April 23, 2014, 6:10 AM —
Last week we talked about a rumored Amazon phone; one that features a 3D interface. I thought that was pretty odd, but this week the rumors got even stranger.
Once again the news comes from BGR which makes me a little bit suspicious. I almost feel like someone over there is just making crazy stuff up to see who they can fool.
With that semi-disclaimer out of the way, the new report says that you can control this phone by tilting it. They offer a few examples: If you're browsing Amazon's video store, you can tilt the phone to get IMDB ratings for the movie you're looking at. If you're composing a message you can tilt the phone to get access to your photo gallery so you can share photos easily. In the Kindle app, you can tilt to open the X-Ray Menu.
OK that last one set off a warning bell. To take advantage of X-Ray (a context-sensitive web search for a name or phrase) on a Kindle you just touch the word or phrase you want to look up. How would adding tilt controls improve that? You still have to indicate what you want to get more info on. Why tap and then tilt when now you can just tap?
Actually I find the whole concept of tilt controls more than a little bit awkward. Sure I've played games that used tilt controls but on a phone where you may be using it while walking or riding (NOT driving please!) in a car, how would tilt controls work? Wouldn't they be firing off randomly all the time?
Having them as an option could be interesting but BGR says:
In fact, we’re told that Amazon’s smartphone apps don’t even have traditional menu buttons. Instead, menus and other functions are accessed by tilting the phone to the right or left.
So these tilt controls won't be optional; they'll be the only way you can control Amazon's native apps on this phone.
I thought the 3D interface was a gimmick but this concept seems every further out there. Hey if I'm sitting in a cafe using my phone to read a book and can tilt it to flip a page, that could be great! I just wonder how it'll work when I'm walking down the street; I suspect I'll have menus and options firing off randomly all the time.
It also sounds like yet another way to cut down on battery life.
Am I just getting too old and skeptical to wonder at new advances in technology, or do you think this report seems a bit far-fetched, too?
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.