The Thumb Zone

My driving principal while designing RECaf was to make the app “thumb-able.” That is, I wanted to be able to do as many tasks as possible with the phone in one hand, gesturing only with my thumb. This is getting harder with every new iPhone generation. Years ago, Jeff Hawkins, creator of the original Palm Pilot and then CEO of Handspring, commented on the one-hand-ability of the Treo line of smart phones. He was getting asked frequently why Handspring had adopted plastic RIM-style keyboards on its phones, rather than relying…

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On Keyboard Placement

I’ve seen a number of complaints about the iPhone X keyboard implementation. “So much wasted space.” “They should put the spacebar down at the bottom, where it always was.” “They should fill that space under the spacebar with emoji buttons.” And so on. All of these suggestions strike me as poorly thought out. I immediately understood why Apple made the choice to leave that area mostly blank. The space bar is where it used to be. The home button used to be where that empty space is. Given how…

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