What's Blackberry 10 Like? CNBC's Sneak Preview (virtual keyboard testimonial)
Nice to see real world folks saying the keyboard really is all it's cracked up to be.. my favorite line was at the end where he says he's always HAD to have a physical keyboard, but after 10 minutes on BB10 he's saying the touch screen might just be for him.. hoping I feel the same when I get to try it out!Ran into a senior executive of Blackberry last night at the World Economic Forum in Davos and got a demonstration of the Blackberry 10.
Before I tell you about what I saw, a few caveats: I know little about RIMM's valuation or Apple's. I'm not a recommending a stock here. And, while I have been using a handheld for something like a decade, I'm no technology expert. (I think of myself as an advanced amateur.) But I have stuck with Blackberry and probably have to admit that I want the device to succeed. At the same time, I am a happy and committed iPad user, though I use it with a Bluetooth keyboard. Finally, the demonstration was brief, maybe 10 minutes. All I saw was the keypad and the browser. The device is the one with the virtual keypad, about as big as my son's Android phone. I'm told a model with a real keyboard will be introduced next.
That said, what I saw was impressive and fast. What I care about, as a reporter on the road a lot, is the keypad. I have tried and never cottoned to the iPhone keyboard. I often need to write lengthy stories on my handheld and that has kept me away from handhelds with virtual keyboards and, despite being made fun of repeatedly, kept me a loyal Blackberry user.
Here's what I saw: the executive placed his finger on a letter and swiped upward and nearly every time it chose a correct word from the typing of the first initial letter. These were simple words like "the" "but" and "have" as if there is some macro programming that automatically suggests the most simple and common words from the first letter. As he typed more complicated words, suggested words came up above the letter on the keypad, not in the text. These words were often correct. I was told this is because when people type they look at the keypad, not in the note. He said the device is able to suggest the right word because it learns personal writing style and scans previous messages for frequently used words.
When the right word was suggested by the device, a quick upward swipe inserted the word into the text. He also said the grammar was pretty good and showed me how it chose and inserted an apostrophe into "Ill" at the beginning of a sentence, but did not after the words "I feel ... ill."
It was all very fast and when my turn came to type, I pretty quickly was able to type several sentences without looking at the text. My overall feeling is this was the first virtual keypad that I could embrace. (I'm a fast, touch typist.) A downward swipe quickly switches the keypad to numbers and then to symbols.
Onto the browser. The executive went to what he said is an industry standard web site that it used to test browser speed. He said he was testing it live in an indoor location and had no idea what the results would be. I don't remember the URL. I have to take him at his word that this was indeed an industry standard site. He ran the test and the number came up at 486. He then showed me other desktop - not handheld - browser speeds that were all well below that number, including Safari and Chrome. He then showed me speeds of other handheld browsers and I remember some were below 400. (I have no idea what units were being measured.)
And that was it. Circumstance and the hustle and bustle of the location where this took place precluded any further demonstrations. I have no idea if the machine crashes when the calendar is opened. (I have no expectation that it does.) What I know is I saw him do a live demo of a pretty impressive keyboard and used it myself and was functional within minutes. While I began our conversation insisting that I had to have a unit with the physical keyboard, I ended thinking I'd be quite happy with the virtual one.
So take that for what it's worth from a guy whose job is covering the economy, not technology, and has enough trouble with that.
- 01-24-13, 01:52 PM #2
I honestly think that the keyboard will be a big deal for many.
It doesn't take long to adjust to, and it genuinely speeds text entry. Especially useful for one-handed data entry; very cool.
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01-24-13, 02:00 PM #3
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Getting used to a keyboard is the quickest thing in the world. But I've always been dead set on physical.
For a brief period, I owned the lovely Xperia S, and I had swype keyboard on there. Within a day or two I was typing long emails. My brain learned the "motions" and I could sometimes type messages without looking.
I particularly dislike the Playbook keyboard and I particularly like BB QWERTYs, like on the 9320.
Will be happy to try the new one, though.
- 01-24-13, 02:12 PM #4
"What I care about, as a reporter on the road a lot, is the keypad. I have tried and never cottoned to the iPhone keyboard. I often need to write lengthy stories on my handheld and that has kept me away from handhelds with virtual keyboards and, despite being made fun of repeatedly, kept me a loyal Blackberry user.
It was all very fast and when my turn came to type, I pretty quickly was able to type several sentences without looking at the text. My overall feeling is this was the first virtual keypad that I could embrace. "
This is an important testimonial. These two passages say a lot. A reporter is the sort of person who really needs text input to work right, and without a lot of dithering over options and details. It remains to be seen whether this person goes with the Z10, but if so, it's a real score.
- 01-25-13, 02:40 AM #6
Oh, and PS. My buddy who has the iPhone 5 who used this phone has not only decided to buy BB10 when it comes out, but he has also chosen to invest into RIM as the simple fact that he is switching over from the newest iPhone to BB10, he KNOWS its going to be a winner.
So long story short, typed all of this up on my dev alpha, do you guys notice any typos? And "Damn you auto Corrects"? No?.. exactly.. I'm in love with this keyboard and will gladly be putting my 9930 to rest come January 30th for the Z10.
Last edited by flip4bytes; 01-25-13 at 12:54 PM.
- 01-25-13, 03:35 AM #8
I'll buy the Z10 but it has until the N10 releases, then I'll consider switching.
If the keyboard doesn't live up to the hype (or if my love affair for tactile response wins me back over) then I'm going QWERTY
- 01-25-13, 05:10 AM #9
The problem is, the article is written by someone who says he's not a tech type person. Someone who's always used a physical keyboard.
Even most of the demos, feedback, and Elite group close ups they've had have been with people who have had no experience with the competition.
So they wouldn't know, say, what the equivalent feel is on an Android device. That'a a big deal to a lot of people, yes the keyboard is great, is it better than what's already available on Android. It would have to be given Android gives you options, like Swype.
I think the keyboard looks awesome, but the more I think about it, I just can't see it being right for me. I'm plenty fast on Swiftkey on Android, but I still miss tactile keys, and I don't think this will do it for me, because it doesn't seem all that different to what I'm already using, effectively, but not really enjoyably.
X10 here I come, hopefully.
- 01-25-13, 08:23 AM #10
What's Blackberry 10 Like? CNBC's Sneak Preview (virtual keyboard testimonial)
One more good keyboard testimonial. Its starting to sway my decision of physical and virtual. Lol
Sent from my game boy color
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