Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:52 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, one of its most prominent and most controversial features was the on-screen keyboard. In as world dominated by devices with physical keyboards, it was seen as a joke, something that could never work. We know better by now, of course, but while I still prefer the physical feel and clicks of a real keyboard, a recent new endeavour of mine has made me appreciate the on-screen keyboard in a whole new way.
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Too much credit to Apple
by Priest on Thu 25th Oct 2012 17:17 UTC
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Once you accept the idea of having a touch screen device moving the keyboard to the screen becomes obvious. My GPS for instance is a flat touch screen device with a keyboard that existed before the iPhone. Even other touch screen phones (with keyboards, like Prada) existed before the iPone. I don't think it is fair to say it was "seen as a joke" before the iPhone.

This is an interesting read:

Apple basically succeeded in picking a good time to enter the market but touch screen phones (even with keyboards) were happening with or without them.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Too much credit to Apple
by Alfman on Thu 25th Oct 2012 18:04 in reply to "Too much credit to Apple"
Alfman Member since:


"I don't think it is fair to say it was 'seen as a joke' before the iPhone."

I agree with you, on-screen keyboards are obviously obvious ;) . They were just never popular because 1) touchscreens were relatively expensive for consumers, and 2) they were very inefficient compared to real keyboards for entering data, which is how most personal computers were used a decade ago. Tablets today are less about data entry and more about entertainment, which is the dominant factor in why on-screen keyboards are good enough today when they were not back then. Typing on a virtual keyboard is still dreadfully inefficient. For my needs I'd still prefer a tablet where I can swivel around a real keyboard when I need to.

Never the less, I agree with Thom in that supporting alternate languages & layouts is an advantage for virtual keyboards.

Edit: I share tupp's opinion as well.

Edited 2012-10-25 18:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2