Features and Gimmicks and so on...

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Rolla, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Rolla macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2013
    #1
    So I notice a few people like to play the gimmick card on some of the features of the GS4. Now it seems like they are calling it a gimmick because they feel they would never use that function. Which is rather short sighted. I never upgraded to the 4s or 5, but one thing they have that I don't is Siri. Now I honestly don't care for Siri and would never use it, and I could very easily call it gimmicky. My wife doesn't care for it either, and she has it on her 5. But knowing that others do use it and find it useful, I can see how it just couldn't be called a gimmick. I could say "TO ME" it's a gimmick, but that would still not being a very accurate or honest because I could see how it isn't a gimmick to others. So the most honest thing would be to say, it is a FEATURE on the iPhone I don't care to have or use. I really just don't care for voice assistants on my phone. But again, it doesn't mean it's a gimmick just because I feel that way.
    But can you imagine if the OEMs had software developers that had such short shortsightedness? We'd have one boring device. I welcome OEMs that bring new features and multiple sensors to their phones so that the developers can run with it. I don't have the imagination of what we can do next with our phones, so I'm not going to just shutdown any OEM that is trying to open up the possibilities. Why would any of us want to do that?
     
  2. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

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    #2
    One could measure time to complete a task, before and after using the feature. If feature decreases time to complete task, then it's legit. Otherwise, it could be. Gimmick. Obviously this isn't as black and white as this is read, but could be a start for evaluating gimmicks.
     
  3. skratch77 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 20, 2013
    #3
    I can't wait to get a gs4.people can call them gimmicks all they want! Here is an example of one feature I will use a lot.

    The barometer and temp sensor.this will give me the baro pressure and density altitude of the air for tuning my car and give me a very accurate DA for when I'm racing down the track.

    Using obd2 scanning software I'll have all my vitals on screen using live widgets and be able to do live data looging also.

    Gimmicks to some but awesome features to others.
     
  4. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #4
    The barometer would be useful to me too for outdoors things when I'm out of cell phone range for a week. I could see that being useless for many though and thus considered a gimmick.

    ............

    As far as these features go. I think one has to experiment with them before they call it a gimmick. Siri was completely useless to me until I started using Bluetooth headsets. Now I use it quite often. Do no disturb in its current form is useless to me because I have to remember to turn it off and on since you can't set days, but if they added that I would use it every day (except weekends). Regardless I don't call it a gimmick just because I don't find it useful, yet.
     
  5. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

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    #5
    What good is a feature if implemented poorly? I had the gs3 for nearly 6 months and found its features poorly implemented. Smart stay was an absolute joke...came off as cheaply made apps. Features should work seamlessly and fluidly to avoid the gimmick label. Hopefully a quad core can bring the fluidity that I was missing in my gs3.
     
  6. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    Mar 29, 2011
    #6
    I'm really excited to use smart stay smart orientation and quick glance. I also predict ill find multiwindow useful. And on rare occasion I could see air gestures being very useful.

    There are some nice gems in their feature-list. Ether way they're pushing the envelope for what smartphones do. Putting the smart in smartphone.
     
  7. mib1800 macrumors 68000

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    Sep 16, 2012
    #7
    smart stay is one of the most useful features. and it works flawlessly. calling this gimmick just doesn't seem right. :p
     
  8. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #8
    People can call Samsung's features whatever they want. "Innovation" or "gimmicks" or anything in between.

    The point is, Samsung -- and really only Samsung, so far -- is pushing the boundaries and envelope of what smartphones do and how people can interact with them.

    No major smartphone in the past, that I'm aware of, came standard with things like Smart Stay where the device will stay awake for you depending on the human eye. Or Smart Pause which will automatically stop playing your video if it detects you've looked away. Or Smart Orientation where, again, it uses your eyes to judge whether you are looking at something in portrait or landscape mode (I can't tell you how many times my device switches to landscape when I lay down and am still technically looking at the phone sideways in portrait mode. It's understandable why it does that, but now with Smart Orientation, it'll be "smarter" about it).

    So it knows when you're looking; it knows when you're not looking; and it knows how you're looking.

    How about Quick Glance, where the proximity sensor will sense you reaching or gesturing for the phone and light up with some partial information regarding missed calls, emails, messages, etc.? This is activating the phone without any sort of contact be it with a screen or a button. Auto Unlock Zone is yet another feature that puts the smart in smartphone, where it'll recognize trusted WiFi zones and know you're in a safe place and unlock your device for you without the lock pins/patterns, etc.

