T9 typing on Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by nsbane, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. nsbane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    #1
    The biggest flaw I see for the Watch is the lack of T9 typing. I really don't like using Siri. I think there's a consensus that Google Glass failed because it's socially awkward. Talking into your wrist in a public place is pretty awkward (altho not as off-putting as Glass).

    The lock screen of the Watch fits a T9 pad. I think it could definitely work, at least on the 42mm size watch. I don't know about the 38mm. Maybe it's being held back because Apple wants to preserve battery life. They are pretty aggressive about shutting off the screen. And I could see that power texters would start complaining about battery life if the watch craps out 4 hours into the day after 300+ text messages.

    All I'm looking for is to be able to type out some short messages without having to talk to Siri. Siri is still a beta product to me. Now I know that Apple isn't going to cater to niche uses on the Watch. I'm just hoping that T9 typing *isn't* a niche use, that there is enough demand for it, and Apple is taking the same approach as it did with copy/paste on the original iPhone. That is, Apple knows there's a need, and is going to wait until it gets the implementation down right before it rolls it out.

    Am I alone? Anyone else want T9 typing on the Watch, especially for the Messages app?
     

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  2. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #2
    T9....

    Somehow I don't see Apple going back to 2006's favorite way to text.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    A watch is too small a screen to type on. It's mostly a "consumption" device, with some fitness tracking to boot.
     
  4. balzmcfearson macrumors regular

    balzmcfearson

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    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #4
    Yea, or maybe a scrolling option similar to some in car navs? We need something...
     
  5. derekshank macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    #5
    I would like a quick keyboard for when Siri has trouble with proper nouns and whatnot... but it would be very hard to implement on such a small screen. And talking to technology is going to become more and more the standard.

    T9 just feels like a big step backward.
     
  6. cmichaelb macrumors 68020

    cmichaelb

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    #6
    No, just no. I personally hate T9, always have.
     
  7. NM08SRT8 macrumors 6502a

    NM08SRT8

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    Location:
    New Mexico
    #7
    I seriously was already making my reply in my head that I was going to type out, and you literally stole my response almost word for word. So I'll just quote you and say, Me too! haha
     
  8. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2012
    #8
    Yesterday I tried an experiment: Only take out my phone when it was absolutely necessary. And every time it was to text with friends. I was in a coffee shop, got some texts. I'm not going to raise my wrist up to my face and start talking out loud. It feels crass to do that. So I took my phone out.

    Being able to tap out a quick reply would have been so useful. T9 actually is the preferred input for Chinese. Apple offers a T9 keyboard for Chinese iOS versions in HK and the Mainland, and while there are full keyboard options, everyone I see uses the T9.
     
  9. derekshank macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2015
    #9
    I tend to agree... but I think it may be because I'm old.

    Most of my friends that are under 35 have no qualms about talking to text in public.
     
  10. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    #10
    The lock screen on the Watch uses a T9 layout. I have no problem typing in my password. T9 would fit, at least on the 42mm. You could be right about the 38mm.

    Although I think given the consensus so far, T9 isn't going to happen. Not a lot of desire out there. Although I wonder how many of you have the Watch? It's so much easier to get message notifications on it. If I could peck out a few word replies, without having to get out my phone, the Watch would be so much more useful. I get texts all the time. But I'm a student, and I could be an outlier.

    I'd be curious to know if there is anybody with the Watch right now who thinks it works great to use Siri to respond to messages. I think it's damn slow, awkward, and error-prone. Given a choice between using Siri over T9, I'd pick T9 every time.
     
  11. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    #11
    If you are texting friends, do you really think it would be less socially awkward to be staring at your watching tapping away at the 1" display? The Apple Watch isn't a phone replacement, think of it as a secondary screen that can show you information so you can decide if you need to pull out your phone to address that now, or if it can wait.

    I.e. you are meeting a friend for lunch and you're standing up on the subway, your watch vibrates and you look to see that your friend says she will be there in 15. Or it vibrates, but you see it was just an e-mail for cheap Viagra, either way that's what the watch is really for, otherwise why even have a phone?
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
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    Hartford, CT
    #12
    Well, it's good news that Siri is in the middle of a complete backend overhaul...


