Friday, February 10, 2012

Smartphone Forms

Example from doFORMS

The recent Super Bowl television commercial by Samsung for their new smartphone that showed a pen interface was derided by the Apple acolytes (probably because it made fun of them).

And this criticism of the pen/stylus came directly from Steve Jobs himself.  In the biography by Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs is quoted as saying "that if you see a stylus, they blew it".

I don't know about you, but I have to continually expand (un-pinch) the displays on my Smartphone so that I have a prayer of hitting the link or keyboard (and I have small fingers).  While pens shouldn't be used for everything on a Smartphone, they could be useful for... writing?  (See this post for more)

So what is out there that could help courts use this technology?  Smartphone forms software looks like an interesting and potentially useful set of applications.  In a quick search I found several:
What could be built?  The obvious thing would be a form that would allow a judge to sign orders or warrants.  And almost any court data query or entry task is fair game; particularly field work such as service of process and probation reports.

I would love to hear your ideas on the subject. Please feel free to share below:


  1. Jim, I don't think that stylus input on the smartphone form factor is good. Stylus on a larger, perhaps tablet-sized device, yes. If you haven't seen Bob Lewis's recent columns in Infoworld re how he sees improved tablets to compete with Apple, you should check them out -- Bob addresses the stylus question well.

  2. I don't think the argument is "all or nothing". Steve Jobs gave the choice of nothing. Touch, typing and pens should be the user's choice.

  3. Actually your smartphone will only become useful depend on what useful application that you want to install on it.