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Time and a word - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Time and a word
Does anybody know whether there exists a way of timing the writing/sending of a text message? Ideally it'd be some kind of stopwatch that you could set with a keypress and unset once you'd finished (so in fact you'd be able to use it to time other things on your phone as well, but call timing is already built-in for most phones and I'm not sure what else would be useful). Basically I'm interested to know how long it takes people to write and send (without using a template) short messages like "Yes", "No", "Thanks", and "Busy, will reply later". Obviously everybody's typing speed differs, so I guess I'd want to collect data from as many people as possible to get an average speed.
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bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: December 22nd, 2003 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know of any way of timing such a thing, but I imagine it wouldn't be hard with two people and a watch with seconds/a second hand.

Are you taking predictive text into account?
j4 From: j4 Date: December 22nd, 2003 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd need to know whether or not the person had used predictive text, when they submitted their times, yes.

I'd be interested to see if it does in fact slow other people down as much as it slows me down; or whether it only makes them faster because they care less about the message making sense. (I've frequently been reduced to looking at the letter-groupings on the phone keys to try to work out what somebody actually meant, when they've sent me predictive-text SMSs; there are a lot of four-key words which have loads of different possible letters, and predictive texting doesn't grok context.) I guess I could just ask them, but I tend to assume that if they don't have time to send a message that makes sense then they certainly won't have time to send another message to clarify the first message!
martling From: martling Date: December 22nd, 2003 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
For most older phones this is effectively impossible.

On Symbian based phones (including for example the more advanced Nokias - 7650 etc - and SonyEricsson P800/900) there is an API to access the SMS features so it would be possible to write an alternative SMS application with this feature, or a general timing app (in fact, the latter probably already exists).

On PalmOS based devices (basically just the Treos) the situation is probably similar.

Less advanced stuff like the Nokia 6310i and others from the last 18 months or so will run small Java apps, but the timing would be ruined by the sheer time it takes to load & faff with them.
j4 From: j4 Date: December 22nd, 2003 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah. Thank you! The timing thing is impossible on my phone, then, but possible if I do ever get round to getting the P800 (which is what I'm currently lusting after).

The Treo has a keyboard, though, rather than the grouped-letters number-keys setup that ordinary phones have; any timing data would have to take alternative input mechanisms into account.
martling From: martling Date: December 22nd, 2003 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Do I get to find out why you're interested?

There are probably figures on this already, somewhere in the bowels of the manufacturers' usability research groups.
j4 From: j4 Date: December 22nd, 2003 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Do I get to find out why you're interested?

Just idle curiosity, really.

There are probably figures on this already, somewhere in the bowels of the manufacturers' usability research groups.

I guess there probably are... I will go and hunt around.
julietk From: julietk Date: December 22nd, 2003 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I gather you should be lusting after the P900 instead. Several of the bugs/irritants in the P800 have been got rid of, and it's a nicer colour :-) I *want* one (though I do like my Treo).

Entirely based on how-things-feel, I think the Treo keyboard is *slightly* faster than T9, & quite a lot faster than non-T9. But I happily admit that this is a completely unscientific comment :-)
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: December 23rd, 2003 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Some phones have templates built in for just those sorts of messages; the answer might be shorter than you think...
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