GBM InkShow: Pen Features of the HTC Flyer

Sharing video taken from the HTC Flyer is all well and good, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t share video of the device as well. In this InkShow, I run through the special pen features of the Flyer. Yes, it’s an InkShow that shows ink! Plus: bonus commentary.



Click here for the iPhone/iPad friendly m4v videos in SD and HD 720 formats.

[For all the parts of this ongoing review of the HTC Flyer, click here.]

Focused, not limited

In the video, I describe the pen features of the Flyer as “limited” but that’s not the most precise word for it. It’s more of a “focused” experience that treats the pen as a pen you’d use on paper, not as an all-purpose pointing device on a computer. Furthermore, as previously reported, HTC plans to open their software to developers, including an SDK for pen input and APIs for their Scribe software. While HTC’s current pen features are limited in number, the potential for expansion once they open their software is vast.

Hidden Feature!

A commenter named Mark (not me) tipped me off in my “Inking Experience” post to this Easter Egg: the top end of the pen works as a capacitive stylus. The pen body is metallic and able to conduct electricity between your hand and the screen. So while the pen tip activates the pen features of the Flyer, the other end triggers the screen as if it was your finger. Not exactly a feature so much as a fun find, but if you really like stylus control, HTC’s magic pen has you covered.

Comments

    • Sumocat says

      I honestly flaked on that aspect of the note-taking experience, as well as with audio recording. I have a Google account, but I don’t use the calendar, so it just slipped my mind. Sorry.

      • Anonymous says

        NP, for me, I am trying to do some basic things:
        1. Look on my Google Calendar to go to a meeting, take notes at the meeting, maybe take a picture of a diagram or plan I drew on the board and audio some thoughts
        2. Surf the web, see something interesting, annotate it and save it on Evernote, append the Evernote Note later with text, pictures, audio as necesary
        3. Hand write some thought that are translated to text that I send to my blog to work on later from a netbook/laptop

        The iPad does all these things but it is not really integrated very well … but still not bad … as you said earlier, probably have to wait awhile for the perfect hardware and software

        • Sumocat says

          The calendar integration should cover you with #1, while the Evernote integration and ability to markup the screen (which you can then add to Evernote) covers #2. #3 is a problem because there is no built-in text conversion. Handwritten notes are searchable but not converted to text.

          There are third-party solutions for that but none will work as well as a system that reads the pen strokes as they are created. Windows inking does this, as do digital pen and paper systems. This is an area in that big time and effort gap between Windows inking technology and HTC’s.

    • Sumocat says

      At this point, I’d be happy to see some traditional Tablet PC applications get ported in, such as PDF annotation, drawing, and handwriting recognition. A killer application IMO would be a dayplanner. The Flyer is the right size for this. Fill in fields with the pen, swipe to get to more fields and notes, assign it to a date, then flip to get to the next page.

    • Sumocat says

      Oh, I forgot about puzzle games, like crosswords and sudoku. I don’t care for these myself (especially sudoku), but they would work well with the form factor.

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