Oct 10, 2015

Pebble Time - a step backwards

Pebble Time Steel's display contrast is noticably worse than its younger brother - and it's smaller.

Jul 31, 2015

Pebble's menu can be re-ordered

•  Hold down the OK button
•  Tap up/down to move the item
•  Tap OK to place

May 26, 2014

Surface 2 can do the Pro 3 angle too

Missing that 150 degrees angle of the kickstand on your Surface (Pro) 2?
It can be pretty simple:

• Rotate the unit so that the top is towards you.
• Flip out the kickstand and simply insert your wallet or mobile phone behind it.

The button placement feel somewhat messy this way but that might not be an issue for you.

Feb 24, 2014

OneDrive - great features but unreliable

Updated February 24th 2014

I recently tried migrating from Dropbox to OneDrive but I had to abort after three days of trouble. I was tempted by the 200 GB of free storage (for two years) and especially the extremely useful and unique feature called "Make available online-only". This feature would allow me to not only save space on my limited local drive, OneDrive would also - and this was the killer-feature I really wanted - give me local access to all files just as if they were actually on my local drive. Yay! 

OneDrive leaves tiny "ghost files" locally that, when accessed, instantly downloads the real files seamlessly. This way only the files you use actually take up space. You can even see their file sizes, rename them, copy them or move ghost files without needing to download the real file. Great concept! I've been longing for this (and foreseeing it) for years.

I needed a desktop PC synced with a Surface Pro 2 (both on Windows 8.1) but it never worked. OneDrive (or rather the SkyDrive app) started crashing on Surface Pro 2 and it said 'All files up to date' even when 150 gigs were still not uploaded - and it didn't sync. I even reset it (skydrive.exe /reset) and ran thetroubleshooter (which asked me to move a symbolic link) and followed its suggestions. Nothing would fix it. The sync symbols appearing on folder/file icons stopped appearing even when the SkyDrive service host was still running. 

I ended up deleting everything from OneDrive and move it all back to Dropbox (which quickly recognized almost all the files and synced everything without having to download everything all over again). 

- Lets you "keep" all files locally without them taking up space (like a virtual huge local drive). 
- Great Windows 8 touch app - at least as good as the Dropbox app. 
- Built into Windows 8 and is quite easy to access from any app/file requester. 
- Office files can be edited online - like google docs. 

- You can't 'Make file available online-only' before it's uploaded (why not just queue it for this?). 
- Videos shared (for viewing) stutter or won't always play (contrary to Dropbox). 
- When the Android OneDrive app uploads photos/videos it renames them and changes photos slightly. This makes it really hard to compare photos on your mobile or in Dropbox with the (similar) ones in OneDrive. 
- Symbolic links do not work (though they seem to), and the user has no way of knowing this.
- Copies of conflicting files/ghost-files appear for no good reason (Dropbox would recognize they were identical). 
- Photos edited with Gallery on an Android Nexus device often end up broken in the OneDrive Camera roll (partly visible).

Feb 12, 2013

Only 23% User-friendly

Morten Just had a disappointing experience with his brand new printer.

He thought "why didn't it have a label on its packaging saying User-friendliness 23%" or similar?

Great idea for a law, huh?

Dec 27, 2012

iPad - super fast navigation

Positioning the cursor on the iPad can be slow

It doesn't have to be that way. Look at this guy's solution:

Pretty clever.

I linked to this navigation idea in my iPad typing review - but it deserves its own blog post :)

QWERTY-bar Android phones

List of phones with small keyboards - available or roumored

Updated August 2013

The perfect phone for me:

- Newest Android version
- Display resolution at least 480 x 320
- Portrait display (at least square)
- QWERTY keyboard
- Physical buttons only (no touch/haptic buttons)
- Arrow keys (at least right/left)

No phone today fulfills my requirements. Best match is NEC Terrain but it lacks arrow keys.

Check out GMS ARENA's full list or...

(loosers are in there too)

Phone calendars are too slow

Calendar efficiency test

The winner !

How hard can it be, huh? - surprisingly complex on some phones actually :)

Here are the results from my test sequences (the lower the better):

  7 actions: PalmOS (Centro/Treo)
10 actions: Palm webOS (Pre) 
11 actions: Windows Phone 8 NEW!
11 actions: Blackberry 8800
11 actions: Android v4.2 NEW!
13 actions: iOS 6.01 (iPhone) NEW!
13 actions: Android v2.3
13 actions: iOS 5 (iPhone)

  7 actions: PalmOS (Centro/Treo)
  8 actions: Windows Phone 8 NEW!
  9 actions: Android v4.2
  9 actions: iOS 6.01 (iPhone) NEW!

