Open Discussion (#3) - Shortcuts (#182) - Message List


Imho, shortcuts are essential elements of the Blackberry experience and I'm missing them when using Logicmail.

Some of the actions I use the most: Mark as read Multi-select Reply Forward

And since this is my first post, congratulations for developing this very useful app :)

  • Message #528

    I have implemented some shortcuts, matching the same documented keys as used by the built-in messaging applications. Specifically, I've implemented the following thus far:

    • Reply (R)
    • Reply all (L)
    • Forward (F)
    • Compose (C)

    (Above keys are for a QWERTY English keyboard, and will be different depending on the device and keyboard locale.)

    "Mark opened" is something that I simply forgot before putting 2.0 into beta (and string freeze, to hopefully bring translations up-to-date). Its already at least half-implemented under the covers, and will definitely be in 2.1. (May even sneak it into 2.0 if I can dig up all the necessary menu item strings.)

    Multi-select is something I haven't even attempted so far, and not something with an obvious implementation on the BlackBerry UI. Of course I am willing to entertain suggestions, but keep in mind that I need workable solutions for both touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices. (and preferably ones that can co-exist, given that hybrids are kinda common now)

    • Message #529

      Thank you for your detailed answer :) I've just noticed that most of these shortcuts only work when viewing a message, but not from the list view (where I was testing them). It would be great if they could all work from the list view as well, unless it's a lot of work and nobody else is interested ;).

      I see what you mean about multi-select and I didn't think about that. I've never used a touch device, but users probably don't need to press a button before being able to select multiple items like on a Bold and RIM's OS probably generates different events when the touch screen is being used...

      • Message #530

        Actually, those shortcuts do work from the mailbox (list) view. There's just one important caveat. They'll only work if the message has already been downloaded to the device. (If the envelope icon has a cut-off corner, then the message hasn't been downloaded.) The only workaround for this would have been to trigger a message download when pressing those buttons, which could very easily result in accidental application lag for the user. (Network latency is more substantial on mobile devices than people want to believe.)

        Of course from a usability perspective, I could implement a feature to automatically pre-download message contents when refreshing the mailbox. However that doesn't make sense unless its doing the majority of mailbox refreshes in the background. (I am considering an option for background message-loading as part of mega-item #79 for 2.1.)

        Multi-select definitely presents its own unique UI challenges. Given that the BB doesn't have a user-friendly way to "Hold down Ctrl, and click on a few things", you'd basically have to do the following:

        • Trigger some "Start selection mode" menu option or hot-key
        • Click on each item you want to select, marking them somehow
        • Trigger some multi-select action, or cancel the selection mode

        I haven't yet seen a good example of how someone has done this, except maybe for text-selection (where you're rolling a highlight over a block).

        The challenge touchscreens offer is that they make it a little harder to distinguish between "focus" and "click" (except with the Storm), and lack the ability to easily control the operation with hotkeys.