Re: Who stole my QWERTY
People wibble on about why one would need a physical keyboard when the onscreen keyboards are good enough and to an extent I would agree that for input they're not bad with something like Swype. The real charm of the physical keyboard though is in the speed with which you can flit around apps. Keyboard shortcuts to the browser, phone, email, calendar and sms applications make it a doddle to whiz around jumping from one to the other. Also you're not using up a whole heap of screen real estate with a virtual keyboard, making it much easier to take in information and input text into forms etc.
Exactly… dedicated physical keyboard means a few things:
- Screen isn't occupied by it, so more screen real-estate for the app.
- Tactile response, once your muscle memory stores the keypad layout, you don't even need to look at the keyboard to type and will be much faster at data entry.
1. The modern smart phone market seems to be wedded to a screen-size arms race, obsessed with making phones with screens bigger and shinier than everyone elses. Physcial keyboards reduce the possible screen size.
"The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell" — Confucious.
Make the keyboard slide-out, then you can have a nice big screen. For me, the screen size on my ZTE T81 is about right width wise, but if it were made shorter to make it 4:3 aspect ratio with the space beneath replaced by a tactile keypad, it'd be a much nicer device to use.
2. Physical keyboards cost money in materials and build costs. Android phone makers have VERY tight margins and probably can barely afford the extra costs, for likely less sales. (see above).
No one makes a phone with these features because it's perceived that no one would buy one. It's therefore considered a cost. Undoubtedly it will be more expensive to manufacture — but I'd buy one anyway. However, I can't: they don't exist.
The manufacturers won't listen, and so we're stuck artificially inflating the "popularity" of other phones which really aren't what we're looking for, but we buy them anyway because we simply have no choice.