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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tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

I don't understand why you are thanking Apple.

Agreed 100%.

However, to get the point through the reality distortion field, it is important to be very direct and thorough in one's assertion, so I will continue...

From the article:
When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, one of its most prominent and most controversial features was the on-screen keyboard.

Apple did not invent the touch-screen qwerty keyboard -- they were late by decades.

Furthermore, Apple was not the first to put a qwerty touch-screen keyboard on a touch-screen phone.

Likewise, Apple was not first to put a touch-screen keyboard on a tablet.


In as world dominated by devices with physical keyboards, it was seen as a joke, something that could never work.

No. Touch-screen qwerty keyboards were not seen as a joke nor as something that could never work. Use of such keyboards was already well established on PDAs, tablets, slot machines, ATMs, etc.

Touch-screen keyboards were merely considered inferior to tactile physical keyboards for serious/lengthy input, as they are considered to this day.

Reply Parent Score: 2

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Use of such keyboards was already well established on PDAs, tablets, slot machines, ATMs, etc.

I still feel the pain of crappy tiny on-screen keyboard in my Loox 420 PDA designed for idiotic stylus. Everything was so tiny and COMPLETELY UNUSABLE that I frequently thought of stabbing these idiots in the faces with their stylus.

The screen was the same size as iPhone.
iPhone made it usable with fingers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

leos Member since:
2005-09-21


Touch-screen keyboards were merely considered inferior to tactile physical keyboards for serious/lengthy input, as they are considered to this day.


Were talking about mobile devices here, and the device landscape proves that onscreen keyboards have won out compared to miniature physical ones. Fact is, iOS was the System that made that interface popular and usable with good autocorrect

Reply Parent Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"Were talking about mobile devices here, and the device landscape proves that onscreen keyboards have won out compared to miniature physical ones."

On something tablet sized, I still prefer a miniature keyboard to a touchscreen - just my opinion. Never underestimate the usefulness of tactile feedback!

"Fact is, iOS was the System that made that interface popular and usable with good autocorrect"

It was certainly a great market for apple to get into, but even if they hadn't I think the proliferation of modern tablet devices was quite inevitable given the decreasing costs of the technology. Technology's funny that way... some people would say Bill Gates was essential in bringing computing to the masses, but I think he capitalized on a market that was going to grow with or without microsoft. If microsoft hadn't been most popular, it'd just be one of the other players like apple, amiga, atari, xerox, etc. Alot of them would have been able to fit the "bill" ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

I don't remember a single Garmin GPS that used a physical keyboard. Most of the people I know who traveled at all owned a GPS with a touch screen keyboard.

It was the standard interface for small portable GPS's before mobile phones started doing it because they had similar requirements of a small device with a large screen and the ability to input data through a full keyboard.

All you can say about phones is they improved on it but even then T-9 for instance existed since the 90's and now works with a soft keyboard is all.

Reply Parent Score: 3