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View Full Version : iPhone vs. BlackBerry 9000: The keyboard wars, round 2


MacBytes
Mar 30, 2008, 10:25 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: iPhone vs. BlackBerry 9000: The keyboard wars, round 2 (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080330232557)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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zap2
Mar 30, 2008, 11:25 PM
It looks nice,but RIM target market love their "real" keyboards, so its a good design consider what RIM users want...personal I like my virtual keyboard more then a hardware based on

nostaws
Mar 30, 2008, 11:53 PM
The folks who designed Apple’s iPhone bet that touchscreen keys would be good enough for most users, and based on a February survey of iPhone owners that found 72% “very satisfied” (versus 55% for RIM), Apple’s gamble seems to have paid off.

I don't think it was much of a "gamble." Companies, like Apple, do research, and test, and retest, and retool. I am confident that the keyboard went through some serious testing.

That said, I like the keyboard, but, for certain games (nintendo emulators), I would like some sort of tactile feedback.

Analog Kid
Mar 31, 2008, 03:03 AM
I think the key words are "confronted for the first time"... Hardly a fair test. Take your average computer user and confront them with a chord keyboard for the first time and they'll certainly be slower on it as well.

TheSpecialist
Mar 31, 2008, 06:08 AM
My thoughts exactly, like in the keyboard video for the iPhone on apple.com, they also show that in 2 weeks your noticeably faster.

I think the key words are "confronted for the first time"... Hardly a fair test. Take your average computer user and confront them with a chord keyboard for the first time and they'll certainly be slower on it as well.

palmerized
Mar 31, 2008, 07:09 AM
I loved my iPhone but ended up selling it and getting a Blackberry Curve. The big reason was the iPhone's lack of a physical keyboard. I tried to use this for about a month but couldn't get used to it.

Also, the BB's true push email and Exchange support is king. I know this is coming for the iPhone but that's in June... I need this now.

I was also scared of breaking the iPhone... it felt very fragile, like a glass plate waiting to be dropped and shatter in to a million pieces.

sunfast
Mar 31, 2008, 09:06 AM
I haven't used either product so can't comment on the usablity. But I'm staggered by RIM's blatant copying of the iPhone appearance.

Panu
Mar 31, 2008, 09:12 AM
I was also scared of breaking the iPhone... it felt very fragile, like a glass plate waiting to be dropped and shatter in to a million pieces.
I have dropped my iPhone several times, once on asphalt, and I've had it in the same pocket as my keys. No damage. The glass didn't break and there isn't even a scratch.

Since the iPhone is so rugged, I don't have a case for it. Instead, I sewed a seam up the middle of the left pocket of all my pants, creating <voilà> iPants. The iPhone stays upright in my pocket. Now I can carry my iPhone in my left pocket without it being noticeable.

jelloshotsrule
Mar 31, 2008, 10:03 AM
than blackberries have been historically. i have had 4 blackberries break on me, one that dropped off my desk onto carpet when i got an email that vibrated the phone!

QCassidy352
Mar 31, 2008, 12:36 PM
I do think physical keys are easier to type on, and I've had my iphone since June. That said, I'd rather have the iphone keyboard. The problem with physical keys is that they're always there, taking up space. The iphone keyboard disappears when you're not using it, allowing every square inch (well, nearly - because of the black bars at the top and bottom) of the phone to be used as a display.

So while there are people who now prefer the iphone keyboard, it is something that I still see as a trade off. One thing that makes it a fairly painless trade off, however, is the fact that apple's auto-correct software is so good. Even though I make a fair number of mistakes with the iphone keyboard, the software correctly fixes my mistakes about 90% of the time.

gkarris
Mar 31, 2008, 01:37 PM
Did I just waste a bunch of time actually reading the article and posting in this thread?

:eek:

jettredmont
Mar 31, 2008, 02:10 PM
The use of "veteran thumb typists" to make the point that the battle wages on seems a bit too poetic. It conjures images of Hiroo Onoda ... eventually perhaps they too will surrender. The truth is not so pithy, though. There are good points to be made on either side, and what it comes down to is simple: optimize to your usage patterns.

If you are a die-hard email junkie who needs to write a dozen emails each day and can't bear to lug a real laptop with you and have invested time to learn to touch-type with your thumbs, then a physical keyboard with discrete keys (note that Blackberry's Pearls do NOT fit this description!) might make sense.

If you don't touch-type with your thumbs, then the visual feedback of which key is being pressed of an iPhone keyboard might actually be better for you.

If you want to do other things with your phone, like dial, you know, phone numbers and crap, then a "soft" key phone like the iPhone makes a hell of a lot more sense than trying to find the "7" key which happens to share space with the "x" key on a double-purposed physical keyboard.

By all means, if you want to do stuff like navigate emails, see web pages, and check off shopping lists, for heaven's sake get something with a touch screen, real keyboard or not! My wife has a Pearl, and that little scroll-ball operates Every Single Day about as well as my Mighty Mouse after a bag of chips (highly not advised, by the way). It takes on average ten flicks to make the damned selection move "up" or "down", and often senses "left" or "right" instead! This is the most infuriating phone interface I have ever had the displeasure of using!

Anyway, off topic, but: don't get a Pearl if you're after a real keyboard and the benefits that go along with that. It's a crap interface (and the OS behind it is cartoony to boot).

Back on topic: different folks will want different interfaces. I think Apple is correct in asserting that, as time obsoletes the investment people have in learning to adapt to their thumbpad keyboards, the number of people who benefit from a physical keyboard is significantly smaller than the number who would benefit from a more flexible keyboard and the larger screen of a touch-screen phone.

Marky_Mark
Mar 31, 2008, 05:26 PM
I sewed a seam up the middle of the left pocket of all my pants, creating <voilà> iPants. The iPhone stays upright in my pocket. Now I can carry my iPhone in my left pocket without it being noticeable.

Now that's a neat idea. You should sell that to Gap - you'd make a mint :D

Back on topic, I have a BB Curve 8310, and the keyboard is *****. I hate using it as a phone, the keys are far too small, and dialing in the car or even as you walk along is a nightmare (I use a bluetooth headset in the car before anyone starts, and gave up trying to dial out on my BB within an hour of getting it). However, its email and IM functionality is good for what I use it for (work, exclusively). But I want an iPhone for personal use. Sadly budget and an oft-rumoured upgrade preclude it. Roll on June, when my solvency and this upgrade should align like preordained events...!

Hawkeye411
Apr 1, 2008, 01:23 PM
http://bp0.blogger.com/_qD4hoEvzI64/R_JCpLcwoEI/AAAAAAAAAX4/z8fvQDx0H48/s1600-h/blackberry-9000.jpg

http://www.iphone-canada-news.blogspot.com/

http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/28/blackberry-9000-in-the-wild/

The Blackberry 9000 / iPhone.

ModNote: Since there is an active discussion of the BB9000 series here, I'm merging this in.... --mkrishnan

MBHockey
Apr 1, 2008, 01:29 PM
Introducing the Not Really an iPhone Blackberry™

mackpro
Apr 1, 2008, 02:11 PM
i had the blackberry 8800 before i got the iphone and defiantly hated it, although the new blackberrys are quite different and beautiful i would still go with the iphone hands down