    Again, call it what you want. But the S4 is doing things for users that no phone before could do. What popular stock non-Samsung device did these things before? When was the last time a major smartphone had barometer sensors? (And to discuss hardcore for just a second: all this in a smaller/thinner package than its predecessors and most of its competition, while still offering a larger battery. Then, let's not forget increasing the PPI by a huge amount while also offering a larger screen. Increasing PPI and increasing screen size is usually not congruent!)

    All these people pointing out how some of these features are half-baked, or doesn't work in the dark, or has growing pains... all they're demonstrating is how little they know of the progression of technology. And these people just sound bitter and/or jealous. This is how technology sometimes works, folks. Not everything is fully realized right away. But it's a first step. And we should be glad there's a company out there willing to take it.

    When was the last time you saw a video demonstration of a new smartphone that looked like this?

     
  9. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #9
    But the barometer is used to help GPS locks. You wouldn't even know you were using it.




    Michael
     
  10. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Ireland
    #10
    One mans feature is another mans gimmick - and is equally subjective.

    Just because a person wouldn't use feature A on this device doesn't make it redundant or a gimmick to everyone - only that individual.

    This goes for every device & its feature set.

    As an example I could say PassBook on the iPhone is a gimmick, given that it is mostly redundant here in Ireland (no support from anyone) but others might find it useful assuming they can find a use for it.

    So yeah, whether it be Blinkfeed, S-Translate, Siri, Zoe, Group Play, Passbook they are all both gimmicks and features - its the individuals subjective opinion to decide which is which....

    Thank goodness for choice.
     
  11. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #11
    My first camera phone was a Motorola V400. Camera in a phone was considered a gimmick by most back then. Now it's one of the most important features for most.

    My first phone with GPS was the HP iPaq 6945. GPS on a phone was also considered a gimmick being that most people didn't even have them in their cars yet, not even a portable standalone. Now it's another must have feature today.

    When the first iPhone released, critics in the masses screamed out "All screen with no hard keyboard? That's just nonsense". We all know how that turned out.

    All you have to do is go to any forum and read old posts from years ago to see that most people are clueless of what's a gimmick or not.
     
  12. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #12
    Exactly. Thank you. This is simply how technology works. There are growing pains but someone's got to push the boundaries. It's ridiculous to imply that we shouldn't acknowledge them if they don't work flawlessly when first implemented.

    Like I said earlier, it just comes off as bitter jealousy.
     
  13. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    May 21, 2012
    #13

    GPS based Altimeter, Barometer and Compass features are massive battery hogs. You will drain your device within a couple of hours which is a bad quality for those that like outdoor activities.
     
  14. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #14
    Good thing the battery is user replaceable. Just have to be prepared.
     
  15. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    May 21, 2012
    #15
    You'll eat a bag full of batteries in a couple of days. It's a crap solution.
     
  16. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #16
    Definitely can be problematic.
     
  17. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Maybe I had a defective phone? My gs3 was awful with it.
     
  18. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #18
    Sounds like sour grapes more than anything. I don't get the anti-choice crowd....




    Mike
     
  19. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #19
    How many GPS based ABC devices have you lived in the field with for extended periods of time? I'd had about 6 from different manufacturers and the battery life was 100% ass on every single one. GPS devices are greedy bastards.

    Didn't take long to deduce they weren't worth the additional weight, and I just rolled with my solar powered ABC Pathfinder which never dies. Most of the other guys had Suunto with solar chargers, or top end solar G-shocks.

    If the solution sucks, it sucks.
     
  20. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #20
    Ahhh, I see where you were coming from. You are talking about hard-core outdoor activities for extended periods.

    At first glance I thought you were saying simply having these features was a waste--even if you could use them for a run in the park or whatnot.

    You were arguing that using such a device at all for that your kind of usage is a no-go. I can see that.



    Michael
     
  21. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    Mar 29, 2011
    #21
    During times like this I think, as you say, a dedicated GPS unit is obviously better. Smartphones just aren't at that level yet in terms of battery life. Not much that can be done about that at this point in time.

    Still, the barometer could be used for other things, I would think.
     
  22. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #22
    Who's going to reply on a smartphone in those situations? That's like off roading with a street bike.

    Lets stay on practical terms here.
     
  23. lazard macrumors 65816

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    Jul 23, 2012
    #24
    If you are that hardcore of an outdoors man, you're not going to be relying on a smartphone as your main GPS device.
     
  24. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #25
    If the only way to make the S4's barometer sensor look silly is to compare it to high-end actual dedicated GPS devices, well, I'd say that's a helluva compliment to Samsung.
     

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