05-06-2012 06:30 PM
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  1. tekhna's Avatar
    Rumors of the death of BlackBerry and the hard keyboard are premature. I hasten to remind you that BB market share is still far ahead of WP and their user base is still growing internationally. Moreover, their keyboard phones outsell their all-touch phones.

    BB has had some bad years but it's a stretch to blame them on the keyboard. The outdated java OS is the more likely suspect. The trick will be for someone to get it right. A phone about the size of a GS2 with a BB keyboard could still have a nearly 4" screen. With a modern OS I think there are plenty of people who would buy something like that.

    Something of the sort will be the 2nd BB10 phone. I don't see why a WP device along the same line couldn't succeed.

    Seriously, even if only 10% of smartphone users prefer a hard keyboard, that's a large number and the keyboard is hardly dead. I suspect the number is higher than that, but that's just a guess.
    No, it's not really premature. It's pretty dead. Not quite there yet, but very definitely staggering around with an arrow in its jugular. Did you see the new BB10 developer phone? Nary a hard key in sight.

    There's a basic mechanical reason for the death of portrait keyboards--you have to "choke up" on your phone to use a touchscreen if you have a portrait keyboard. You're right that you might be able to approximate a BB keyboard with a 4" screen, but your hands are going to be totally misaligned for actually using the touchscreen. Unless you choke up, which is going to make it difficult to use and more likely to be dropped, and just clunky.

    You're right that Blackberries are still selling, but they don't have touchscreens. Portrait keyboards and touch screens just don't mix.

    Slideout keyboards are still an option, as I said, but they're not really being made anymore. We're 5 months into 2012 and there hasn't been a slideout phone released yet, that I know of. And I haven't heard of one being released. There probably will be a couple, but they'll be EOLed before anyone could notice they existed.

    I used to love hard keyboards, but truthfully soft keyboards like Swiftkey have rendered them irrelevant.
    05-05-2012 10:41 AM
  2. ubizmo's Avatar
    No, it's not really premature. It's pretty dead. Not quite there yet, but very definitely staggering around with an arrow in its jugular. Did you see the new BB10 developer phone? Nary a hard key in sight.
    Yes I did see it. And what was shown of BB10 is impressive. You must have missed the announcement by CEO Thorsten Heins that a hard keyboard BB10 will be coming soon after the first all-touch BB10 device. I don't deny that the market for all-touch phones is large, and RIM is smart to launch BB10 with an all-touch device. But I don't concede the point that the hard keyboard is dead.

    There's a basic mechanical reason for the death of portrait keyboards--you have to "choke up" on your phone to use a touchscreen if you have a portrait keyboard. You're right that you might be able to approximate a BB keyboard with a 4" screen, but your hands are going to be totally misaligned for actually using the touchscreen. Unless you choke up, which is going to make it difficult to use and more likely to be dropped, and just clunky.

    You're right that Blackberries are still selling, but they don't have touchscreens. Portrait keyboards and touch screens just don't mix.
    False. I have a 9900 with a hard keyboard and touch screen. They mix just fine. It's the all-touch BBOS7 9860 that didn't sell.

    Speaking as someone who uses this sort of device every day, I can speak with some authority about the advantages and disadvantages of it. For text entry operations, obviously there's the keyboard. For cursor-oriented operations, such as selecting text or "clicking" things on the screen, the user has a choice. If I want to do these things one-handed, I use the trackpad with my right thumb. If not, I simply hold the device in my left hand and select with my right index finger. Since my left-hand fingers are already on the back of the device supporting it as I type, there's no large shift of grip necessary to use my right hand on the touch screen. It just works. And of course, the keyboard gives me the advantage of an array of one-key shortcuts to do the most common tasks.

    Would it work as well on a larger device? Absolutely. That device would probably be a bit wider as well, so the Bold keyboard, which is already a pleasure to use, would be even better, if the manufacturer designs in properly.

    I used to love hard keyboards, but truthfully soft keyboards like Swiftkey have rendered them irrelevant.
    I don't concede that point that hard keyboards are dead because there's just not enough evidence for the claim. If it were true, RIM would be well and truly dead instead of in 3rd place and still adding to its user base. Many BB users leave for other platforms; many come back for the keyboard, and the all-touch Torch would have done better. There is no denying, however, that plenty of people leave BB because they want the apps and other features available on other platforms. Lots of people don't like sliders, for various reasons.

