The T-Mobile Sidekick’s Jump button made mobile multitasking easy | Tech News

247057 Sidekick Jump Button Botm Shollister 0012.jpg

Before the iPhone, before Android, before webOS, a revolutionary soap bar of a phone made it incredibly easy to get shit done. The Danger Hiptop, better known as the T-Mobile Sidekick, made the internet portable and affordable like no phone before.

It introduced cloud sync long before iCloud, popularized unlimited data and real web browsing on mobile, and made instant messaging and email a breeze thanks to its landscape hardware keyboard.

But the Sidekick doesn’t get enough credit for one physical button that tied the whole phone together: the Jump key.

Most remember the swiveling screen, but there was much more to a Sidekick. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge.

On modern phones, opening an app usually means tapping on a notification or hunting for the correct homescreen icon. To do, you have to see. Before the Sidekick, the hunt-and-peck was also harder than today: it meant physically pressing down with a stylus on a resistive Palm Pilot or Windows Mobile touchscreen.

But in 2002, the Hiptop’s Jump button turned multitasking into muscle memory. Every Sidekick shipped with both preset and programmable keyboard shortcuts, letting you “Jump” to any app.

I would type up my notes in the middle of college classrooms, Jump+B my way to the web browser to look something up, Jump+N back to my notepad, Jump+I to chat on AOL Instant Messenger with pals, then Jump+E to email the notes…

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