I went to the Apple store on 5th Ave in NYC to try out the iPhone (specifically the keyboard). I have to say that it is downright unuseable with 2 thumbs. It's designed to be held in one hand and tapped by a finger from the other hand. The auto-correction is somewhat nice for simple words, but it trips up when you type in something unfamiliar. Not having a stylus is also a problem if you want to place the cursor back to correct a mistake (and this happens a lot).
In short the keyboard is just as bad as I thought it might be and maybe worse.
P.S. Safari on EDGE is slow, but on Wi-Fi is probably the best browser I've seen on a phone.
- 07-02-2007, 08:54 PM #2
Are your thumbs very large?Are you using the tips of your thumbs or just mashing the buttons with the center of your thumbs? Maybe you just need a bit more practice...I've only been using it 3 days and I've got the hang of it.
- 07-02-2007, 08:56 PM #3
Yeah, I wasn't impressed with the keyboard in portrait mode at all. Tons of typos due to the too-small-for-finger-tapping keyboard. And, as you say, it seems like Job's intention is for people to hold the thing with one hand and poke at it with the index finger on their other hand (as opposed to holding it with one hand and typing with your thumb). Well, if you're effectively going to require people to make use of both hands, why not go all the way and optimize it for landscape use? In landscape mode, the thumbboard becomes usable (if a bit spartan). Too bad it only works with the web browser. From playing with my brother's iPhone today, it also seems like once you've got the keyboard visible, it won't change orientation. So if you're in portrait mode and you tap on the URL textbox and the keyboard shows up, turning the iPhone sideways won't re-orient the screen; it stays stuck in portrait mode.
The good news is that these keyboard issues are things that could be easily changed via a firmware update and I expect they will.
- 07-02-2007, 09:02 PM #4
I've got larger than average hands and i have no problems using two thumbs. It definitely takes some adjustment from the 650 i was using, but it wasnt a huge problem. What words did the auto-correct mess up on? For me it takes doing what David Pogue suggested, just trust the keyboard and auto-correct. When i have had to go back and correct a word it just takes dragging the cursor back and deleting. You will make mistakes when typing on this keyboard, lots of them compared to a treo style keyboard, but in my experience the auto-correct does its job. It wont help you on URLs or passwords though, you have to get those right, no auto-correct there and that is where the keyboards faults really show. I'm gonna have to build an extensive bookmark list to get around that issue. Another feature that helps mitigate this issue is that it will fill in visited URLs as you type them.
Also, ive actually been impressed with the EDGE network as compared to when i used it with my Treo, its much more usable with the iPhone.
- 07-02-2007, 09:06 PM #5
- 07-02-2007, 09:47 PM #6
- 07-02-2007, 09:48 PM #7
- 07-03-2007, 01:54 AM #8
I had somehow overlooked this important feature of a smartphone. Surprising since I was very skeptical about the keyboard of the Blackberry Pearl. I was extremely surprised that I was able to get as fast on the Pearl as on my Treo with just a few minutes practice. The Pearl just somehow seems to get it right (far more than 90% of the time which, btw, is absolutely a horrendous success rate).
When I tried out the iPhone, I was quite dismayed. My fingers & thumbs are normal size, I guess, and the iPhone missed about every 3rd letter I typed. Enter the predictive text/error correction - what an abysmal joke. Apple needs to reverse engineer the Blackberry's implementation imho. And, for error correction, you basically hold your finger down until a magnified box pops up. Sliding your finger left & right moves the cursor. You move it just after the character to delete then hit the backspace key. You'd think they'd at least get this no doubt oft used feature wouldn't you - NOT! The sensitivity to movement seems to be all wrong. Perhaps it's somehow adjustable?
- 07-03-2007, 07:29 AM #9
And, for error correction, you basically hold your finger down until a magnified box pops up.
Sliding your finger left & right moves the cursor. You move it just after the character to delete then hit the backspace key. You'd think they'd at least get this no doubt oft used feature wouldn't you - NOT!
