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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RE[3]: Comment by Antartica_
by phoenix on Mon 29th Apr 2013 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Antartica_"
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I don't understand how people can say they can type faster on a hardware keyboard, when softkeyboards like swiftkey can auto complete words and do punctuation ect.

You do realise that hardware keyboards also include auto-complete support, auto-punctuation, auto-cap, etc, right?

And, it can be faster to type on a hardware keyboard for anything that includes numbers (alt+letter=number vs long-press letter=number) especially on keyboards that include the number row (simple keypress=number). And for anything including punctuation as most of the common ones have their own key. Plus, you can touch-type (as in, not looking at the keyboard or even the auto-correct line) which you can't (easily) do via onscreen keyboards.

Plus, once you leave the world of SMS/e-mail, it becomes exponentially easier/faster to use hardware keyboards (like SSH apps or terminal apps).

Once you start trying to use the computer in your pocket like a pocket computer, you start to realise just how badly they need hardware keyboards. ;)

If you just use your pocket computer like a portable screen, then onscreen keyboards are fine.

However, you are right, passwords, codes, or uncommon words are tedious. Perhaps they could add a literal mode that you switch to, like how you can bring up a number or symbol keypad to type on.

There are keyboards that do this, like Hacker's Keyboard which gives you a full keyboard with number row, alt/ctrl/tab, etc. However, they all take up screen real-estate whereas hardware keyboards do not.

For me, that's the biggest bonus of a landscape hardware keyboard: 100% viewable landscape screen. Something that is impossible with an onscreen keyboard.

I sympathies with people who want a hardware keypad, but can't due to the poor selection.

It's too bad Android phone manufacturers didn't simplify their product lines into:
* small, medium, large screens
* candybar and landscape sliders

Small would be around 3.5-3.8" screens; medium around 4.0-4.3" screens; large would be 4.7-6.0" screens. Internals for candybar and slider would be identical, and only change with the size.

IOW, only 3 SoC/memory/screen setups to worry about, and only 6 cases to worry about. Release one size every 4 months, update each on a yearly basis. That way, it looks like you have a lot of phones in the market, always have a new one "just around the corner", can keep the software simple and easily updated.

Thus, combine the "shotgun/spaghetti-on-the-wall" approach of most Android vendors with the simplicity of the iPhone/GalaxyS yearly one-upmanship.

Alas, that will never happen. ;)

That said, don't lecture me about how no software keypad can type as fast as a hardware thumb keypad, it's just BS.

Maybe for you, specifically. But that's not true across the board.

The ironic part is that I know a lot of people that have a phone with a hardware keypad, but never use it. They thought they'd need it, but quickly learned to live without it.

Good for them, they obviously didn't know what they were doing when they bought the phone. What bearing does that have to do with people who do know what they want, and will use it when they get it?

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