I tested this sequence of calendar actions:
  • Unlock phone (security locks disregarded/disabled)
  • Create an appointment called OK (uppercase) today at 14:00 (any duration)
  • Lock the phone again.
I was using the basic out-of-the-box setup - the default unlock screen, default Home-screen, default calendar app etc.

Here's a typical excessive sequence of actions on a touch device:
  1. Press Power On button.
  2. Swipe to unlock.
  3. Press Home button.
  4. Press Home again to reach main-home - or swipe/scroll to your calendar icon.
  5. Tap Calender icon.
  6. Tap Today if it doesn't show today.
  7. Tap New appointment or tap 14:00 twice.
  8. Tap on appointment Title to show touch keyboard.
  9. Tap O
  10. Tap Shift
  11. Tap K
  12. Scroll to event time if it's not in view.
  13. Tap time (if number 7 was New appointment).
  14. Scroll to 14 (counts as 1 1/2 or 2 actions I'd say).
  15. Tap OK to confirm time.
  16. Tap Done/Save or Back.
  17. Power off.

webOS and PalmOS

Centro/Treo and Palm Pre compared - Undo has disappeared
(November 2009)

At the time of this review webOS was at version 1.3.1

Palm Treo/Centro (with PalmOS) are much faster to use than the their big brother Palm Pre. On the Treo/Centro it feels like everything is happening instantly - no waiting. On the Pre everything looks much cooler but happens in slow motion. You're constantly waiting for it to let you get on with what you want.

The question is wether you can accept the huge slow-down and lack of Undo to get those new web/cloud-features in a visually cooler look, a nicer looking device.

Below + means good and ÷ means bad.

+ Keyboard slighty better/larger than the Palm Centro
+ Nice weight - feels good in the palm.
+ Uses the same batteries as Palm Centro.

÷ Easily slips out of your hand.
÷ Keyboard won't close if you drag on the lowest third of the screen.
÷ Starts creaking after 1-2 weeks use.
÷ Battery time 2 hours of heavy use (w/o WiFi).
÷ No compass.

You position the cursor by tapping (very unprecise) or "finetune" by holding the orange button and touch-scroll.

+ WebOS look cool - up there with iPhone.
+ Zooming is smooth.
+ Back is always the same action/position - unlike iPhone.

÷ No rotation/orientation (icons etc).
÷ Cursor fine-positioning can't be done with one hand.
÷ Cursor up/down fine-positioning is much too sensitive. You often scroll one line up or down by mistake.
÷ Cursor sideway fine-positioning is too sensitive. You must be so careful that it's slow to hit just the right place.
÷ When fine-positioning the cursor (orange button held) tapping still works. This often leads to unwanted jumps in the cursor position as you move your finger away.
÷ Card view button / upwards swipe are redundant. One could go directly to launcher.

+ Language can be set to 'English (United States)'.
+ You can set default length of calendar events - e.g. 30 minutes (PalmOS can't).
+ You can always lock the keyboard/phone - anywhere in the OS.

÷ Supports only some Danish networks (e.g. TDC and Telenor Denmark). May require expert knowledge to get GPRS, SMS and MMS to work (Linux, SQL).
÷ Firmware does NOT support 3 Denmark's data settings. Requires expert hacking.
÷ No contact groups.
÷ No Undo - anywhere (PalmOS has had it for years!).
÷ When set to Danish formats clock says 12.40 - instead of 12:40
÷ Ranging text requires two hands (hold Shift and slide a finger on the screen).

÷ Some repeating Google calender appointemnts are shown the following day.
÷ Browser doesn't fit content on WAP / text only sites intended for mobile devices (e.g. http://slashdot.org/palm and http://m.rejseplanen.dk). Instead their text is so tiny you can't read it and all text is on only line - no wrapping to screen.
÷ Calendar events cannot be dragged to another day nor can you change their duration without opening it.

+ Calendar events can be moved up/down (start time) in day view.
+ @ has its own key.
+ Sound quality generally OK.
+ Contacts list can be sorted on first name (old PalmOS can't)
+ Text files can be opened/read using DocView.
+ DocView fits text to screen when you zoom in (takes a second).
+ CC + BCC is possible.