    Personally, I don't mind all-touch, although I seem to do better with Swype or something like it. Thumb-typing on glass isn't so great for me. The WP soft keyboard and predictive text system on my HTC Radar were pretty good, as these things go, but even after more than three months of use I never even came close to the speed and accuracy of my BB. If Swype were available I think I would have done better, but probably not equal. I don't believe my experience mirrors the majority of users, but I think it does represent a minority large enough to pay attention to.
    Last edited by ubizm0; 05-05-2012 at 01:50 PM.
    05-05-2012 11:15 AM
  3. cedarlog's Avatar
    yes multiple options for the user always good
    05-05-2012 01:21 PM
  4. N8ter's Avatar
    No, but I kinda want a BB10 device right now. Who knows what Android and iOS devices will come out between now and that releases, though.
    05-05-2012 03:20 PM
  5. fatclue_98's Avatar
    No, it's not really premature. It's pretty dead. Not quite there yet, but very definitely staggering around with an arrow in its jugular. Did you see the new BB10 developer phone? Nary a hard key in sight.

    There's a basic mechanical reason for the death of portrait keyboards--you have to "choke up" on your phone to use a touchscreen if you have a portrait keyboard. You're right that you might be able to approximate a BB keyboard with a 4" screen, but your hands are going to be totally misaligned for actually using the touchscreen. Unless you choke up, which is going to make it difficult to use and more likely to be dropped, and just clunky.

    You're right that Blackberries are still selling, but they don't have touchscreens. Portrait keyboards and touch screens just don't mix.

    Slideout keyboards are still an option, as I said, but they're not really being made anymore. We're 5 months into 2012 and there hasn't been a slideout phone released yet, that I know of. And I haven't heard of one being released. There probably will be a couple, but they'll be EOLed before anyone could notice they existed.

    I used to love hard keyboards, but truthfully soft keyboards like Swiftkey have rendered them irrelevant.
    Portraits and keyboards don't mix? Are you kidding me? The best mobile OS is nothing BUT portrait touchscreens and keyboards. webOS. Don't get into the lack of apps or the crappy hardware argument. That horse is dead from the beating it's taken. I'm talking about the UI, multi-tasking and fluidness of the OS, not to mention the first, and best, contact integration (Synergy) out there. WP7 comes closest and I'm very happy with it and how it performs on my DVP. Yes, a 4" AMOLED touchscreen and a portrait slider keyboard. I don't know what you're talking about misalignment and choking up or any of that drivel. Maybe it's my very large hands that allow me to manhandle any device.
    05-05-2012 06:14 PM
  6. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    Portraits and keyboards don't mix? Are you kidding me? The best mobile OS is nothing BUT portrait touchscreens and keyboards. webOS. Don't get into the lack of apps or the crappy hardware argument. That horse is dead from the beating it's taken. I'm talking about the UI, multi-tasking and fluidness of the OS, not to mention the first, and best, contact integration (Synergy) out there. WP7 comes closest and I'm very happy with it and how it performs on my DVP. Yes, a 4" AMOLED touchscreen and a portrait slider keyboard. I don't know what you're talking about misalignment and choking up or any of that drivel. Maybe it's my very large hands that allow me to manhandle any device.
    I think he was talking about portrait touchscreen and non-slide out keyboards.
    05-05-2012 06:30 PM
  7. fatclue_98's Avatar
    I think he was talking about portrait touchscreen and non-slide out keyboards.
    If he was, he didn't read post #21 regarding my experience with the Moto Droid Pro.
    05-05-2012 06:40 PM
  8. tekhna's Avatar
    Portraits and keyboards don't mix? Are you kidding me? The best mobile OS is nothing BUT portrait touchscreens and keyboards. webOS. Don't get into the lack of apps or the crappy hardware argument. That horse is dead from the beating it's taken. I'm talking about the UI, multi-tasking and fluidness of the OS, not to mention the first, and best, contact integration (Synergy) out there. WP7 comes closest and I'm very happy with it and how it performs on my DVP. Yes, a 4" AMOLED touchscreen and a portrait slider keyboard. I don't know what you're talking about misalignment and choking up or any of that drivel. Maybe it's my very large hands that allow me to manhandle any device.
    This actually makes my point for me, thanks. I went and got my Pre out of the drawer I buried that POS in and it's impossible to use the touchscreen while the keyboard is deployed. You have to pop the keyboard back under to use the touchscreen.

    And perhaps I misspoke--portrait keyboards that don't slide are dead, but I can only think of two smartphones with sliding portrait keyboards and they're both dreadful, and out of production. Which probably means sliding portrait keyboards are dead too.