    But the point of the watch is that you AREN'T supposed to have your nose stuffed into it and pecking for minutes at a time. This is supposed to cut down from screen time when you're out in the world, not just a different screen to stare off into.
     
  13. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2012
    #13
    Looks like it's a resounding No from everybody. Although I reserve the right to necro this thread in September after the Watch has been available to everybody for a couple months. Hearts and minds could change.
     
  14. derekshank macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2015
    #14
    I don't have the watch yet - but I do use Siri to text while I'm in the car.

    You're right that it is relatively error prone (I find mostly with proper nouns) - but I still think it works pretty well.

    For long text exchanges, I'll have to pull out my phone... but for short replies, a combination of Siri, and pre-programmed canned responses should do the trick for me.

    I'm sure everyone has their own set of needs, and whether the current set up for the Apple Watch meets those needs probably varies. But Siri is already far better than when it was initially released.

    I'm guessing that it will continue to improve over the next few years to the point that we will view keyboards in general as antiquated.
     
  15. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #15
    Look, if Apple's upcoming SDK updates allow a developer to create an app that accomplishes the goal I'm all for it. If someone wants it as a custom solution, great.

    That said, as part of the actual products UX design paradigm, I don't want Apple considering this at all.
     
  16. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2012
    #16
    As long as in the future there are still coffee shops with people sitting next to me, I will need a keyboard.
     
  17. gerball macrumors newbie

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    May 27, 2010
    #18
    Apple will never add this simply because it was Apple more than anyone that triggered the demise of the T9 pad.
     
  18. derekshank macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2015
    #19
    Again, that depends on what type of message you are sending.

    If you're sending a response like "OK, I'll see you in 5 minutes" - look around. People are already doing this in coffee shops.

    If you are having a long conversation, you're going to need to pull out your phone anyway. T9 won't be an elegant solution for that.
     
  19. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2012
    #20
    Wow, really? That is so awkward & rude. I've never seen that, but I don't deny it could happen. Only time I've seen people use Siri are in the car. I live in New York, but maybe I go to the luddite coffee shops.
     
  20. derekshank macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2015
    #21
    I don't really notice it anymore. In the same way that I don't think it is rude when someone is talking on the phone in a coffee shop.

    There was a time, when cell phones were new, that it stood out as strange. Not anymore. Whether it is one side of a phone conversation, or one side of a text conversation - it's essentially the same thing.

    I live in Columbus Ohio. Granted... it's a college town - so perhaps a lot of what I see is a younger generation that is much more comfortable with using technology in public.

    On the other hand - even when my 30-something friends respond to texts, they speak to their phone - rather than pull out the keyboard. It's quicker and less obtrusive to a conversation they are having with me. And as for the rest of the coffee shop - it's virtually unnoticeable.
     
  21. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2012
    #22
    I'm 32. T9 4 life.
     
  22. cmichaelb macrumors 68020

    cmichaelb

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    #23
    lmao. Thanks! Sorry for stealing your thunder. :rolleyes:

    ----------

    Excellent point!
     
  23. derekshank macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2015
    #24
    I'm 35... and I always hated T9. I hated texting when I had a dumb phone... and I would yell at my younger friends/siblings when they would text instead of call. I compared it to the telegraph, technology in reverse. Just call me.

    I came around to texting when I got my first iPhone - because the full keyboard made it easier. Siri, for the most part, makes it even easier. That's what I'm looking for.

    T9 was a necessary evil for a generation of people who wanted to send text messages rather than talk on the phone. There wasn't a good way to send a text message with only 9 physical buttons - so they developed it. But now, much better technology exists.

    I'm not nostalgic for 8-track tape players, VCRs or fixed gear bicycles either. Those things suck compared to what is currently available. That's how I feel about T9 too.
     
  24. nsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    #25
    This argument isn't persuasive to me. Apple designs T9 keyboards for Chinese users because there's demand. This is even in 2015, after the demise of Nokia T9 phones.

    I also don't buy the UX design argument which relies on "notification only" use case scenarios. If that's the case, why include Siri input for texting?

    What I do find persuasive is maybe it's too awkward on a 38mm watch to type in T9. Since I've never tried it out, I can't say one way or the other, but I'm sure it must have been attempted during the 3 year watch design process, and eventually discarded.
     

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