The most existential part of smart phones is actually hard philosophy

There are also many articles on physical buttons: knobs, home, and keyboards. Although they are of different categories, they are also constantly emphasizing one important point. That is, the inherent advantages of “physical design” in accordance with intuition and the sense of stability they bring about in operation are hard to compare with voice and touch screen interaction. < / P > < p > of course, the argument of eliminating entity keys has existed for a long time, and we always imagine to integrate all the operation processes in large and small screens. However, the reason why many buttons can survive is not just that we still have “usage habits”. The evolution of the system and the dimension of operation actually endow these keys with new values. < / P > < p > the main reason is obviously the overall size of the mobile phone. In the former era of function machines and small screen machines, our fingers could easily touch the top of the fuselage, so manufacturers used to put the power button in this position. After < / P > < p > after that, the screen size of mobile phones has been increasing. Mobile phones that used to be able to operate with one hand now have to use both hands, and putting the frequently used buttons on the top is obviously anti human design, so the side keys are gradually transferred to both sides of the body. < / P > < p > this button is basically accompanied by the mobile phone trend of taking photos. The purpose is to enable users to capture photos more efficiently. Moreover, many models support the design of “two-stage buttons” such as half press focusing and long-time pressing photographing, which is consistent with traditional cameras. < / P > < p > the other thing to say is the navigation wheel. On BlackBerry 7230, 8700, Sony Ericsson w950i, W960 or p910c phones, you can see a scroll wheel for interface navigation on the side of the body, and it also supports pressing inward. < / P > < p > the reason for the design of the wheel is that at that time, these full keyboard mobile phones did not have direction keys. In addition, the size of the resistance screen was too small to click and slide. The roller perfectly solved the problem of moving up and down and determining. It can be called the business machine of that era. < / P > < p > on Marshall’s music phones, the scroll wheel was used to adjust the volume, which is also an alternative choice in the era of smart phones. < / P > < p > the mute key was once the standard configuration of business mobile phones. For example, the full keyboard of blackberry and Nokia, an independent mute key was designed at the top or side to facilitate users to quickly switch to silent state when the phone rings. The decrease of the number of side keys is related to the pursuit of non opening design. Whether it’s the concept machine without holes that Meizu and vivo tried to make, or the pressure sensitive keys on waterfall screen mobile phones such as mate 30 and nex3, they are trying to get rid of the key structure. < / P > < p > at the same time, the degree of integration of modern mobile phones is becoming higher and higher. Even the physical buttons around the mobile phones start to integrate with the fuselage consciously in terms of material and color. However, mobile phones such as Google pixel 3 and 4, which intend to make power buttons into other colors, are just decoration. < / P > < p > this kind of design oriented thinking has also gone to an extreme, giving birth to a very different form, such as the smartisan T1 mobile phone of hammer. < / P > < p > at that time, in order to give the mobile phone a balanced view, T1 specially designed an independent brightness adjustment key on the side of the mobile phone, which was just symmetrical with the volume key on the other side. This design is obviously controversial. After all, brightness adjustment is not a function that needs to be operated frequently. It is really a “luxury” to open a key hole for it. Samsung’s Bixby key is another example of side key failure. This independent voice key, introduced since Galaxy S8, is specially placed close to the volume key. At first, it hopes to make users wake up quickly and directly to Bixby voice service. However, this side key eventually caused dissatisfaction among users. The main reason is that the performance of Bixby itself is not so ideal, so that the probability of this button being idle is very high, which highlights the necessity of its existence. Before < / P > < p > many users hoped that Samsung could open the user-defined function of Bixby key, so that it could be used as a shutter key or a screenshot key for taking pictures, which could be used by other functions, but Samsung did not give such a choice. < / P > < p > up to now, you can’t see the independent Bixby key on Samsung flagship computers such as note10, S20 and note20 in recent two years. For Samsung, removing this redundant design is probably a better choice than leaving it in disguise. < / P > < p > in fact, many side keys existing in the era of functional machines will be eliminated in smart machines. Most of them are from the consideration of the internal space of the fuselage. But more importantly, the touch screen also brings another simple, direct and efficient alternative. There is no need to say much about the convenience of gesture operation. With the maturity of mobile phone system, now we can turn on a function quickly and off by means of pull-down control center, negative screen and other interfaces. The reason for designing a physical button is no longer sufficient. Those who will use it are heavy users or pure geeks. < / P > < p > even if they are often used for photographing and music control, most systems default to putting them on the lock screen interface, and the operation efficiency is no worse than pressing a physical button. < / P > < p > a good design is not only the part we can see. Although the side keys such as shutter and scroll wheel have disappeared, the volume key and power button can continue to stay, and have not been replaced by touch screen and pressure sensitive design. Appoptix, a statistical agency, once made data statistics. They found that Android phone users unlock their phones 65 times a day on average. If we remove 8 hours of sleep, it means that we have to light up the screen every 15 minutes. < / P > < p > the same is true of the volume button. In daily video entertainment, phone calls and other scenes, we always need to manually adjust the volume. It can be said that these use scenarios give them the right to stay on the side of the phone. < / P > < p > especially now, the functions of these two buttons are not as simple as the name refers to, but gradually towards the design of “one key for multi-purpose”. I remember that the “P > key” on the mobile phone was “P > for several years”. It allows users to customize the short press operation in the settings, while long press is to call up the camera to take photos, which is actually to let the side key carry multiple composite functions. < / P > < p > this “one belt and more” design has been gradually applied to the lock screen key and volume key. So now the volume button is not only used to adjust the sound, but also can act as a shutter when taking pictures, or take screen shots together with the power button. < / P > < p > after the concept of switching on and off has been weakened, the original power button on mobile phones is now more used for “lock and unlock” operations, and can also point to different operations according to long press, short press or double-click. < / P > < p >} after the smart phone moves to the full screen, the volume key and power button also integrate more complex operations. Photo from: the MAC observer < / P > < p > the iPhone’s screen lock button is a good example. Since the iPhone x moves towards full screen design, the functions of long pressing the home key to call out Siri and double clicking home to call out applepay have been replaced by the power button, so that the switch on and off operation needs to be coordinated with the volume key. < / P > < p > from this time on, the iPhone’s power button has become larger than before, almost twice the length of the original, in order to make it easier for users to use mobile payment, voice assistant and other services. < / P > < p > in the latest version of Android 11, Google also integrates the control panel of smart home devices into the “long press operation” of the power button, so as to make the power button play a more important role. < / P > < p > it can be said that the feature of realizing the key compound function through the system and giving the programmable and customized space for the entity key operation will surely appear more and more on our mobile phones. < / P > < p > in the foreseeable future digital era, it is more important to find such new interactive forms for buttons than to discuss their own existence value. 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