Sony Arc S

Light-weight hardware - buttons and software sligthly broken
(November 2011)

Due to it's many issues I ended up installing CyanogenMod 7.2 - a community version of Android (and a great bootloader with backup features - Clockwork Mod). Overall it's better now, but no panorama-cam and less smooth scrolling/zooming. Also video recording only works if you install the app, igCamera and CD-quality audio recordings are suddenly more "distorted". It became useful again after it sofficial update to Android 4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwich.

- The screen looks good and is clevery positioned close the bottom which - despite that its too tall (no one-hand-touchphone should have a screen larger then 4 inches) - makes its top reachable with only little discomfort and slow-down.

- It feels generally responsive (especially after turning off all animations).

- It does not have auto-brightness.

- It has no SMS app - only a universial Messagning app (mail, sms) that ignores my animations off setting and feels slow due to unnecessary animations. To send an SMS with as few actions as the stock Android SMS app you must search for the contacts and tap Send Message (here it shows non-mobile numbers too) - and then tap to get the keyboard. It think this takes 1-2 more actions than the normal SMS app.

- Its three Android-buttons are plastic-flimsy and must be pressed in the center to work reliably.

- Its Sony-tweaked calendar show all my nine calendars in the same color... PINK!!! :( (no other tweaked Android calendar dears to throw away the user's carefully chosen colors). Also it can't default to open Day-view (happens in the ICS update - Android 4 - too).

- SMS notifications can damage your hearing if you've set volume to max in the street and later use a headset and receive an SMS. BANG it blasts through your ears at max volume :(

- htc headsets don't work even though they have the exact same plug. Sony has the courtesy to pop up "Accessory not supported".

- The headset that comes with effectively blocks out other sounds (not always a good thing).

- Its headphone/set and charging plug is on its SIDE which makes it unusable in your pocket with other non-Arc headphones/cables that don't have an L angled plug shape.

- Its pattern lockscreen isn't replacing the unlock slider. FIRST you must slide to unlock, THEN you must slide to unlock again (your pattern).

- Its music-player can't NOT loop.

- Unlike htc Android phones the Sony-tweaked contacts app you can't add contact groups.

- Its power button is almost impossible to reach comfortably and fast.

- times are set using the much loathed and slow wheels. No way to quickly type a time.

- All sony's headsets/plugs are non-standard so that...
1) ...they can't be used in other phones, laptops or music players :(
2) ...other normal earplugs - like iPod's - don't work with Sony phones :(

HTC Android 2011 flashback

Android on HTC phones as of June 2011 - lacking but promising
(June 2011)

Tested on htc phones: Hero, ChaCha (aka Status), Click (aka Tattoo), Buzz (aka Wildfire) with original and developers ROMs.

Android is generally a stable and fairly mature (partly) cloud syncing platform. It still lacks simple/basic stuff as Undo and ToDo/tasks but has many useful features. Overall it looks fine and loading times seldomly slow you down. The software doesn't help you position the cursor (it lacks arrow-keys) but does a better job than e.g. iOS and webOS. Also it doesn't sync everything (only your mail and contacts - no bookmarks, SMS'es, apps, home-screen icon etc.) so moving to a new Android phone isn't smooth.

One click on the home button _always_ brings up the home screen (unlike in webOS which requires two actions and iOS that sometimes has as folder blocking the home-screen icons). The entire home screen software can easily be changed though - it's called a "launcher".

- There's no easy access to brightness - you must add a widget which is rather comprehensive. Many brightness apps often don't work on some phones.
- Lowest brightness too bright at night on many phones (htc ChaCha seems OK though).
- The caller's voice in the headset is often WAY too loud even when set to mininum volume. SMS or ringing sounds aren't dampened on phones so they hurt your ears and might even give you heart attack.
- No silent profile settings - e.g. sms and reminders cannot override silent mode - not even as vibration while ringer is off.
- Sometimes the calendar opens week view. Sometimes day view. Sometimes it shows tomorrow, sometimes today. It should always go to today in time view.
- Date not shown in header beside the time (only in the notification area).

SMS'es aren't fully shown in notfications or lock screen even when no other notifications are present and the notification area is blank. Also there's no reply button - it takes at least two clicks to read the entire message or three to reply (PalmOS requires no clicks to read, one click to reply but interrupts with a pop-up - Android could've easily had been one action to read, two to reply).

