A few days ago Jeff Gordon, a Senior Communications Manager at HTC, poked fun at Google’s Nexus 7 with a joke regarding a broken Double Tap feature, or lack of one. It my well have just been a cheap jibe which was then exacerbated by a mis-firing Nexus PR team, but it begs the question, just how much does anyone really care about being able to double tap your phone to wake it up, and could it possibly be just another check box feature that nobody cares about? I tend to lean towards the latter.
Gordon is an a very active Twitter user and two days ago a delivered a tweet was devised to have a wee joke at Google’s expense. Check it out below:
Of course, his tweet is entirely disingenuous and misleading. Not that you would know that from the reaction of the person who is in charge of the Nexus Twitter account:
I won’t bore you by reproducing the retort from Gordon, but needless to say, he thought he was getting the last laugh. However, I still find it quite amazing that a feature like double tap is even worthy of such one-upmanship. If you want to claim a score against your competitors on screen resolution, or battery life, or perhaps processor power, or in fact any truly significant feature or technical spec, then ok. Take a bow. Enjoy the acclaim. But double tap? For me it is at best a minor issue, and at worst nothing but a total pest.
The OnePlus One for example has been one of the best smartphones we have ever reviewed. It has pretty much everything that a true flagship smartphone needs and we love it. However, the double tap feature almost drove me insane after a while. The screen sensitivity is incredible, which makes for a great touchscreen experience but it also makes it very sensitive when in your pocket. The number of times I have taken the One out of my pocket to find that the screen is alive and has been been taking photos of my butt, are numerous. And the One is not alone. Several phones I have tested have the same issue. Double tap can be a real problem in the pocket – of this I am convinced.
This has gotten to the point that I am now inclined to completely opt out of double tap. Why? Few devices implement it well (the HTC One M8 is on that list too…) and I actually know few people who use it, and even more who simply don’t care. Swipe to unlock is a much better option for me personally. When I see a marketing guy have a crack at another company about such a feature, an arbitrary tick box feature that they did invent or pioneer, I just kind of cringe.
HTC have had plenty of problems in the past with executing an effective global marketing strategy, and have historically benefited from their relationship with Google, indeed they manufactured the first ever Android phone, the G1. They are also rumored to be the manufacturer of the next Nexus tablet device. Is Mr. Gordon aware of any of this, or did he miss a meeting?
Apparently Jeff doesn’t miss a beat and he has let us know exactly where he stands!
I love my Nexus 7. I use it every night to read Kindle books and listen to music. I also use an HTC One (M8) as my phone all day long, and love its double tap to wake feature. I find myself now double tapping the Nexus 7 and other devices, including other HTC phones, out of force of habit.
My tweet was a joke based on my real-world experiences, not an attempt to be “disingenuous and misleading” or “one-upmanship.” Unfortunately, Mr. Haston has this story wrong since he never asked me for clarification.
It is true, we never reached out to find out what exactly his intentions were with his statements and perhaps shouldn’t have been so quick to pounce.