iPad interface quirk: scrolling frames lack scrollbars

The other day, my friend Geoff reported an iPad fail: an inability to scroll within a frame for a hotel login page, and similarly an inability to scroll in a Google Reader frame.

Geoff’s as expert as they come, with computers in general and with Apple products too. He waited in line to get his iPad. But he couldn’t figure out how to scroll these frames: scrolling by dragging a finger just scrolled the overall page, not the frame.

The solution is simple: scroll with two fingers in parallel, within the frame.

This is actually documented in the iPad user guide, which is bookmarked in Safari on iPad. One of the perils of a device this easy to use is that nobody reads the manual!

The interface is still quirky: no visible scroll bars even suggest that content overflows the frame. This does save screen real estate, precious on a 9.7″ screen. But it can definitely lead to overlooking content, if you don’t know that there even is anything to scroll.

Fix Chromium’s “Open in New Tab” behavior

I’ve started using daily builds of Chromium for most of my Mac and Linux-based browsing, largely to see where it is and give it a try, but also because it seems nearly as good as Firefox with a couple of known exceptions. (For now, those exceptions are printing, SSL, and Adblock Plus.)

The only thing truly driving me nuts is its open-in-new-tab behavior: if you click to open a new tab (in the background), Firefox will open a new tab at the end of your existing set of tabs. Chromium, by contrast, will insert the new tab immediately after the current tab.

The difference amounts to breadth-first versus depth-first searches, and Google’s behavior is less useful than Firefox’s behavior, even if you don’t think that standard is better than better. Here’s why: Continue reading

An odd BlackBerry shortcoming

I’m not sure why I can’t easily undelete items on my BlackBerry. Ten minutes after I decide I can wait until I’m at my desk I realize I should have replied before I pressed the delete key.

There’s a “deleted items” folder that’s always empty, but nothing else apparent in the UI. Perhaps I’m missing something obvious, but I’ve looked and looked and can’t find it.

I don’t like the BlackBerry UI at all (though it’s better than my old Motorola pager!) but this seems like an odd oversight even for RIM.