- Calendar doesn't sync or search more han 1-2 months in the past (webOS and iOS has the same problem. Old PalmOS searches/syncs ANY year).
- Calendar events that repeat, often syncs a day early (timezone bug?). Their reminders always happen on midnight or - if set to e.g. 12 hours before the event - at noon a day too early.
- Calendar reminders always set per default - manually remove necessary for each event.
- Calendar reminders easily overlooked.
- In a calendar event you must scroll all the way down to reach Save which is slow - and inconsistent - since in a contact you can just press menu and Save is there.
- Timezone say Amsterdam in an event even though you chose copenhagen in google calendar online (might be only in Android 1.6).
- Weekly events sync 1 hr too early (might be only in Android 1.6).
- Repeating events (e.g. weekly) where you delete one instance still show up on Android on the free day.
- The colors aren't the same as in google calendar (eg grey becomes blue).
- If you are creating a new calendar appointment and a reminder pops up and you dismiss it, the appointment you were creating is deleted - along with the text you wrote. If you're editing an existing appointment the changes are lost.

- The middle name isn't always shown - not all letters of the name are shown. No way to shrink font / scroll or break the line.
- Editing contact: home deletes data! Back saves (in email home saves as draft).
- No way to add webpage to contact.
- After editing/saving a contact note, the changes don't show until you reopen it.
- Contact-notes area is way too small - only line only even though your note is 20 lines (only in Android 1.6).

- Copy-paste from email puts all text on one line (line breaks are removed).
- No way to collect mails from all mail accounts - one at the time only (4 clicks/actions each).

- Global auto rotate / orientation ignored in browser - always auto-rotates to the left (perhaps only in Android 1.6).
- In the browser the status bar (time, signal strength, notifications etc.) is hidden on some Android versions.- Tapping or scrolling brings up zoom buttons but they often block the view for too long.

HTC ChaCha (aka Status)

A QWERTY android phone with big issues
(July 2011)

Currently this is the ONLY Android phone on the market with QWERTY and both arrow keys and at least a 480 x 320 LCD.

Check for yourself - click here to see all QWERTY-bar Android phones.

The QWERTY / hardware keyboard is the flimsiest I've tried yet. I've had Palm Treo, Centro, Pre, Motorola Charm, Pro/Fire and two Blackberries. These are ALL superior button feel-wise.

The keys are OK but it's easy to press a key without meaning too.

The left arrow key only clicks and feels right when pushed on its left side or directly from above. This is very unfortunate since you mostly push it on its right side (after using the other arrows) where it doesn't click and feels wrong. I confirmed this bug on three ChaChas in HTC's concept store hands-on in Copenhagen.

The ChaCha easily dropped vertically - the dry metal is edge-less/grip-less - almost like the Pre but ChaCha feels "dry" and slippery even in sweaty hands.

The screen is good, the touchscreen reacts consitently (unlike Charm and Wildfire/Buzz where touch don't work when they're lying on a table - and on some chargers. Touch works ONLY when they're held) and the angled/bend shaped looks nice. The software speed/response is fine, the cam and video quality is good. speaker is sharp though. Volume buttons are impossible to use without looking - can't feel them.

You often hit Home, Menu, Back or Search by mistake when tapping on buttons at the bottom of the screen or swiping/scrolling up/down on images or webpages.

The blue symbols (reached with Alt/Fn) are invisible/impossible to see outdoors when keyboard light is on :(

The phone is slippery - easily dropped.

The micro-USB charger plug/slot has gotten so loose after 2-3 weeks use that I can't recharge. I'm returning the phone if I can :(

Keyboard is too soft. Too easy to hit two buttons my mistake.

Selections made using shift + arrow keys can ONLY be deleted - not copy pasted (wtf?). Also double-tap on a word to select it doesn't work on this particular phone.

On other android phones I've had no memory issues but there's a memory leak in ChaCha so after a week or two you run out of mem even with all apps moved to the SD card. hopefully a system update will fix this soon.

Sometimes it instantly deletes the whole text because Fn (called Alt outside europe) before Del means erase ALL - this happens when you don't know that Fn is on and want to delete a letter - PUFF the whole dang text is gone (and unlike iPad - no undo :( ).

Delivery reports are a nuisance / unusable as the sound like an SMS with no way to turn off the sound.

It often pastes an extra space before the copied text.

