No thumbing for the iPhone

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Thanks to some commentary from an iPhone tester, Engadget’s got great info on the touchscreen and virtual keypad. In short, the keypad sucks. You have to press pretty hard, and if you use your thumbs, it registers contact across multiple keys. So unless you enjoy typing like your grandmother who’s seen a keyboard for the first time and is looking for the darned ‘Q’ button, most consumers interested in text input will skip the iPhone. Straight from the tester’s mouth: “It won’t replace a BlackBerry. It’s not good for text input. It’s just not a business product.”

  • Eshwar
    @Samurai - I disagree. No matter how well you design a software keyboard it still won't have the experience of using real keys. Apple will do doubt use all kind of prediction to make it as painless as possible, but I still feel virtual keyboards cannot beat a "real" keyboard. I have said it many times in the past, that this is one factor blackberry users will not compromise on. I looked at the video too and some of the features are simply fantastic (esp the audio selection which they call "cover flow").

    I think Blackberry will still remain the best messaging device, which apple's iphone will be the best entertainment + phone device. One thing perhaps future blackberries should do is bundle apps like Google maps, IM(s) etc and not have it as separate downloads.

    Apple does run OSX. But it is only beneficial to users as long as 3rd party app developers are allowed to use it. Just running AJAX applications through safari isn't useful at all.
  • Samurai
    I can't wait to see the sales figures for the Blackberry one year after the iphone has been around. The U/I (user interface) will of course have to be modified if you were a Blackberry user but the benefits of the other features far outway this inconvenience. The iphone is running OSX and the flexibility to alter it's U/I can be alter thru software. The keypad will only get better with software upgrades.
  • Apple also has a 20 minute demo video of the iPhone up, where (at about half way through) they mention that "it's easiest to start typing with your index finger, but after a week or so you'll be thumbing away like a star" ( I'm paraphrasing here ^_^ )

    So by their own admission, thumb typing is at least something that will take a bit to learn. Not sure it can be any harder/angering than my Pearl's sure-type or my old Razr's multi-tap.
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