Please add portrait support to the N900, and other annoyances

Please add portrait support to the N900, and other annoyancesI posted some of my initial thoughts of the Nokia N900 and am working on more posts regarding this new Internet Tablet. I just read a post about 6 things hated about the N900 and jumped up with a big AMEN! Please do keep in mind that the firmware we are all using on the N900 is not the final firmware so some of these issues may be addressed before the device is released. Here is a list of the 6 things detailed in the Unwired View article:

  1. Lack of portrait mode
  2. Password entry in the browser
  3. Small icons and big X in desktop mode
  4. Small desktop panels
  5. Maps and navigation (definitely fixable with software)
  6. General lack of apps (will definitely be addressed in the future)

As you can see a couple of these things will be fixed with software and are mostly annoyances at the moment. The two major issues for me are the lack of portrait mode support and the dang small icons and large X button.

Lack of portrait mode

The only time the N900 goes into portrait mode is when working with the phone utility to make and receive calls. In the past the Internet Tablets really did not need a portrait mode, but I think Nokia should implement more support for this orientation to make it more useful. The lack of portrait mode to send a quick text message, quickly view my calendar, quickly view status updates, etc. is actually driving me so crazy I keep jumping back to the HTC Hero and T-Mobile Touch Pro2. I hate that I have to hold the N900 in landscape mode to text message and as a father of teenage girls I send and receive text messages quite a bit. I would even like the ability to just see what emails I received in portrait mode because it is much easier to hold the device in this orientation with one hand. Nokia, please give the user the capability to decide if they want to work in portrait or landscape with the N900.

Small icons and large X in desktop mode

You get four desktop views to customize and manage on the N900. After adding a shortcut, I consistently remove it accidentally as I try to move it around and arrange it on the desktop. You see these icons are rather small and the X (removal) icon in the upper right of the shorcut icon are rather large and easily tapped when you try to drag shortcuts around. This has been quite frustrating for me and very annoying.


7 Comments to Please add portrait support to the N900, and other annoyances

October 15, 2009

Very interesting. Reports are flying on the internet about these “problems” and understandably why.

I wouldn’t want to purchase a device if some of these things are not fixed or will be fixed in a firmware update.

I wonder how many people will actually spring to buy one of these when there are now rumors of a N920 around the corner. What frequencies will the N920 (if it is coming out) support? If someone buys the N900, will they be burned by not being able to upgrade to the N920 because of operator frequencies?

I’d like all these answered before I would consider purchasing either device.

Mr. Miller, keep up the good articles. Love the site.

Matthew Miller
October 15, 2009

s4r, please also keep in mind that the software is not finalized on these N900 devices so we may see some of these issues go away with an update. I try to make that clear when I post my thoughts and am reserving final judgment until the software has been finalized.

October 19, 2009

Portrait mode IS a biigy, and I do get why Nokia missed such and obvious ommission during R&D testing for usability. Surely they considered that as a phone, it would need one hand operation…..

I ordered one, but this and the lack of an audio EQ are the two things bugging me. $600 plus device with a media player should have at least teble and bass controls.

October 20, 2009

s4r I wouldn’t want to be holding out for the N920:

November 22, 2009

Is it just me or is there a very poor level of apps available for the N900. Obviously to some extent it is inevitable, but it really means that despite all the hardware and OS amazing-ness, this phone still lacks the functionality of a basic Android phone. I’m thinking particularly about document editing – a “portable computer” that can’t edit a word file?

Thats nuts in this day and age where any java me enabled phone can do it. And obviousy the lack of portrait view is also a nuasunce. This is al thats keeping me from buying this phone now. Going to have to wait 6 months i think.

December 18, 2009

I have an N900, and man, this phone is not ready for prime time unless you are a linux user and love to hack or support a user development community. The phone applications have zero features. Don’t go on the user forums, they will tell you that this a linux device first and a phone second, and blame you for asking any question about the phone, because its perfect for linux users. Simple errors bring this device down, like some sort hard drive failures causes the camera to stop working until you reformat your drive. There are none of the standard phone features you would expect from Nokia, just very basic functionality. It has cool hardware, like GPS and a front facing camera, but there isn’t any software that actually uses it…. there is no Tom-Tom or other GPS software for this device, skype doesn’t do video so there is no use for a front camera, etc. Its a first generation OS with lots of usability problems.

The web browser, though, is outstanding. The camera, if you can navigate through the OS and get it to work, also is outstanding.

April 27, 2010

I just got my N900 and although it has been a little painful figuring out all the features it is far better than my partners iPhone… For a start I can add memory and replace the battery (which it has to be said, is only marginaly better than the iphones). The ‘portrait mode’ thing is a little weird as I previously had an n96 which has that as standard, but I can easily live without it personally I am v happy.
One thing I did find ODD – I had to download separate wiget to get the icons to line up but again hardly a ‘deal breaker’ for me…
Maybe I just expect less from a phone, after all I have PC’s and Laptops if I want ‘apps’ and other monkey toys. I also save £20 per month on an almost equivilant iPhone!

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