Obsession with a real keyboard?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Doju, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    What is with society's obsession with having a smartphone with a real keyboard? My father has a Blackberry Bold because, well, he has to for work, and the company offers it free. Before I bought my iPhone 3G, we used this as a 'family phone' more or less. If I had a soccer or tennis game out of town, I'd bring it to keep in contact with my parents, and I'd surf the internet somewhat and text friends a bit (okay; a lot) to pass the time.

    Now, having an iPhone 3G, I love the virtual keyboard. I don't understand the hatecrime against it. Yes, it does take some getting used to, that's true, but after a week (or two at maximum) you should be a master of the virtual keyboard.

    Practicality

    The first positive I see is the obvious one, Blackberry, Palm, and other smartphones have keyboards there when they're not even needed. I'm watching 'Cars' on my dad's Blackberry Bold, the keyboard is of zero use, and just gets in the way of a potentially larger screen, to enjoy the video more.

    Not with an iPhone! It's only there when you need it, I'm watching a movie, it's gone. I'm texting a friend, it's there. Why have it active when it doesn't need to be? The iPhone's keyboard seems to be a *massive* step into the future when it comes to practicality. How do you write in Japanese on a Blackberry efficiently? What about drawing Japanese characters? Nuh-uh.

    All in all, having the ability to customize when you need something or not seems a lot more advanced than having it there whenever you don't even need it.

    Speed

    Ah ha! "But Doju, you can't type as fast on an iPhone as with a real keyboard!" you argue. Wrong, in my opinion at least. Having been an avid texter on a Blackberry Bold, I know my way around typing, and I know this train of thought very well, I even shared it for quite awhile.

    But, the Blackberry has significantly smaller keys than the iPhone, and that's just in portrait mode. The iPhone's keyboard is 'smart' too, as Jobs said, and that it will almost help you write a word and find the write key. Can plastic keys do this? Nuh-uh.

    And again, put 'er on landscape, and you just blew the Blackberry out of the water. Taking some tests, I average 12 WPM faster on my iPhone than I do with my dad's BB Bold. And that's not even in landscape.

    Conclusion

    Why does everyone want it? iPhone's keyboard is much more practical, and much faster. What more is there?
     
  2. Brandon Heat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    #2
    it's preference... I think the virtual keyboard is Wack... I have to double check what I type... I have no confidence in what I wrote... I've had it since 1 week after launch... The keyboard will lag... Holding down the delete key erases almost everythig... This combined with the other probe this phone has, I'm ditching it and paying early termination to get the bold...

    I've had the curve before... I could type blazing fast with confidence with thtat thing... This iPhone's keyboard CAN keep up.. Sometimes...
     
  3. Brandon Heat macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2008
    #3
    but you're argument about watching movies is good... I'll miss that
     
  4. bluenoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #4
    I've had phones with keyboards for quite some time now: Treo 600, Treo 650, Blackjack, Blackjack II, Moto Q9h. For the first few days of owning my iPhone, I fumbled around on the keyboard and found myself constantly having to correct mistakes. Then it seemed to suddenly click for me and now I can type far more quickly and accurately on my iPhone than I ever could with those previous phones and their real keyboards.
     
  5. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a

    eplchamps0304

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #5
    the iPhones keyboard is ok., even though I have to constantly look at what I am typing. It's the price you pay for having a large screen without the slide out keyboard.
     
  6. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #6
    +1 I agree that the physical keyboard is a hinderance to me, and there have been several occasions when I've borrowed a friend's BB and couldn't figure out where 80% of the keys were located or what they did. Gawd, I couldn't even make a phone call...:eek: I think everyone's infatuation with a keyboard that they can physically push the key(s) then watch the letter/symbol show up on the screen, stems from the hunt and pick method of typing. For me, the home keys were taught to me at a young age, which resulted in my typing much faster and with fewer mistakes, eventually not even looking at the keyboard or paper that I was typing on, but looking at the book, newspaper, letter or manuscript that I was reading (back in the day when typewriters were our only source of business machine). IMHO:eek:
     
  7. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #7
    You're young and adaptable. Lots more people than you think aren't interesting in spending time learning new skills.

    Palm ran some actual user studies (probably not including youngsters) and found some people preferred using touchscreens and some using little buttons. Close to half and half. Thus the love/hate posting ratio.
     
  8. bluenoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #8
    What is the age cutoff for being young and adaptable? I'm 41 and have adapted quite nicely.

    And how is Palm faring these days? :)
     
  9. c43amg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #9

    For ONE thing, would you have written all this in your iphone with the "great" keyboard? NOPE. I know I would have not, if I had to post something that would just be a quick reply I could/would do it with the iphone. But for something long like you posted I would go to my PC. BUT, if I still had the ATT Tilt I could/would post something long like your post.