    As for best Mobile OS, well, :dry
    Let's just say I was ecstatic when I moved on.
    05-05-2012 07:45 PM
  9. jalb's Avatar
    Cute little smartphones have a pretty long history of tanking.

    Palm Pixi
    Palm Veer
    Microsoft Kin

    I'm sure there are more, that's just what comes to mind offhand.

    There's been a convergence in the market now that portrait keyboards have died a much deserved death. There's not really another form factor out there, so yeah, phones kinda do have to look alike.
    The only other form factor option is slide out keyboards, but Android OEMs have mostly stopped making phones with slide out keyboards. It's basically been an entire generation, maybe a bit more since there was a hit Android phone with slide out keyboard. The newest slide out keyboard I can think of is the Droid 3, and that was a dud.

    That's pretty much what I'm complaining about. If anyone produces a phone the least bit notarectangleslab, it gets literally shouted down. I'm not saying it's not a reality, I just think it's a reality that sucks. People are sheep.
    05-06-2012 01:54 PM
  10. N8ter's Avatar
    Portraits and keyboards don't mix? Are you kidding me? The best mobile OS is nothing BUT portrait touchscreens and keyboards. webOS. Don't get into the lack of apps or the crappy hardware argument. That horse is dead from the beating it's taken. I'm talking about the UI, multi-tasking and fluidness of the OS, not to mention the first, and best, contact integration (Synergy) out there. WP7 comes closest and I'm very happy with it and how it performs on my DVP. Yes, a 4" AMOLED touchscreen and a portrait slider keyboard. I don't know what you're talking about misalignment and choking up or any of that drivel. Maybe it's my very large hands that allow me to manhandle any device.
    If it was the best then developers would have supported it better since you can always take an awesome OS and put it on better hardware, especially with HP buying them and the potential to put out more formfactors (i.e. TouchPads which pretty much failed before they even launched save for the shortsales :P ). HP pretty much killed WebOS when they announced the Veer and Pre 2 with the same form-factor, though. It just bought back too many bad memories. My experience with the Pre and Pre+ tells me that the OS was very far from perfect, never minde best ever.

    I think WebOS was great, but to call it the best ever is stretching it. There were certainly a few innovations therein, though. One thing that pops out is that performance was hit and miss with WebOS and battery life was generally poor. Palm's shoddy HW just made sure it scored a Home Run to failure, IMO.

    Also, most portrain non-BB keyboards have traditionally been terrible (Nokia's especially on their eSeries is worse than the Droid Pro's KB) and most landscape sliders save for a Couple HTC or Moto ones have been pretty bad as well nevermind those require too much reach for very fast typing to begin with...
    Last edited by N8ter; 05-06-2012 at 04:38 PM.
    05-06-2012 04:32 PM
  11. fatclue_98's Avatar
    If it was the best then developers would have supported it better since you can always take an awesome OS and put it on better hardware, especially with HP buying them and the potential to put out more formfactors (i.e. TouchPads which pretty much failed before they even launched save for the shortsales :P ). HP pretty much killed WebOS when they announced the Veer and Pre 2 with the same form-factor, though. It just bought back too many bad memories. My experience with the Pre and Pre+ tells me that the OS was very far from perfect, never minde best ever.

    I think WebOS was great, but to call it the best ever is stretching it. There were certainly a few innovations therein, though. One thing that pops out is that performance was hit and miss with WebOS and battery life was generally poor. Palm's shoddy HW just made sure it scored a Home Run to failure, IMO.

    Also, most portrain non-BB keyboards have traditionally been terrible (Nokia's especially on their eSeries is worse than the Droid Pro's KB) and most landscape sliders save for a Couple HTC or Moto ones have been pretty bad as well nevermind those require too much reach for very fast typing to begin with...
    webOS failed because Leo Apotheker came from a M&A background and decided to kill the entire HP consumer unit and focus on enterprise sales & development. The Touchpad was actually a very nice device that devs managed to port Android 4.0 onto it. The Pre2 was Palm's last device, not HP's. I've never held a Veer in my hands but I imagine it would be impossible for me to even hold that device. The Pre3 had all the right specs to make it a real player before Leo the Hun dropped the hammer. Besides, it's my opinion and I'm tired of having to justify to every Tom, **** & Harry. You have yours, I have mine. Don't like it, don't reply.
    05-06-2012 06:07 PM
  12. fleeper99's Avatar
    Not even a little bit.
    fatclue_98 likes this.
    05-06-2012 06:23 PM
  13. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Not even a little bit.
    I like that, keep it light. Life's too short, you learn that after you suffer a heart attack at 46.
    05-06-2012 06:30 PM
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