The post-keyboard era?
Are keyboards on phones really needed? You can find a voice dictation button on both iPhone and Android keyboards, and you can use apps like Vlingo to dictate texts and emails, or to do web searches on Blackberries. Android also has a feature where you drag your finger on the screen to the letters in the word and the word pops up when you lift your finger. BB 10 will have the feature where it guesses the next word and you just easily swipe up on the letter.
Have these new technologies made physical keyboards obsolete, as voice dictation (not useful in noisy areas or if the message is confidential) or the BB10 keyboard feature are more efficient?
- Retired Mod
06-15-2012, 06:40 PM #2
- 23,632 Posts
- PIN:ky Tuscadero
A physical keyboard will always be relevant and a necessity for me.
I send and receive a ton of emails, and create and edit far too many large documents to be
futzing with a virtual keyboard. To me those things are the antithesis to productivity.
Apps such as Vlingo are an absolute waste to me. Anything I can accomplish with voice
recognition software I have found I accomplish 2 - 3 times faster without.
While I am looking forward to BB10 I will not be spending a dime on it UNTIL there is a
device with a physical keyboard.
- CrackBerry Abuser
06-15-2012, 06:45 PM #3
- 312 Posts
They have in my mind. Physical keyboards lack the versatility of software keyboards. I need to be able to type in multiple languages and the little nuances and gestures more than make up for the lack of proper tactile feedback. I figure that if I hit the wrong key, then I would have done it regardless of whether I felt it as all keys feel the same. What's important is that my thumbs know where to go.
Of course, this only applies to phones/small tablets. Typing with more than just your thumbs on a touch screen is a nightmare.
And for full size keyboards, there are software workarounds for typing in different languages. Worst case, you have to buy a set of stickers.
Last edited by itmccb; 06-15-2012 at 06:47 PM.
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
06-15-2012, 07:08 PM #5
- 6,140 Posts
Oh no, not again ...
And the day everybody's walking around dictating into their phones is the day I shall seriously contemplate ending my time on this earth.Ed
Be bold. Be pantless. Then go take a nice long nap.
- 06-15-2012, 07:14 PM #6
I had this thought last week while fixing someone's Android device. It had a slide-out landscape keyboard. Now maybe it was that I'm used to my phone not having a physical keyboard, or maybe because when I did have keyboards on my devices, it has always been a BlackBerry. But that keyboard was a pain to use. Having to turn the device sideways and slide out the keyboard everytime I really wanted to type something, is a pain. Also, the buttons were horrible.
I love typing on a touch screen, and I don't see myself needing to go back to a physical keyboard. And honestly, this is an ever growing trend in the smartphone market.
However, physical keyboards still have their market, so RIM shouldn't move completely from it. But they are moving in the right direction with their BB10 keyboard.
Sent from my Motorola ATRIX 2 using Tapatalk 2
Last edited by MACKSnare519; 06-18-2012 at 07:03 AM.
- 06-15-2012, 07:24 PM #7
When I can type as accurate and as fast on a virtual keyboard with one hand and one thumb like I am typing now I will switch. Meanwhile I'll just hold my breath and wait for that to happen!
- CrackBerry User
06-15-2012, 07:37 PM #8
- 63 Posts
i manipulate a lot of text. copying and pasting from email to calendar and notes and many directions. if you have to mark with your thumb a random position in your screen to start copying or pasting is certanly much more work than using the trackpad and some fixed keys. I think that for heavy business users the physical keyboard is much less tiring because it need less movements of your eyes and fingers and much less concentration.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
- 06-15-2012, 07:44 PM #9
My son can type on his BB without looking at it and he's faster and more accurate than me while I'm looking. Try doing that on a touchscreen keyboardone of these days see me drivin' round town in my rock 'n' rolls Royce with the sun roof down
my bottle of booze no summertime blues shouting loud look at me in my rock 'n ' roll voice...
- 06-15-2012, 08:02 PM #11
I have to concede that text entry with Swype is about as fast for me as using the hard keyboard with my large auto-text dictionary, and that's pretty fast. I didn't expect this but it turned out that way. One of my concerns about BB10 is that it won't have Swype...I think.
Text selection and manipulation operations, on the other hand, are smoother and faster with the hard keyboard and trackpad.
- CrackBerry Addict
06-15-2012, 08:49 PM #13
- 682 Posts
I will always want a physical keyboard. Also as tablets become more and more popular ranging from 7'' to 10'' screens, will phones go back to having physical keyboards again and abandon these silly 4'' or 5'' slab all touch devices? I dunno, just a thought?
I even use my Bold 9900 as the keyboard for my Playbook with the bridge app.
Are physical keyboards a necessity? Nope, but some people like myself still prefer them. Also these all touch devices tend to burn more battery with the screen getting used so much to do everything. Wasn't there some patent that looked like science fiction recently on here with typing on a physical keyboard creating a backup battery source through some sort of saved kinetic energy underneath the frame of the qwerty keyboard? I know thats years away, but could it happen?
And finally, I don't want to go to all voice dictation. If you are in your car thats one thing making things easier and hands free and somewhat private. But in public view? Do I want people to know every message, email, search I do just by listening to what I am saying? Absolutely not!
- 06-15-2012, 09:03 PM #14
you are in complete denial of the data costs associated with using things like siri..
