Typing Troubles: How the Virtual Keypad Fails To Match Up To the Physical One




By Thea Neuman (Google)

Apple’s iPhone brought about a tremendous volte-face in the mobile market. Full-touch facilities became the talk of the town and the physical keyboard was pushed into the background of everyone’s memory. In the debate over the virtues of the physical and the virtual keyboard, many put forth the argument that market sales statistics speak for themselves. People have neglected the QWERTY keypad openly in favor of the pixel keypad. But the former’s supporters argue that it may simply be the result of a severe lack of options. For those who want a QWERTY keypad and a good phone, rolled into one, the available choices are Blackberry Q5 and Q10 – absolutely lack of multiple choices here.

Read on to learn about the reasons why BlackBerry keypad enthusiasts continue to root for it in a time when the touch screen phone provides better usability, larger images and enhanced mobile browsing.

The Perils of Predictive Texting

Most touch phone users internalize this problem so much that they will fail to recognize it as a problem in the first instant. Predictive texting never was and never can be as accurate as its makers hoped it would be. Autocorrect goofs up more often than you do. While people who find touch typing preferable, may certainly be as fast at typing as their counterparts who go for the real thing – their accuracy is bound to be lesser.

The truth is that touch typing cannot afford the luxury of blind and careless message writing. You have to be completely engrossed in the task to be able to send a proper, faultless message. While this may not be a concern for people who do not care for the comfort of typing blindly, but for those who do, it is a major dampener on their love for their mobile. People who prioritize their cell phones as communication devices more than for their use as gaming and browsing gadgets, definitely value the convenience provided by physical keypads.

Focus Troubles

Typing Troubles: How the Virtual Keypad Fails To Match Up To the Physical One On touch phones, typing is a task that utilizes all of your focus and abilities. You have to simultaneously concentrate on three areas – the virtual keypad that you’re using to type, the area where your typed message is appearing, and the suggestions being prompted by the AutoCorrect feature.

With a BlackBerry’s physical keyboard, the experience is hundred times easier. All you have to do is concentrate on the screen where your message appears (obviously, that is applicable only after you’ve become a pro at blind typing). There is minimum wastage of effort in continuously juggling between three areas of the phone to type one message. You don’t need to continuously pay attention to the screen while typing, and you can do it while doing some other physical activity. Of course you should double-check still, but that happens once the message is typed and done, unlike a touch phone, where cross-checking is an inherent part of the typing process.

The comfort of blind typing and the relaxation of having to focus minimally while typing; it is no surprise that the physical keypad still has many loyal takers.

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