Experimenting with landscape and UI changes

Don’t you hate how when typing in landscape, the entire screen turns into a message box?

Well I’ve been experimenting with different layout UIs, but take a look at what I’m trying to perfect:

landscape example

Now you can see what’s actually going on when you message. I’m considering adding some shortcut under the send button what do you guys think?

Also, you’ll see I’ve included some UI changes per suggestions and added my Settings icon. You have the following 4 options (so far) in Settings > UI > Messages

  • IM Service Indicator (ON)
  • IM Service Icon (OFF)
  • Contact Picture (ON)
  • Colored Status (ON)

Theme options all stack. I think I’m going to leave this as default except for Colored Status, but it shows how you can customize it to your liking. Also, that Dark Theme regular contact picture I had to whip up in Photoshop.

Leave your suggestions for landscape view!

14 thoughts on “Experimenting with landscape and UI changes

  1. Pingback: Conversation UI (Sneak Peek) « shortfuse.org

  2. denis

    Could the separation be draggable or message display temporary hidden “for this time only” so I get more room to see my reply when I’m comfortable with the message history ?

    1. ShortFuse Post author

      Dragging doesn’t work with view pager. Right now I think it’s not wide enough. I could always add a button that plays with the entrybox width. Right now, as it is, you can write 3 lines in that box. That’s probably not enough.

      I just want to be able to at least see a new message come in as I’m typing.

  3. Geoff

    If you can’t make the separation draggable, can you make it so there’s two fixed sizes, one with the history larger, and one with the input box larger? And you can touch on the border area to expand the one and shrink the other. Something like this, where the resize clickable area is in red: http://imgur.com/7sm6FQ8 (Obviously a really crappy render I did in paint but I think it shows the idea).

  4. david willems

    Just an idea, if you hid the status bar, when typing a message in landscape you could free up a few more pixels, and if you could come up with a way to hide/minimize the bar at the top when the keyboard is expanded then you could leave the default inline messaging and still be able to see an incoming message

    1. LeoBloom

      Agreed, I would want to hide and status and notifcation bar when in landscape mode. I’d also probably my message compose pane to the left side because it seems a bit awkward looking to the right while typing.

  5. Muze

    I frickin’ love this idea. The Note 2 is perfect for it but I wonder how it will look on my One S. I’d agree with the other posters about hiding the status bar in landscape as an option.

    Will there be Attach and Call buttons somewhere like in the stock MMS app?

  6. Tu

    Really love the concept. I usually text in portrait simply because I can see past texts I’m replying to.

    Would splitting the two areas directly in half look better? I feel like that’d be the most efficient layout. The text in the left panel would most likely wrap, so having that panel larger seems pointless. Just a quick glance would be enough for me.

    But I have another question that either I didn’t see or wasn’t covered in the past posts and comments: Would this app merge threads from a single contact? I’m kind of sick of having a dozen threads for the same person I’ve been texting.

    1. ShortFuse Post author

      Yeah, the proportions were hard coded in the picture. The typing area was too small. I fixed the conversation area to be the same width at it would be in portrait to avoid any positioning conflicts and just keep a nice consistency. The new width on a 16:9 screen would be about 43% (7/16).

      1. Muze

        I was curious as well about whether the app will merge all communication methods into a single per-contact thread, I assume so from the previous screenshot.

        That brings up another question though, how will you link contacts to services like Steam? Will we need a Steam address defined in their contact?

        1. ShortFuse Post author

          Every IM Service has a function called supportsAddress().
          SMS and GVoice have identical implementations. The app will go through the contacts and check numbers to see if they’re supported. If you have multiple numbers for that contact, it’ll batch them in.

          If you want to merge a phone number to a contact, it’s really just a matter adding the extra number to said contact in your Contacts/People app.

          Of course, when we get to Steam, it won’t be as simple. We need to link that Steam account with that Contact, SOMEHOW. If I have the app manage it in a small table/database, it would work, but that wouldn’t sync with all your devices or I would have to invite some sort of protocol (read: Server) to manage your contact data.

          The other option is using the actual Contacts database and use the EXTRA field that is meant for applications to play around with. The benefit here is it’ll sync across all your devices and you wouldn’t need to worry about losing all that when you uninstall the app.

          I haven’t figured out how I want to do it, but the framework is in place for this.

          So in answer, yes, somewhere the Steam address would have to be written, but do remember I should be able to already grab/sync your existing contacts on your Steam account. (Same goes for Google Talk, Facebook, etc). I just have to make it easy to use.

          1. Muze

            Huh. That’s so cool. Using the extra field makes a lot of sense, especially if you can poll for Steam contacts and add it by selecting the contact as you say.


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