Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Android "Sans Touch" Adventure...

Last Sunday I received my little sister's broken Samsung Moment phone. It's a cute little phone but her touch panel was pretty shattered, It (the panel) worked but like an idiot I decided to try to peel the "shards" away from the touch panel. Lets just say, that did not work. In the end I decided to cut off the touch panel completely and learn how to navigate Android OS strictly with the keyboard.

This is the Samsung Moment WITH touch panel...

This is my Samsung Moment...

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4

For starters, IF you EVER decide to navigate an android device with a physical keyboard, make sure that device has PHYSICAL, "Home", "Menu" and "Back" buttons. I can not stress enough how important the "Back" option is in Android. Most phones tend to have a "menu" modifier button on the QWERTY keyboard. Luckily my phone was one of them. As for application navigation, The Home menu is just a glorified way to do said task. You can simply press the "Search" button on your keyboard and type in the name of the application you want and open it that way.

Another way to quickly get to your most used applications is to use keyboard shortcuts. Below is a video showing you how to set up your shortcuts.

How are things so far, you wonder? I'll tell you this. I'm having a OK time navigating between Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Nimbuzz (my multi-messaging app). I was pretty disappointed to see that the OKCupid app did not include keyboard navigation for "in app" options. Of course, the work around for that is to just simply pull up the browser and use the OKCupid mobile site. I have yet to try my emulators but I'm not sure I want to, considering the arrow buttons on this keyboard are pretty tiny and would making gaming a pain in the hiney. I could just easy connect my Wii Remote to this phone using Bluetooth.

Before I go, I mentioned my workarounds for the "Menu" and "Home" commands but Not "Back". Look at picture 3. Do you see that lighted area in the corner? When the full screen cover is on, just placing my finger over that light would execute the "Back" command. In my case I need to place my finger not over that light but in the corner where the touch cable was cut to attempt the "Back" command. it works 75 percent of the time.

For now I'll continue to use Android the way I am but as soon as I can get the money, I will be getting the following items...

- a cover for this phone

- a new touch panel

- of course, if there are any willing people out here who would like to donate these items, I wouldn't mind creating a new post, documenting my experience repairing the touch panel. :) *wink wink*

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