I think it’s important to build hardware with alternative input methods like this and explore new kinds of UX. The reason the iPhone SE is so popular is because if you make phones more than 4” tall people have trouble using them. The UX of a handheld touchscreen doesn’t hold up when you give people phablets. Who will invent “the mouse” for large format handheld screens?
Honestly, it’s better than it looks.
The dmenu concept with volume keys actually makes huge sense for me, as it resembles the side “jogwheel” on Sony CMD feature phones and some Nokia phones too, it was very easy to navigate and extending that menu system (maybe rofi could be used) is whwat I’m looking for.
Other aspects are still great too, but there might be some UX improvements here and there - like not popping the mpv in verbose mode on each youtube playback. And these gestures look like they’ve been pulled straight from Naruto anime.
On top of that, making text/call support in modem is impressive!
I would be interested to see how well this would work for a tablet UI, as opposed to a phone. I’ve experimented with convertible laptops running Linux in the past, but have always found the UX lacking. I don’t need to do anything very complicated, really just switch between a few possible full screen programs and a soft keyboard. This seems like it might fit the bill.
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It’s missing “just works without fiddling.” Make no mistake… I also prefer the level of control something like this affords over what you get with Android or iOS. But I also use GNU/Linux on my laptop and my desktop workstation, for much that same reason. Fiddling is a feature for me, many times. But the mass market does not seem to agree with me.
I very much doubt this kills either iOS or Android any faster than the Linux desktop environments have killed Mac or Windows. (My first KDE install is old enough to drink in the US now. My first FVWM install on Linux is 5 years older than that. Windows is still dominant.)