Apple iPhone’s touch-based keyboard: good or bad?

Apple Store“As the iPhone countdown continues, I thought I’d chime in with my reflections on Apple’s uber-device and its rivals. I spent some quality time with an iPhone at Macworld Expo in January, and it truly is impressive. Its mobile Web browser alone is worth the price of admission–the touch-based pinch and stretch zoom controls are beautiful. The music, photo, and messaging features are cool as well. But the touch-based keyboard isn’t great for thumb typing, and Apple’s decision to ban third-party apps is a big disappointment,” Eric Dahl writes for PC World.

Dahl writes, “Unfortunately, competition may not arrive for a while: LG’s Prada phone won’t be sold in the States; and Samsung’s neat F700, a touch-screen phone with a slide-out keyboard, may not reach our shores either.”

“Bottom Line: Unless the iPhone can magically get an AT&T signal to my house, I’ll skip it. Too bad Apple locked out third-party solutions–I was all set to take Skype calls over the iPhone’s Wi-Fi,” Dahl writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How much time did Dahl really spend with the iPhone, five minutes like most of the media was allowed? Let’s hear from someone who’s spent more time with the device, Andy Ihnatko of The Chicago Sun-Times, “I had a private briefing the day after Steve Jobs’ keynote and spent about 45 minutes noodling around with the device… I think the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is a huge improvement over the mechanical thumbpads found on the Treo and any other smart phones of its size.”

Full article from Jan 18th here.

76 Comments

  1. It seems to me that the virtual keyboard is probably more usable as a real keyboard, not just thumbs. After all, thumbs are the least mobile and nimble of our digits. Since the iPhone is flat, I can see putting down on a support (i.e table, etc.) and using both hands to type. Even if the virtual keys are relatively close together, I’ll bet that all-finger typing will be very easy, especially with the predictive algorithms that it supposedly has.

    My 2¢ worth

  2. I don’t know about this one guy’s opinion.

    But overall that keyboard better defy all odds and be the one that puts those negative thoughts about touchscreens behind us. I don’t care that it lacks 3G or a memory card slot but it’s imperative that the basics are covered strongly.

    If there’s a learning curve, fine. When it’s all said and done, the use of the iPhone’s keyboard has to be an enjoyable experience.

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