В конце октября компания Barnes & Noble представила обновленную версию своей самой популярной электронной книги – NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight.The novelty received a simpler and more speaking name Nook Glowlight and is already available on sale.The release of this book created a noticeable number of Comments on different resources from Completely different users on a simple topic - "Where are the hardware keys go?".It was reading Comments that prompted me to write this small note about what is happening with hardware buttons in the world of portable electronics.

The new "nuc" without hardware key streaming.

Пример новой книги от Barnes & Noble показателен вот в каком плане.I have an electronic book Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight with backlight when I decided to buy a book for myself, I chose between Nook and the reader of Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.One of the factors in favor of Nuka became precisely the hardware keys to the left and right of the screen, and the lower cost, coupled with a pleasant design.I am sure that I am far from the only user of the e -book, which is more convenient for praying pages to press the hardware key.

The bottom line is that you can hold the book with one hand by putting the thumb directly on the page leafing through the page.At the same time, in the same “nuka” the buttons are very tight, so that the finger lies on the key and rests while you read the page, and when leafing out you simply press the key with effort.With a reader without hardware buttons of scrolling, such a trick will not pass - yes, you can still put your finger on the frame on the right or to the left of the screen so that it rests while you read the page, but you need to shift it and touch the screen, while you have to touch it, while you have to touch it.a little weaken the grip of the book with your hand, so in certain circumstances it may even fall out of the hands.

One of the advantages of Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight is the ability to turn pages both using hardware keys along the edges of the case and touches of the screen.Two control methods that do not interfere with each other.

Naturally, all these subjective sensations are as users who still cannot imagine life without hardware keys (while we are talking about readers), and those who have long been accustomed to leafing through touching the touch screen and do not see any problems and inconvenience in this.

And yet, it seems to me, the presence of hardware keys in the electronic book is the only link between paper books and electronic ones, which we are now gradually losing.Pressing the tangible key, its light click, the effort on the button-all this cannot replace the rustling of paper pages of this book, but creates at least some effect of the book and leafing, in books with sensory control and without buttons of this effect will not be.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Glowlight - probably the future of modern reading rooms.Both, unfortunately, are already without hardware keys.

Take another vivid example - smartphones.At first, manufacturers almost Completely abandoned devices with full-fledged QWERTY keyboard, the last to hold on was BlackBerry.Around the same time, hardware keys from smartphones began to disappear, and with the release of Apple iPhone, manufacturers began to Compete in who would make a device with a minimum key.At the same time, in all versions of the iPhone, a convenient button under the screen always remains in place - the essence is that its location is so advantageous, no matter how you hold a smartphone, right or left, that the actions to turn on the screen, access to the main screen or challenge to the menurunning applications with it to carry out very conveniently.However, Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese manufacturers (LG, HTC, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, Meizu, Oppo, Xiaomi and others) went in the desire for minimalism further than rational framework.So smartphones appeared without hardware keys on the front side - hence the inconvenient buttons for unlocking the device on the upper end (if not lucky) or on the side edge (if lucky).

HTC ONE is a visual example of the sacrifice of the sacrifice is not clear what.The power button in the smartphone is located on the upper end on the left (!) And reaching for it is Completely inconvenient, and this must be done every time you want to unlock the phone.

I think the majority will agree that if on their smartphone, the unlock key under the screen, and not from above or right, it would be more convenient to unlock the device.But many manufacturers have not raised the issue of convenience not only in the forefront, even in secondary tasks, the main thing is that it is: a) not like everyone else or b) is unusual and strange (but you can advertise as a “chip”!) Or in) fit into the design of a smartphone.There are other reasons, probably, and not even one.The bottom line is that now the hardware button, and even more so the buttons are not in fashion and the manufacturers do not even think that on the flagship you can quite enter a couple of keys without damage for design, but seriously won in convenience.Indeed, with an increase in the number of functions of the smartphone, the Complexity of controlling it, respectively, the possibility of a quick call of a function that you need is to the forefront Comes to the forefront, but how to make it as convenient and beautiful as possible, if not using a hardware key?

The design, iron, the versions of the iOS operating system are changing, but the hardware key under the screen remains unchanged in Apple iPhone of different versions.

Песнь об аппаратных кнопках

However, long before the fashion went to cut all hardware buttons at all, manufacturers got rid of the telephone buttons characteristic of Communicators and smartphones with digital keyboards - response to a call and an end to call.I don't know how you are, but I really miss them.Often there are situations when from a smartphone for 20,000-30,000 rubles with a four or eight-core processor, two gigabytes “RAM”, 13-20 megapixel chamber, NFC support, cosmos through GPS or GLONASS, you just need to call or just answer toinComing call.And for these simple operations, you need to unlock the device in the first case, call the contacts or the nomeronabrifier by clicking on the icon, and then look for contact and select the number press the key, and in the second case, roll the slider with the answer button to the back and forth or pull the green response button to the circle orsomewhere else, depending on the ingenuity of those who came up with the "calling rings" interface.With hardware buttons of response and the end of the call, everything was easier - he pressed the green - he took the call, pressed the red - canceled.Story!

When there is a conversation about smartphones with convenient hardware keys, the legendary Nokia E71 immediately Comes to my mind - perhaps the menu control buttons in it were not exemplary perfect, but the keyboard is mmm ...!

The same fate befell the hardware keys to call the menu, return to the main screen and some others.In the Communicators based on Windows Mobile and in the first smartphones on Android, these buttons were and they fit perfectly into the idea of a phone with a large touch screen.The situation with the removal of these buttons, again, is more related to a new fashion than with the desire of manufacturers to make smartphones even better and even more convenient.Simple evidence of this fact is sensory, and later “stacked” buttons that came to replace hardware keys under the screen.Both options are still far from the ideal.The manufacturers eventually refuse to switch to the buttons that take part of the work area of the display (“stacked”) from the sensory keys..But this system, to put it mildly, is far from the ideal.Yes, if we talk about one system, Android, then in version 4.4 Kitkat, the developer tried to improve the convenience of such keys, but there are still many Complaints.

The HTC Desire smartphone is a clear example of a successful Combination of a large touch screen and several hardware keys under it, making the life of the owner of the device much easier and calmer (nerves burned by random touches of touch buttons are not restored).

For tablets, simplification of control and the minimum number of additional hardware keys is a logical and natural process, here the screen is the main and only Component with which the user should work with the device.However, smartphones and electronic books, in my opinion, this trend in the control elements has affected too early and now the entire market is moving quickly aside only sensory management.At the same time, touch screens and controls simply do not have time to develop so quickly.The displays still have many restrictions - not always predictable work in the cold or even just in the cold, the accuracy of processing touches, the convenience of Complex gestures, swipe - all this is in the continuous process of improvement, but in all Components sensory screens are still far from perfection.The same goes for interfaces developed for smartphones.Pull the phone icon into the center, pull the circle inside the phone icon, draw from the green button on the screen left or right, and so on to answer not the call, I don’t think that these are the most thoughtful, convenient and, most importantly, natural ways of interacting with the touch screenand they are certainly more Complicated than a simple key of the key.

With the development of touch screens, the hardware buttons have been forgotten and, it seems to me, undeservedly.This type of management can be quite acceptable and convenient for at least a few more years, or even longer, but, alas, almost all Companies refuse it.

Artem Lutfullin (Artem@Mobile-Review.COM) TwitterinStAGRAMENT - November 13, 2013.

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