the iPhone changed everything; it allowed access to the "normal" web, radically altered app distribution, and radically altered UX metaphors and interaction; popularizing the category
PDAs and smartphones built like them were more desktop like UI-wise. of them, winmo tried to do everything and felt like using desktop windows; palm os was much simpler but aged badly into the smartphone era
not sure what eink devices could learn
Basically, Palm OS was trying to bridge the gap between fixed function organizers, and the early 1990s PDAs (that tried to do too much for their hardware, and were too bulky). Emphasis there was on quick access to the data you needed, and part of the philosophy was that it shouldn't do too much - if you wanted to do heavy tasks, bring your laptop.
@calvin @bthall @nev @staticsafe The iPhone definitely didn't exactly follow that - Safari supporting the full web seamlessly was seen as revolutionary (there were attempts with Opera Mobile, primarily on Windows Mobile, but it was clunkier).
But, especially early on, Apple did follow some parts of the philosophy - don't multitask, make programs launch fast. Don't do too much (I mean, early on, they didn't even have copy and paste), just do what's needed for a phone.
@bthall @nev @staticsafe The UI changes that @calvin talked about, quite frankly, were largely because of a technology shift from resistive touch (which measured pressure) to capacitive touch (which measured skin contact).
Resistive displays were often used with a stylus (which could produce a very small point of pressure on the display), so UI element spacing tended to be similar to desktop UIs at the time.
@bthall @nev @staticsafe @calvin The trend towards more whitespace in UIs (not just mobile, but you're seeing it in web and desktop UIs) is a manifestation of what mobile devices nowadays require, though.
Capacitive displays are used with relatively large fingertips, and therefore require wide spacing between UI elements, to be able to easily select one.
@bthall I know you didn't ask me, but would you be interested in my answer to this question?
(I'm trying to find a balance between offering unsolicited advice and skipping conversations in which I would be welcome. I think this kind of a question is necessary for those grey areas.)
I used a PDA as my primary secondary device for ~6 years?
I had a Palm Tungsten e2, which was a midrange device with a low resolution square screen, graffiti input, and an SD card slot.
It did some things very well (ebooks, offline web pages, music, slideshows, games) and some things okay (wireless communication with compatible devices over short range point-to-point connections)
And some things very badly (anything involving live internet)
some quick notes on PocketToot:
* issues page lists some features i'd like to implement
* it would work on desktop .NET; it runs unmodified but HTML controls won't work without a binary/source-and-retarget patch; and even then the mobile UI is a little clumsy on desktop
* it's honestly /trivial/ to develop for Poclet PC;' I'm amazed mobile retrocomputing hasn't done more stuff like this sooner, considering J2ME and Palm development blows chunks
Pushed a new binary build: https://github.com/NattyNarwhal/PocketToot/releases/tag/2018-04-28
read the latest README for instructions on how to install/use: https://github.com/NattyNarwhal/PocketToot/blob/master/README.md
show me your PDAs/smartphones running it!