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Old 03-02-2009, 08:45 AM
Darius Wey
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Default Windows Mobile 6.5's Honeycomb Layout Explained

"Contrary to popular belief, the tip of human fingers is not squared, but in fact circle-shaped when depressed against a hard surface like a touchscreen. When you're space-constrained as you are in something like the applications menu - where there's a fine balance between how many icons can be displayed at one time and how easy it is to hit the icons, large circular hitareas makes it easier for users to touch the desired icons and avoid accidentally hitting nearby icons."

If you checked out our "Windows Mobile 6.5 Screen Shot Walk-Through" thread on the day of said OS' unveiling, you'd have a general idea of why Microsoft opted for a honeycomb layout over the conventional square grid layout. Long Zheng, over at, elaborates on this. But there are still skeptics out there, and if you're one of them, we'd love to hear from you. What aspect of the honeycomb layout do you truly dislike, and what would you prefer to see in its place?

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Old 03-02-2009, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
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its all very well to be easy to press, but its harder to read, thus i think the trade off produces negative benefits.

if it takes me longer to find the icon i was looking for, having to press the middle of the icon for accuracy is the least of my worries. i guess i'll reserve judgment until i've tried it on an actual device, but even looking at the huge screenshots magnified on my laptop screen im finding it difficult to scan thru.
oh well
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:42 PM
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The    problem  scanning   icons    your
   only       is        the     with    eyes
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Stinger View Post
The    problem  scanning   icons    your
   only       is        the     with    eyes
I completely agree!

Either way, are we all having problems starting applications? This is what they spent time on?
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:01 AM
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First off I want to say I like the look 6.5. It does have an updated feel to what we (windows mobile) are currently using.

I don't buy how it is being pitched. If it is true that it is easier to hit a circle/hexagon shape than a square one, then why didn't they change the start menu, volume and X button. If you can't hit a program or settings icon with your finger, then you surely can't be expected to hit the start button. I've had a pocket pc since 2000 and I don't think, nor have I heard anyone complain about hitting the wrong program icon. You can argue about how the hexagon system is more efficient, but two halves doesn't make a whole in this situation. The old system displays more icons in the same amount of space.

I've played with but didn't buy an iphone, and at this point don't see buying one in the forceable future. I love the today screen. Being able to see my next appointment and tasks when I first turn my phone on is what I like. If I was looking for an ipod phone, I would probably druel over the iphone. What the iphone does have is a nice UI.

Windows Mobile does need an updated look. The fact that they haven't updated the calculator boggles my mind. Improving the UI along with the trend to release phones with better screens will help. Finally, make me trust the my alarm will go off for the time I set it. Although I haven't had problems with my Touch, I still wouldn't rely on it to wake me up if I had a interview!

Just my 2 cents
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:43 AM
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I like the idea! I just wish icons inside the "comb" were larger and more colorful, otherwise this menu looks cheap
You create your opportunities by asking for them
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:49 AM
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I suspect the honeycomb layout creates the most consistent results when scaled to different screen sizes and resolutions. It looks like there's a lot of wasted screen real estate on these big high res screenshots, but shrink it down to a 2.8 inch screen and you probably would notice more accuracy with a circular contact area than a square.

But even so, it does make it much more difficult to read, and I hope they improve the method of reorganising the icons before this gets released too.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:51 AM
Eriq Cook
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Thinking the honey comb interface was not necessary and Microsoft was just trying to think of something "new" to bring to the table. Well, it's not Windows Mobile 7. It's not a "fail", but unecessary. I've been using the platform since the Windows CE days and never once had an issue or complained about pressing program buttons. In fact, long ago I used Conduits Pocket Launcher to fit more program launch buttons on the screen with tabs at the bottom to group/organize 'em.

I hope MS allows us to disable the 'comb interface in favor of older one that displays more buttons on screen and in different fashion. Give us a choice at least. It doesn't improve the platform for me and unecessary to introduce this late in the game.

Last edited by Eriq Cook; 03-03-2009 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:05 PM
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The honey comb is a moot point to me. One thing good about it is that the start menu (which was difficult to operate with the finger) is gone. You go straight to your list of programs. Maybe a little more visually pleasing too with the transparent background. While the honeycomb might not be a huge improvement to the old programs list, bear in mind it replaces both the programs list and the start menu.

The new today screen is a complete failure. I hate it for the same reason that I can't get into TF3D. The old today screen displayed a large amount of info on one screen but was difficult to navigate with the finger. The new one sure is easy to navigate, but shows you almost zero info! If I want to see my appointments i have to swipe over to it. Now it only shows one appointment at a time. Now I have to swipe some more to see my other appointments.. Its rediculous.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:34 AM
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why such huge hexes? You can fit 4 cols and I wouldn't complain. But maybe MS people have giant hands. After all, their mice, xbox controllers, etc are all huge and need tob e shrunk for o/s markets.

Why not go all the way and have 1 icon/page if you're so worried about huge hands. The shape argument is a gimmick. They'd be just as accurate at that size and squares.
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