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The End of the iPod Clickwheel 158

Rockgod quotes a Mercury News article saying "If a recent patent filing is any indication, Apple Computer may abandon the iconic wheel that has become virtually synonymous with its popular iPod music players. The company had previously explored replacing the click wheel with a virtual one as part of a touch-sensitive display. But now Apple appears to be looking at a third option: a touch-sensitive frame surrounding the display. Rather than click a physical button or press a virtual one on the screen, users would touch an area on the frame to operate their iPod."
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The End of the iPod Clickwheel

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  • by uberjoe ( 726765 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @10:19AM (#16631704)
    Iconic or not, I just want it work well and be easy to use.
  • by maeka ( 518272 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @10:37AM (#16631790) Journal
    Let us assume for a minute that Apple actually plans on producing one of these new interface designs that show up in patent applications from time to time.
    Why does everyone seem to assume that one of these newfangled non-physical-clickwheel interfaces will be used on a replacement for the iPod as we currently know it? I mean, most of the complaints are right on the money:
    *A full screen iPod would have worse battery life, all things being equal, than an iPod with a smaller screen.
    *A non-physical-clickwheel would be harder to use blindly, as in a pocket.
    *A non-physical-clickwheel would be an abandonment of the most iconic part of the brand.
    *A "true video" iPod would involve compromises making it a less ideal music player.
    All these arguments (and more) being legitimate, why do people continue to get worked up in a lather every rumor?
    Why do people fail to realize that one of these new interface designs, if one ever shows up, will likely be on a new iPod model, not a replacement, but an additional model (video oriented) from which to chose from?
  • I hope not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29, 2006 @10:38AM (#16631802)
    The touchwheel is finicky enough as it is, always going one past the selection I want, or moving when I lift my finger to select. I can't imagine using a touchscreen is going to be any better.
  • Re: Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thrudheim ( 910314 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @10:44AM (#16631842)
    Nailed it on the head. This design is *not* intended to replace the clickwheel on regular iPods. Anyone who thinks that is not using their noggin. It is clear that the target of this design is the long-rumored, video-oriented product. Move the controls off the front of the device in order to allow the screen size to increase substantially. That's it.
  • by Thrudheim ( 910314 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @10:51AM (#16631892)
    "Since when has Apple ever placed two different UI designs on the same product line? Think about it."

    Yeah, think about it: iPod Shuffle.
  • by Thrudheim ( 910314 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:52PM (#16633358)
    Then why is it so surprising to you that the "true" video iPod might have a different UI than the regular iPods? It's a different product line -- just like the Shuffle is a different "product line" in your terms. That's the whole point of the parent poster, which you seemed to miss.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @04:52PM (#16635162)
    What tactile feeling is there on any of the touch sensitive clickwheels (ie, everything for the past few generations)?

    It's not entirely flush with the case, is it? I'm not too familiar with the most recent models, but as far as I'm aware the wheel itself has a slight relief against the case, guiding the thumb around it. On a completely flat screen, you can "colour outside the lines" and go off the screen unless you are actually looking at it at the time.

  • Re: Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by G-funk ( 22712 ) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @07:34PM (#16636444) Homepage Journal
    How is a thin strip on the edge of the screen better than a regular touch screen?
    Because fingerprints on your viewing screen suck balls?

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