Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Apr 2013 16:27 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless The Verge reviews the BlackBerry Q10: "Maybe you're here for the keyboard. As superb as the Q10's physical keyboard is, I keep thinking about the six-year evolution of the soft keyboard since the introduction of the original iPhone. They've gotten so good on every platform - iOS, Windows Phone, Android, even BlackBerry's own Z10. The argument used to be that physical keyboards were for serious users who needed to burn through email, and I just don't think that holds water anymore. Yes, this is the best of a dying breed, but for the life of me, I don't know why someone who's accustomed to a full-touch phone would come back to this." I disagree. Touchscreen keyboards have not improved considerably at all - in fact, I find them just as terrible and unpleasant to use as when they were first introduced on Palm OS and Windows Mobile. A properly designed hardware keyboard - preferably landscape (like on the E7), but portrait will do too - will always run circles around those frustrating software keyboards. Major respect to BlackBerry for sticking to their guns. To anyone making a quality phone with a landscape hardware keyboard (rebadge an E7 for all I care) running Android or Windows Phone: please, take my money. Please.
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I've been reading OS News for nearly 15 years at this point...

And the reason? Thom (and Eugenia before him) has always been great at covering OS-related topics from a nuanced perspective; neither blindly trend-du-jour nor ostentatiously contrarian.

And he's right about hardware keyboards on smartphones, they need to come back in a big way. I've tried nearly every soft keyboard on Android and all of the iPhones through to the 5. There is just no substitute for the tactile responsiveness of physical buttons.

The real test is this: Can you reliably touch-type on your soft keyboard - without looking at the screen? I could do this on my yesteryear Blackberries and Nokia E-series devices.

(Oh, I did contribute to the Minuum Kickstarter, so we'll see how that goes...)

Edited 2013-04-29 18:06 UTC

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