I like tactile buttons, the kind that give me a bit of response when I push them and can be found in the dark. (Example: If I want to activate Siri in the car while my phone is in my coat pocket, I can find the iPhone's Home button just by touch.)
However, most Android phones (a notable exception being the Samsung Galaxy series) lack physical control buttons save for power and volume. Wouldn't it be cool if you could just slap on some extras?
You can; it's called Dimple. About the size of a small Band-Aid, this deceptively simple sticker adds four programmable buttons to Android phones and tablets. Just apply it to the back of your device or case (as long as it's non-metal), then use the Dimple app to set up the buttons.
There's only one catch, at least on paper: Dimple requires near-field communication or NFC, a feature not every phone or tablet has. (NFC World has a fairly comprehensive list of those that do.)
On the flipside, if your device does have it, you're golden. Dimple requires no battery of its own, instead relying on the magic power that emanates from NFC. (Who knew, am I right?) Similarly, it utilizes NFC for its very functionality, not Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The four buttons can be programmed for a wide variety of functions. Among the examples listed on the Dimple website: launch favorite apps, control music playback, turn on the flashlight, call a contact, toggle Bluetooth, and so on.
The Dimple is due to go on sale in August, with an Indiegogo campaign scheduled to kick off May 6. Early birds will be able to get in for anywhere from $15 to $27, with an expected $29 retail price. Update: The Indiegogo campaign is now live.
I'm not even using an Android phone right now, and I totally want one of these. If nothing else, it proves the value of NFC technology, something I wasn't previously sold on. Your thoughts?