone manufacturers find acceptable.
If that's true, then why the change from single rocker to two distinct round buttons? Aesthetically, I think most would agree the rocker is more elegant.
 

tahoeroscoe

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2009
209
0
California
If the prototypes of the new iPhone we've seen are generally accurate, I really think the move from the rocker volume switch to two dedicated volume buttons opens up a lot of possibilities. I can see being able to navigate through lock screen information like missed calls, e-mail, or texts (if that's added eventually with OS 4 or later), or have each button serve as a quick launch replacement for favorites or add further customization such as being able to call a single contact or launch a particular application.

I have never had any issues with the current volume rocker and I think it works great. The only reason to make the change to dedicated up/down buttons would appear to be to add functionality to them by allowing them to easily be used as two distinct standalone buttons.

I think Apple realized they couldn't add any additional buttons to the iPhone, so the only way to increase options/functionality was to take existing buttons--the up/down volume rocker--and increase their usefulness and functionality.
I love the idea but i don't think jobs would allow it. Having the same buttons perform completely unrelated functions depending on where you are in the OS makes things complicated for the average joe. The iphone is all about keeping everything super simple so that any 5 year old or 95 year old can pick it up and it will just work. It's not intuitive to have 1 button do 5 different things at different times.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
Are you kidding? Have you tried it? Yes, they can both be pressed at the same time.
Ope! Just tried it, apparently they both can be pressed at the same time. However, you must admit that a rocker doesn't quite have the same meaning to a person as separate buttons. If the new buttons are for camera functionality or some thing like that then it would be better to have separate buttons rather than a rocker. Even if the same functionality can be had with a rocker.
 

SiftWinnow

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 25, 2010
49
0
Grand Rapids, MI
I love the idea but i don't think jobs would allow it. Having the same buttons perform completely unrelated functions depending on where you are in the OS makes things complicated for the average joe. The iphone is all about keeping everything super simple so that any 5 year old or 95 year old can pick it up and it will just work. It's not intuitive to have 1 button do 5 different things at different times.
I would have agreed with you before the double-click home multi-tasking and "swipe right" while in multi-tasking to get to music controls and orientation lock.

Holding the up volume button to launch favorites is definitely not more complicated or less elegant than the multi-tasking solution.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
If that's true, then why the change from single rocker to two distinct round buttons? Aesthetically, I think most would agree the rocker is more elegant.
First of all, you're speculating on an unreleased prototype. Second, like I said, Apple could have easily have bunch of buttons on the sides of iPhones in the past 3 generations, and they didn't, so why would they do it now?
 

vizkiz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2008
874
0
Long Island, NY
Ope! Just tried it, apparently they both can be pressed at the same time. However, you must admit that a rocker doesn't quite have the same meaning to a person as separate buttons. If the new buttons are for camera functionality or some thing like that then it would be better to have separate buttons rather than a rocker. Even if the same functionality can be had with a rocker.
I do agree with that, that a rocker switch generally has a different typical usage than two separate buttons. I wish the two buttons were oblong rather than circular though. That would much better fit the design of the phone.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
First of all, you're speculating on an unreleased prototype.
First: prototypes are never released.
Second: We're talking aesthetics, which is an entirely reasonable discussion since we have seen the phone inside and out.

Second, like I said, Apple could have easily have bunch of buttons on the sides of iPhones in the past 3 generations, and they didn't, so why would they do it now?
Because these buttons take the place of the volume rocker and can now be used for functions beyond volume.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
First: prototypes are never released.
Second: We're talking aesthetics, which is an entirely reasonable discussion since we have seen the phone inside and out.
Not sure why I even bother with you. No kidding that prototypes are never released, what's your point? Oh, I guess we all forgot about Slate, which the information was released.

No, you're talking about aesthetics, I have been discussing the possibility of using volume buttons as added functions.

Done with you.
 

jnc

macrumors 68020
Jan 7, 2007
2,297
1
Nunya, Business TX
Android has a context-sensitive key that works well, but I don't know how well it'd work with the iPhone OS philosophy.

That said, I'd like to use these buttons to + zoom - when in camera mode on OS 4. :)
 

vizkiz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2008
874
0
Long Island, NY
First: prototypes are never released.
Second: We're talking aesthetics, which is an entirely reasonable discussion since we have seen the phone inside and out.
We're not talking aesthetics, we're talking functionality.

Because these buttons take the place of the volume rocker and can now be used for functions beyond volume.
As said earlier, it could have always been used for other functions.
I'm sure many people prefer them to remain dedicated volume buttons, except for a few apps, such as camera.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
We're not talking aesthetics, we're talking functionality.
As said earlier, it could have always been used for other functions.
I'm sure many people prefer them to remain dedicated volume buttons, except for a few apps, such as camera.
We'll just have to wait and see. But having expanded functionality would explain the move from a rocker to two separate buttons.
 

doubleatheman

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
628
0
I have to agree with what has been said, a rocker looks better... Apple had to have a reason to do this.

It's a step back in design from a visual point IMO.

I hope some kind of a double click from the lock screen will open the camera. Right now the buttons serve no purpose on the lock screen, I would like a fast way to open the camera. Other than that kind of an integration, I cant see the buttons getting much more use, without confusing us when we just want the volume up or down.

I will say I do like the few buttons the iPhone has, Having a physical back button on the android phones is annoying IMO.
 

SiftWinnow

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 25, 2010
49
0
Grand Rapids, MI
Tactile differentiation.
That's highly debatable; you could argue either way just as persuasively.

It's a pretty big change to go from a rocker to two distinct round buttons just for--at best, if any--a very slight increase in tactile differentiation. And I would still argue that a rocker works better by feel than the two buttons.
 

SiftWinnow

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 25, 2010
49
0
Grand Rapids, MI
A rocker would be better for Zoom in/out.
Yes it probably would, but it doesn't offer the wide range of multi-function options and possibilities that two distinct buttons do.

If the only added functionality created by the two new buttons was to add zoom in/out in the camera application, I would agree, but I am thinking that the buttons will have other functionality possibilities that a rocker would not be as well-suited for.