Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime – Bike Mode is a Ride with Some Bumps (Online Help is no Help as well)

The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime has a unique feature – the Bike Mode (S bike mode) – and that’s what we will take a quick peek at.

The smartphone is a decent device and works quiet satisfactorily. The power-saving mode keeps your battery for long without disabling the most used features. The metal body finish is nice, the phone has an easy mode, abundant accessibility features, useful one-handed operation, fingerprint scanner, and so on. On the flip side, the J7 Prime lacks a gyroscope, camera is not great, and design is normal. The phone is okay overall.

However, here am not out to review the phone – just want to write about the S Bike Mode and the associated Online Help.

The bike mode was developed for two-wheeler riders. Many ride two-wheelers to work every day. When driving a car, the driver can afford to answer phone calls by using a hands-free headset or through the speaker. However, with bikes, the key element is driver balance and the need to use both hands to control the bike. Of course, even on cars drivers must be careful and not get distracted by phone calls. Yet, comparatively, car drivers can answer important calls unlike bike riders who will take a risk if they answer mobile phone calls.

Therefore, Samsung has developed the bike mode that will let callers know that the person who they called is riding a bike. The rider too will not be able to answer calls when in that mode. Callers can press 1 to let the rider know of urgent calls. The device rings at the highest volume and vibrates in case of urgent calls. However, the rider can answer the call only after slowing down the bike or stopping.

The rider can use preset messages to auto answer callers.

At least this is the intended way for the bike mode to work.

Okay I put the bike mode to test – and these were my initial observations:

In the mobile phone, I noticed this…
In J7 Prime Online Help, I looked up for more information…
The urgent mode works only for one of the SIM cards! The J7 prime has two SIM card slots. If the caller calls the second number, they hear the message that the user is busy. Auto answer works only for one number.
After a bit of tinkering I realized that callers get the same message on both the SIM cards if I just switch on the ”Reject Calls while Roaming” option within the S Bike Mode settings.

Unfortunately, online help does not mention this. Incidentally, this is not the right solution for auto answer on both SIM cards.
Am not sure how the motion detector works. The device works in much the same way when not riding. So if a caller calls, they get the same message that the person is riding a bike. Does it mean that the motion detector is a gimmick? Maybe it is just not smart enough to detect stationary objects!
Could have mentioned this in Help.
I was unable to set up any custom auto answers for selected contacts.
Would have been a good value addition as I would want only certain people to know that I ride a bike (or my location).
I was also not able to create my own specific text messages for selected contacts. Nor did the recipient get location-related smart replies when their calls were not answered.
The bike mode needs a data connection to work. However, they should have included offline help. Maybe a video or demo would have been useful. Remember in this case the user is the rider.

So the S Bike Mode is okayish but nothing great. Fundamentally, the urgent calls feature should be reconsidered as the idea is not to use phones while riding. Unless the urgent call automatically slows down the bike or provides some such physical warnings, this is not a safe option. Moreover, in some parts of the world, the streets are noisy and it is very tough to hear or feel a mobile vibrating. Even at the loudest, the urgent calls might go unanswered.

Looks like Help was not field-tested.
 Neither the bike mode nor the Online Help is useful.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Windows7-Nokia Lumia 800 - two taps too many and no help in sight

Note: Although the following looks like text, these are images (Blogger did not allow me to re-size images within blog posts). Click on each image to read.

Addendum:  Finally, "Help + How-To" worked! This is possibly WebHelp mobile output (that is htm pages for mobiles) and can be viewed in the default viewer (no need to launch a browser to view the topics). No ePub downloads are needed (such as PDF or Kindle for example). However, internet connection is needed and Help is not available offline. This is where the Mobile Phone's sync problems take its toll.

Note that the term "Tile" is used for Icons, "Start" for Home screen, and "Flick" to describe the touch screen slide gesture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Parallelism when writing for Tablets

I was writing an install procedure for one of our software products (for tablets) and just thought I should share my thoughts on the style for referring to tablet names.
I compiled a list of tablets available in the market.

Usual name
Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble
Nook Color eBook
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Toshiba Excite
Toshiba Thrive
Dell Streak
K1 Ideapad
Lenovo Ideapad
Tablet S
Sony Tablet S
Motorola Xoom
Evo View
HTC Sprint
Google Nexus
Apple OS
Apple iPad
BlackBerry OS
BlackBerry Playbook
HP TouchPad
Slate PC
Windows 7 Home Premium
Samsung Series 7 Slate PC
Windows 7 HomePremium32 bit
Windows 7 Professional
HP Slate


The usual features users need are size, storage, Internet connectivity (WiFi), apps, etc. The tablets run on different processors and Operating System (OS). However, the OS seems to be the main category by which tablets are known.

The three most popular OS are: Apple OS, Android, and Windows.
The "devices" are known by different names. For example:
  • Apple's tablet is iPad
  • Blackberry's tablet is Playbook
  • Dell's tablet is Streak
Devices that run on Android (as many companies offer these tablets) are commonly known as Android tablets. Of course end users might know and buy Motorola Xoom or Samsung Galaxy tab with Android, etc.
Similarly for tablets that run on Windows, the usual reference is to Windows tablets.
So when writing a procedure (probably installation and configuration procedures) for a product that works on a specific tablet, the heading would be:
- My Product Procedure for iPad (not Apple iOS 5 - the OS for apple tablets!)
- My Product Procedure for Android tablets
- My Product Procedure for Windows tablets

Note that we call iPad - the device - Apple iPad. This is the deviation in style! We skip Google in the Android name and Microsoft in the Windows reference.
Strictly...if we write a procedure titled, My Product Procedure for Apple iPad, referring to the device name, then we should have My Product Procedure for Samsung Galaxy tab or My Product Procedure for Acer ICONIA! But that would be going overboard and into too much detail. What we actually mean is: "My Product Procedure for Tablets that run a) Apple OS b) Windows OS c) Android OS, and so on."
Therefore, I think it is best to keep it as My Product Procedure for Windows Tablets or My Product Procedure for Android Tablets. The plural form "tablets" is NEEDED to cover all tablets that run on Windows or Android. (I also read somewhere that tablets and tablet PCs mean the same.)
The only problem would be if at all a different company other than Apple suddenly offers their own tablets with Apple OS! Then we might need to change the heading for the My Product Procedure for iPad to "My Product Procedure for iPad tablets"! Or ask Apple to make their OS name popular :)

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime – Bike Mode is a Ride with Some Bumps (Online Help is no Help as well)

The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime has a unique feature – the Bike Mode (S bike mode) – and that’s what we will take a quick peek at. The ...