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capacitive buttons

The Twitter account @evleaks, which has proved to be a reliable source in the past, has today tweeted am alleged leaked screenshot of Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue." This screenshot shows virtual, on-screen capacitive buttons with the familiar back, Windows and search setup. Just like Android, you're looking at a black bar at the bottom of the screen with all three buttons present.

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While most of the Windows Phone world is focused on Nokia’s big move, we can’t forget (or dismiss) some of the other OEMs who are bringing new devices to market. Such is the case with Huawei and the Ascend W2, a device which was initially rumored to be a worthy flagship contender but has since dropped to mid-range status.

While the specs of the device make this on par with the Lumia 720, Huawei does bring something new to the table: colored LED capacitive buttons, dependent on your Accent color of choice.

We’re not going to lie, that’s a pretty unique and innovative feature that we would have predicted Nokia to have come up with. In short, when a user changes the Accent color in Windows Phone 8 to one of the 20 pre-set color patterns, the Back, Windows and Search key will also reflect that color choice.

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We've heard our fair share of complaints about the capacitive buttons found on many Windows Phones, specifically that it's easy to accidentally touch one, throwing the user into a Bing search screen and usually killing whatever task was on hand. Samsung has tried to address this on the Focus with a firmware update--basically if you're actively touching the screen and you drag your finger, touching one of the capacitive buttons won't engage them.

Long Zheng of ChevronWP7 and Speedo Plus fame, has posted an ingenious method on his blog iStartedSomething that resembles "...the tap-and-hold gesture found on the desktop version of Windows" and for us, reminds us greatly of the Xbox Kinect's selection/confirmation method.

Zheng's method involves holding down the Search button, whereby a search icon overlays on the screen. While holding the button, you wait 1.5 seconds for the circle to complete its animation thereby launches Bing. If the user takes their finger off before the animation is complete, nothing happens. Zheng correctly notes that this will add a nice buffer between the user and the device, insuring less accidental hits. One could also imagine this as an option under Settings, much like Search button via Lock Screen in Mango.

We think it's a pretty brilliant idea that can be easily implemented on current devices. You folks?

Source: iStartedSomething

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