Poll results: 93% want some kind of mouse on a handheld device


Whether it's a pointer/joystick, a small touchpad, or an optical pad, a whopping 93% of readers who voted in the most recent Pocketables poll want a mouse on their handheld devices. The absence of this hardware control doesn't seem to be a dealbreaker, as many users are making do with the touchscreen on the Aigo MID and are still interested in the UMID M1 (which used to have a pointer), but it's interesting to see how many prefer it over strictly touch-based navigation, especially since that's the direction in which many handhelds are heading.

User interface is certainly a consideration given that finger-friendly ones have less need for a mouse-like hardware control, but full-blown desktop operating systems like Windows XP (which many have hacked to run on the Aigo and which is an available option on the UMID) are another story. And stylus- or fingernail-driven devices are definitely overstaying their welcome.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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One thought on “Poll results: 93% want some kind of mouse on a handheld device

  • This is purely a function of what we’re used to and what operating systems we’re putting on our handheld devices. (e.g., some flavor of Linux, Win XP, or Vista.) It’s not that handheld devices absolutely need some sort of pointer device. It’s that we keep running software on them that assume there is some sort of pointer device.

    I doubt your typical iPhone owner wishes it had a pointer. However, its UI has been designed with touch in mind, and you can’t run any legacy software on it. The only software you can run on it have been designed with touch in mind.

    If we saw more software companies release product that used touch based interfaces, I suspect the survey results would be different. People are merely saying what they need to run the software they want to run. If that software requires a pointer, people will insist on pointers. If that software requires a touchscreen, suddenly, everyone will insist on touchscreens.


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