Snooze dismisses an event reminder. When I drag the snooze icon into the "unlock circle" the event never re-appears. I think this bug might be in the time-zone. I use time-zone Amsterdam/Berlin or Central European time to my events (Copenhagen is missing).

Very often when writing an SMS and you type a phone number or another number you tap Fn/Alt and then Del meaning to delete a letter. But this deletes your ENTIRE text with no undo :( VERY frustrating to loose an entire SMS.

Delivery reports sound like an SMS. When turned on there's no way to turn off the sound without loosing the SMS sound too. You can't even remove the notification and still keep the delivery check-marks on each SMS.

Browser page height seems wrong/too small in mobile Gmail so I can't reach most of my labels.

The Arrow Right key only clicks / feels good when pushed on its left side or directly from above. This is very unfortunate since you mostly push it on its right side (after using the other arrows) where it doesn't click and feels wrong.

Speaker ringer volume set to max ALSO rings at max volume in the headphones! This damages your ears (and might give you a heart-attack). Headphone ringer volume should never damage your hearing no matter what the speaker ringer volume is (a general bug on all Android phones).

The calendar's day-view can't scroll past 22 o'clock if you have 4 all-day events or more.

You can't change the date of repeating events (only the time). You must un-repeat it first for no obvious reason.

Cursor often doesn't appear in browser (e.g. here) and arrow keys don't work until you tap the cursor.

Browser often quits instantly and closes all Windows. This way you often loose work.

Tapping a symbol on the full-screen symbol page sometimes make the symbol float and freeze on top of the app. You must tap Home to get rid of it.

Often when you tap the browser URL it opens a blank search field instead of the web address.

When typing numbers while holding down Fn/Alt the language setting appears obstructing your work. The language setting should never appear unless space is the FIRST key after pressing Fn/Alt.

No way to turn off auto cap.

Pressing shift to avoid auto capital after full stop doesn't work. You must tap shift THREE times to type a small letter.

When I delete a photo on the SDcard from Windows it stays in the gallery but doesn't work.

I've removed my Sense account to save internal storage. I can't change the shortcuts on the lockscreen.

Opening a spam email (by mistake) shows its externally linked images too. This informs the spammer that you opened it and you get ALOT more spam because of this bug.

Auto caps doesn't show on cursor so you don't know it it's on or not.

It often pastes an extra space before the copied text.

Double-tap on a word to select it doesn't work.

Often while I'm writing an SMS the view changes into a multi-select messages for deletion.Very frustrating.

Often when writing an SMS the view jumps away and deactivates the text input. It seems to happen randomly or perhaps when something in the background changes (a new sms or email perhaps).

With over three all-day events the day view can't scroll past 22'o clock.

I can't write the letters é and á. Both are used in the Danish language and they don't appear when pressing the SYM key. Also ü and à are missing. A couple of times I got a small international letter menu (e.g. in an SMS) with the missing letters but can't reproduce it. It's there but broken.

When I use Shift + arrows keys to select text the selection disappears when I want to cut/copy it. Holding my finger on the selection just removes my selection :( There's no way to copy/cut/paste a selection made using the arrow keys.

Half the time adding WAVs or MP3s as notifications or ringtones doesn't work. The WAV simply doesn't appear after being added.

You can't select text on e.g. http://m.facebook.com - the highlight disappears instantly.

Your phone is too big

Phone size can slow you down
(December 2011)

Areas in red can't be reached easily

If the top of the display is further than 9 cm from the bottom of the phone most people can't comfortably reach the whole display with one hand.

And what about the power button on the top?

iPad touch keyboard

Not as easy as you might think
David Filskov (December 2011)

I was using an iPad 2 with English layout for this review.
I can live with the iPad's in many ways inefficient layout - and I use my laptop a lot less.
I've tried typing on several Android devices and they aren't much better than the iPad. Different but equal amount of quirks.
I've designed my own keyboard now.

It takes a while getting used to not using Shift to reach common symbols like ( / @ - ' " : etc. Since Apple didn't use Shift it takes THREE taps (not two) to type a symbol. And underscore (and others) often requires FOUR taps.
Confusingly - and for no obvious reason - comma and full stop both move to new keys when you write digits. Why?
Holding Backspace works nicely to begin with but after a little while it starts deleting HUGE blocks of text. Luckily you have Undo and even Redo.

