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  1. Interface
  2. Hold On a Moment, I Have to Take This Call
  3. iPad Enhancements
  4. Summary
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From the author of Hold On a Moment, I Have to Take This Call

Hold On a Moment, I Have to Take This Call

Somehow, telephones became computers, and the interface that became so streamlined, compact, and elegant had to be reinvented again. Some developers just tried to squash desktop interfaces onto cell phones, but the results ran the gamut from tragic to comic—desktops don't fit on a device you can put in your pocket.

With iPhone, the folks at Apple started to rethink the user interface in the context of a small and portable device. They also made it very easy to synchronize data between a computer and an iPhone. To no one's great surprise, the Bento team took the new interface and added it to Bento along with synchronization.

Part of the challenge of the iPhone’s small screen is fitting everything in. The desktop design that tries to make everything accessible at a glance just doesn't work. Instead, very space-efficient tools help you quickly navigate through what may be two or three screens to get to the data you need. Bento on iPhone provides a great deal of the desktop functionality, but it uses this new interface. For example, take a look at the same records shown previously when you look at them on iPhone.

Figure 2 the main record; it has the fields you select, and it provides links to related records.

For each set of related records (Conversations and To Do Items), you can see how many there are, whereas on the desktop, you just see the records. But the speed of iPhone is so fast, and the interface—your finger taps—is so simple, it's no big deal to step through a couple of extra screens. Figure 3 shows a list of the related records.

See how that right-pointing arrow always points to more detail? This interface is, if anything, more intuitive and consistent than the desktop one. One final tap gets you to the data for an individual record (see Figure 4).

It's the same data you saw on the desktop, but this time instead of viewing it with one mouse click, it's four finger taps.

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