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touchscreen or keyboard on mobile devices

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#1 jason87x


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Posted 24 December 2010 - 04:17 PM

I've never had an iphone or anything of that caliber before, but I tried one out and was impressed by the whole touch interface. However I then realized that the touchscreen interface doesn't always work well for things like typing. You need to type text to communicate (aka texting) which is a big part of small mobile devices. So which in your opinion (or if you have scientific facts to back it up) of these three interfaces would be the best?

1. Touchscreen, similar to the iphone. The keyboard is of course on the screen, and the virtual keys would be pretty small, say for example 12mm x 12mm. I've heard "typing" on one of these things can get tiring because most devices like this use glass for the screen. Also I have fat fingers (not fat myself, just huge hands).

2. A physical keyboard, and a screen laptop fold or slide style like some smartphones. Keys would be 12mm x 12mm, assuming a template of a standard 1234567890 QWERTYUIOP. Increasing key size (14mm keys possible alternative) would make device bulky and most likely not pocketable.

3. Something smaller, say like the size of an ipod nano. Small screen, has four arrow buttons and maybe a couple essentials like Enter, Back, Exit, etc. Navigation on a keyboard to input text would be done with arrow keys. Possible option (well for all of them really) would be to have mini USB keyboard of smaller size itself to attach to it.

4. Other ideas?

If you bash the third option, don't bash it because of a small screen. Mobile devices almost always have small screens and I've noticed that large screens are only really needed for three things: gaming (depends on the game type), movies (sometimes, small screens may sometimes be okay for that too), and looking at large pictures or needing large pictures for certain purposes (aka pr0n).

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#2 BlackSpyder


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Posted 24 December 2010 - 08:02 PM

I choose choice #2 since I have the Samsung moment (android OS) and have used both options. The full QWERTY keyboard comes in handy for texting longer messages but for the fast "10-4", "cya there", etc. messages the onscreen keyboard works nicely.

If you have Android you can use a keyboard call "Swipe" which allows you to drag your finger from one letter to the next without picking it up again. Haven't tried it but everyone who has it seems to love it and it may be available for iPhone.

BTW: You forgot the Crackberry keyboard I have never figured out how to use it and it has itty bitty keys.

Edited by BlackSpyder, 24 December 2010 - 08:04 PM.

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