- 07-03-2007, 07:42 AM #10
- 07-03-2007, 07:44 AM #11
- 07-03-2007, 08:16 AM #12
Faster each time
Was skeptical i could get used to the iPhone keyboard--but visited the Apple shop again yesterday. significant improvement though still not perfect -- i now have flashbacks of what a chore it was to type on the first qwerty Treo. I've always wanted those hard keys to be replaced by good ole screen so i guess there is an iPhone in my future.:o
- 07-03-2007, 10:01 AM #13
- 07-03-2007, 02:08 PM #14
- 07-03-2007, 04:18 PM #15
- 07-03-2007, 04:45 PM #16
- 07-03-2007, 09:52 PM #17
- 07-04-2007, 12:39 AM #18
- 07-04-2007, 11:43 AM #19
I checked out the iPhone the other day. In my brief test I tried entering 'how now brown cow', what I got was something like 'hey neon born cow'. I kinda gave the kb the benefit of the doubt though since everyone seems to be saying that the iPhone eventually 'learns you'.
- 07-04-2007, 11:50 AM #20
I think that, without a doubt, they are going to have to improve the keyboard. At the very least, allow the horizontal keyboard for all programs (which, according to a thread on howardforums and a blurb on macrumors, is also coming "soon.")
Despite the above trick, punctuation should appear on the main keyboard as well. And it sounds like the correction logic/dictionary logic could be improved as well. Hopefully improvements will be coming soon.
- 07-04-2007, 04:51 PM #21
- 07-06-2007, 06:44 AM #22
Yesterday, I spent a significant amount of time with the iPhone again - trying to get proficient with the "keyboard". I still consider it a catastrophe. I'm easily twice as fast on my Treo 750's tiny, though physical, keyboard. Heck, I'm even faster with the stylus on the on-screen keyboard than on the iPhone. And BOTH Treo 750 "keyboards" have me typing nearly error free.
There are a number of useability factors contributing to the failure of the iPhone keyboard's effectiveness. One I left out last time is also quite significant. For whatever reason, Apple chose to do a little "pop-up" of the letter it thinks you are "pressing". Well, if I could SEE the letter I was pressing, I probably wouldn't be pressing the wrong one, now would I. This pop-up letter seemed to have been designed for Jobs' iPhone announcement speech where his fingers were not projected on the big screen (i.e. only what was displayed on the iPhone's screen was projected as I recall).
Apple, here's an idea... Make your pop-up letter appear somewhere OTHER than under my finger! Then, maybe I could "correct" my typing immediately.
BTW, that "missing manual" trick of sliding your finger from the "123" key worked like a charm. I must applaud that trick/innovation.
I bring this "trick" up because it applies here, too. Suppose I mean to press an 'M' and somehow the iPhone thinks I'm pressing an 'N'. If that pop-up 'N' were actually VISIBLE (i.e. not under my finger!!!), I would see the 'N' and know to "slide" my finger a smidge to the right to instead select the 'M' correctly.
This one suggested fix (i.e. pop-up letters somewhere OTHER than where my finger is), along with this trick, would go along way to making this keyboard useable for me. YMMV
- 07-06-2007, 07:04 AM #23
For whatever reason, Apple chose to do a little "pop-up" of the letter it thinks you are "pressing". Well, if I could SEE the letter I was pressing, I probably wouldn't be pressing the wrong one, now would I. This pop-up letter seemed to have been designed for Jobs' iPhone announcement speech where his fingers were not projected on the big screen (i.e. only what was displayed on the iPhone's screen was projected as I recall).
Apple, here's an idea... Make your pop-up letter appear somewhere OTHER than under my finger! Then, maybe I could "correct" my typing immediately...... Suppose I mean to press an 'M' and somehow the iPhone thinks I'm pressing an 'N'. If that pop-up 'N' were actually VISIBLE (i.e. not under my finger!!!), I would see the 'N' and know to "slide" my finger a smidge to the right to instead select the 'M' correctly.
- 07-06-2007, 08:36 AM #24
- 07-06-2007, 01:35 PM #25
Seriously, unless you are holding the iPhone in a very slanted manner, the path from your eyes to your finger obscures where Apple chose to "pop-up" the letter. If they would just pop it up a quarter inch higher, I would be fine. As it is, my finger tip obscures the pop-up.
Remember that the pad of your finger is not at the edge of your finger. Your finger is mostly rounded on the bottom. So "pressing" a key means centering your finger over the key leaving the rounded tip of your finger (and certainly your thumb!) obscuring the pop-up - unless you have very small fingers or, perhaps, type with your fingernails...
Originally Posted by edmc
Originally Posted by cmaier
...and really not nearly as helpful when typing in Web Addresses since, did you notice, no SPACE KEY?
Really, though, it just doesn't seem to be anywhere near as good as the Blackberry Pearl I was able to get proficient with in just a few minutes. And, mind you, the Pearl has TWO LETTERS PER KEY - certainly a bigger challenge...