    So, lots of people like to respond to their emails with keyboards like the tilt. IF it has to be a really really long reply they will wait to get to their PC. To use the iphones keyboard for long piriods of time such as emails, posts, ..etc.... you would have to take the time and practice practice practice and at the end you will still run to your pc. My 2 cents, Ive owned many ppc phones and the pullout....keyboards are always better than the in-screen keyboards
     
  10. markgamber macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Redneck, PA
    #10
    More like what's this obsession with people wondering about the obsession with physical keyboards. I have two with, one without. It's a preference, who cares? Next.
     
  11. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #11
    I did post this on my iPhone. ;) Landscape version.

    But I don't agree with the other user, it isn't hard to adapt at all. Plus, I'm simply asking *why* people like a real keyboard if it's 50/50.

    Stop trolling, this is a discussion topic. Next.
     
  12. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #12
    Well, for one thing a shocking amount of people like to write text messages when they drive. If you try that on an iPhone, you'll drive straight into a tree.
     
  13. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #13
    I really love the virtual keyboard. I write really fast with it, faster, i think, than I did with a physical keyboard. No, it's not perfect but it's very, very good.And I don't think young people accept it better, a lot of my young friends are very resistant to change or anything that's different while older people that I know are the opposite.

    I just wish we could type in landscape mode in SMS and mail.
     
  14. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #14
    They shouldn't text while they drive even with a physical keyboard.
     
  15. juswest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #15
    Well because not everyone cares to watch videos on their phone. So having a regular keyboard and a smaller screen is not a problem for plenty of people. Many people just want what what they are used to.
     
  16. Opie macrumors 6502a

    Opie

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #16
    I like my virtual keyboard. Works great for me.
     
  17. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #17
    I agree, but a recent poll showed that 28% of drivers do. And the question is, if you can't stop them from doing it, which would you prefer? Having them text on a physical keyboard they can handle without taking their eyes off the road, or on an iPhone where they have to look at the screen while typing?
     
  18. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #18
    I'd prefer a qwerty phsyical keyboard...but the virtual one is all we're getting so oh well. I'm fine with it. as long as its horizontal!
     
  19. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #19
    Just because some people choose to use something the wrong way doesn't mean that thing is bad. Did you know that driving while on the phone is as bad as driving drunk? Are cell phones bad because some people choose to drive while talking on cell phones? Is makeup bad because some women choose to apply it while driving? (yes some women do).

    People shouldn't text while driving, period.
     
  20. Aurial macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #20
    It'll be interesting to see what Nokia's implimentation will be like in use. They're giving haptic feedback for each key press, but not via vibration which is what most manufacturers do. The key will actually give the sinsation of clicking under your finger, as if you've actually pressed it in.

    Should be on the Tube, if not the next N9X. There's a release event for the Tube on October 2nd.
     
  21. neesh0 macrumors 6502a

    neesh0

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #21
    I agree, the virtual keyboard is a great idea that apple has used to maximize screen space and functionality, the pros of it outweigh the cons in my opinion
     
  22. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #22
    I'm 42 and have no trouble using the virtual keyboard. But it really is quite a subjective matter. What suits one person may not suit another.
     
  23. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #23
    You ignored the fact that an onscreen keyboard takes up valuable viewing space. Imagine if every time you wanted to type on your laptop, half the screen was obscured.

    So, using your pointed about "getting in the way", the logical conclusion is that a slideout keyboard makes the most sense. You get the best of both worlds: non-blocking view of the screen and a keyboard.

    Better add a few physical multimedia buttons around the edge of the device, while we're at it, so onscreen controls don't cover up the movie we're watching either.

    An all touch device would be a frustrating thing to use. Apple agrees, and has even added volume buttons to the new touch model. Imagine how painful the iPhone would be to use if it didn't have physical volume, ringer, sleep and Homepage menu buttons, along with hardware button control of the answer and iPod functions via the headset.

    Touch is great, it's fun. But it's not the end-all of input, just as voice isn't either.

    Kevin (who's been programming large and small touch devices since 1990 as a living, and since 1982 for fun)
     
  24. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #25
    Talk about missing the point. :rolleyes:

    I KNOW that people who text while driving are idiots, but this thread isn't about traffic safety, it's about exploring why some people insist on having a phone with a physical keyboard. The OP asked why people are "obsessed" with a physical keyboard, and my answer is that at least some of them, about 1/4 to be specific, write SMS messages while driving. Yes, it's a f***ed up habit but that's another discussion -- the fact remains that they are doing it, and ergo, the iPhone or anything else with a virtual keyboard isn't their cup of tea.
     

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