Data rates are being jacked up.. and so I suspect the reverse will occur, things come and things go, and smartphones will be come sheer fad items and the semi smart & dumb phones will claw back market share when folks get tired and realise that games, media and web browsing are just not required on a phone when your bill is >$100/mo
- CrackBerry Genius
06-15-2012, 09:09 PM #15
- 4,179 Posts
Voice dictation has been around a long time, but I've yet to see anyone using it in public, other than to play around with Siri. I don't think most people desire to speak out their private outgoing text messages. Otherwise, they might as well just call the person.
It's also not just the text input; keyboards allow for keyboard shortcuts. I can launch any app I need (through the help of an app like MyOwnHotKeys) from the homescreen without having to look through the app menu.
- 06-15-2012, 09:36 PM #18
Nope we aren't past it yet. The Touchscreen keyboard just isn't as good as the physical keyboard. I have a touchscreen and I love my phone for its bigger screen but I think the next one I get will be a longitudinal slider, so long as it isn't too thick.
The physical keyboard at least for me is way more convenient, accurate and pleasant to use versus the touchscreen where I constantly have to pay attention to it.8700, Bold 9000, Bold 9700, Torch 9860, Z10! No case FTW!!!
- CrackBerry Abuser
06-15-2012, 10:12 PM #19
- 400 Posts
- T of ale please?
Do I need to use a physical keyboard to get stuff done on my phone? Nope. But it makes it significantly easier for me to type on, plus the benefit of having several shortcuts and speed dials. Although like ubizmo, I didn't mind using the Swype keyboard--except when "and" popped up as "Afghanistan" lol
As far as voice recognition and dictation, I've only ever used it to say "Navigate to: ..." when I realized I wasn't completely sure where I was going. Using it to send text messages or emails doesn't appeal to me at all. Maybe I should just call the person at this point
While switching back to an all touchscreen device isn't out of the question for me, I am still quite content hammering out texts and e-mails on my physical keyboard and I'd still like to see physical keyboards available as an option for awhile
- CrackBerry Addict
06-16-2012, 02:41 AM #20
- 561 Posts
Lately I read quite a lot of "physical keyboards are obsololete" opinions. They'll often go along with RIM, showing them as the perfect thing of the past.
However, I still disagree. For me, a physical keyboard is still the number one criteria in choosing a specific device. For me, having a decent keyboard is simply essential.
It is not really about the matter on how fast you can type, but more on the experience. At home I'm using a pretty good mechanical keyboard. It is rather loud, however it is just a joy to write with this nice piece of technology. I can go on and "hammer" those buttons, see the text flowing and growing on the screen, hearing the keys clicking and feel them.
Now I can't get something like that on a mobile device obviously. I can however try to get an as close as experience. That however only works with a physical keyboard. In the past I tried multiple touchscreen keyboards: Android, Symbian, Windows Phone 7, Swype variants. None of them gave an acceptable writing experience. I don't call them bad, they're just not my thing.
HTC just confirmed the mid-term end of their R&D efforts for devices with physical keyboards. For me that was quite a signal at first. On the second thought, with their latest two devices, HTC simply screwed up big time. Quite a surprise when I remember back the awesome Touch Pro 2. Instead on improving this they brought a weird new hinge system to Android and another weird sliding mechanism to WP7 - the latter one wasn't even supporting proper landscape due to the OS.
- 06-16-2012, 03:08 AM #21
First of all, I do think voice dictation can be very practical, like in the car.
However, there are a lot of flaws. When I am home or alone in my car, I would use voice dictation, but almost in all the other cases I would not. In the train, in the class, in the bar, I don't need other people to hear what I am typing, and frankly I don't want to hear what they have to say to their girlfriend/boss/mother/friends/...
Texting and mailing is for my still something private, and I wish to keep it that way.
Furthermore, I live in Belgium, I speak Dutch, there is no software as far as I know that work with my language. And as long as Siri or other voice-dictating programs don't support Dutch, they are pretty useless to me, and almost everybody living here...
Second, and most important, I might be able to type as fast on software keyboards as I can on my physical keyboard if I practice a lot.
But for my, the keyboard does so much more then just fast typing. I can't give up my universal search (unlocking and typing to search something on google, I can even beat my brothers iphone 4S in search speed when I do this) or my shortcuts (just press and hold one key to call somebody). These are the things that for me make the blackberry experience and make me do the things I want to do blazing fast.
- 06-16-2012, 03:16 AM #23
A physical keyboard will almost always be required. Even if we get to the point where we can speak/dictate to our phones, some kind of keyboard will be needed. Of course this could be an on-screen device.
Physical keyboards are much easier to use than on-screen types but cost more since on-screen types are just software.
There may be a compromise from a company called Tactus who have deleopped a deformable touch screen Tactus Technology Unveils Touch Screen with Dynamic Keys @BizTechMagazine
I will ALWAYS require a a full keyboard. In fact I can easlily do without a touch screen altogether.
- CrackBerry Addict
06-16-2012, 07:21 AM #25
- 682 Posts
Maybe slider keyboards with large touch screens will become more popular that gives you the best of both worlds? So far though, I think those type phones have been a niche. I remember the original G1 and its evolution from Droid to Droid 4. Or remember the Palm Pre? I think that design inspired the Torch 9800 and 9810. I luv that design.
When will consumers realize slider phones give you everything the touch slabs give you in having a large touch screen, but then also a serviceable slide out physical keyboard? So far most of the slider phones have had OK keyboards, nothing like a Bold 9900/9930, but solid. Although I must confess, I do like the Droid 4 keyboard...