Sunday, December 6, 2009

Consumer Confusion or Funny Feature?

In testing one of our apps on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, I ran across something I found to be funny. See that screen shot? The one that looks like the emulator when the camera application is launched?

Yeah, that's on the Archos device.

I find it funny because I know exactly where that came from. But consumers? They might get confused by this. Ideally, the camera Intent would do something useful to inform the user:
  • Provide a warning message that the device doesn't have a camera
  • Go directly to the gallery picker instead
Or is this the right behavior so developers can just be lazy and not worry about there being a camera on all devices? And that is the final problem: the device behaves as if it has a camera when it doesn't. It might be convenient for running apps that don't know about the device features, but it actually makes it harder for well written apps.

(P.S. I'm not trying to pick on the Archos device, specifically. It's just the only Android device I have that doesn't have a camera.)

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