...is a pain in the b... Or rather: You don't correct typos. You re-write the whole word.
There's no Delete key - only Backspace. Therefore it's important that position the cursor is very fast and easy. However, it requires you to pause and hold down your finger - and then move it. This slows you down and prevents you from instantly doing what you want (place the cursor - not wait). Also the precision required is horrible. No zooming in to make it easier (there's a magnifying glass but that's just to show what you're doing - not lessen the required precision). Instead you end up double-clicking a misspelled word and simply type it all over again.
Often the Select menu appears when you try to position the cursor. This blocks the text and takes an extra tap to get rid of.
Here's the solution (Apple, are you reading this?)
My typing speed is not bad after a week (and even though I'm Danish I use the English layout since the three extra Danish character/keys make all keys even smaller).

To start selecting text requires you to tap twice on the exact same spot - not that easy. Often you simply move the cursor a litte instead. It makes it especially frustrating since you have to wait (yes, waiting once again) before you know if you did it right and the text selection buttons pop up - or nothing/something else happens.

It's a huge frustration to type in a 1- or 2-line text area. You want to position the cursor but the text starts scrolling up or down. This causes the cursor to move even when you hold your finger still. Almost impossible to use - and remember you finger is often blocking the text while this happens.

Google Nexus S

Perfect size and weight - horrible touchscreen
David Filskov (August 2012)

The slow touchscreen makes this phone slower and more buggy to use than any other capacitive touchscreen phone I've tried. Too bad since many other aspects of Nexus S are good.

- Weight and size are just perfect.
- Smooth enough graphics - faster when animations are off (in dev. options).
- Good video quality (not HD but close) but lousy indoors - too dark.
- Audio-recording somewhat noisy and easily distorts since input is a bit too loud.
- Great screen (LCD). Impressive black-level - almost like an OLED.
- Best auto-brightness I've ever seen - never too bright like all other phones - even in dark places.

Touch-screen seriously lagging - Samsung had it for repair and confirmed "No faults detected". It's MEANT to be lagging :(

Nexus S almost NEVER responds to light touches :(

I ALWAYS have to type slowly and firmly to make it each touch register.
Another broken behaviour about Nexus S' touchscreen (or the driver) is that swipes aren't registered until 3-4 millimeters into the swipe :(
This means short swipes are often interpreted as taps stopping the motion :(

Get this: I even had mine sent to repairs but they said Samsung tested it and claimed there were no faults whatsoever!

I'm gessing it's a badly badly designed driver - Google's way of avoiding "accidential taps".

Not sure I'd ever buy another Samsung or google branded phone. Only after THOROUGH testing of that touchscreen.
Camera sucks. Indoor shots are shaky and dark or too exposed :( - also the preview after taking a picture is wrong! It doesn't show what you captured - it shows another photo taken a tiny bit later. What a bug.
Loudspeaker distorts very easily.

Windows 8 on a tablet

Good old Windows programs - but the swiping sucks
David Filskov (April 2012)

I was running Windows 8 on an Asus Eee Slate EP121 for this review.

In Windows 8 you must swipe from outside the screen an onto it to reach the most important functions. This, however, is working badly. Very often the active app thinks you're simply swiping inside the screen area and reacts accordingly - often with a fatal (data-wise) result. Also a swipe or a tap close to the edge (e.g. when tapping the space-bar) is sometimes interpreted as a swipe starting outside the screen and performs the unwanted function - often with a loss of work as a result.
The outside-the-screen-swiping should be changed and re-thought.

The swipe from the bottom happens very often when you tap the space-bar on the software keyboard (and believe me, you type space a LOT) - this closes the keyboard and brings up a menu. Mind you that's while you're typing away, so what's happening is the content you're typing away, so what's happening is the content menu shows and you tap 3-4 times on it before realizing the keyboard is gone and you're activating all sorts of things :(

A swipe from the left edge leaves me with several shortcuts scattered around my folders when used on the desktop. This happens because the navigation pane in Explorer is positioned in the left side. When the swipe fails (it often does) you drag an icon from the navigation pane to your currently open folder creating a shortcut or a copy - often without knowing.
When browsing in metro-style IE the left edge-swipe simply goes back because a left-to-right swipe means Back. I've spent lots of time re-filling web forms on this account.

Perhaps a solution could be to expand the touch area to outside the screen (if Apple hasn't patented it). Swipes starting outside the screen might be catched this way and blocked from the active app. This might not prevent that typing a space can invoke the upwards swipe feature, though, but one might hope so.