Monday, October 01, 2007

iPhone: Not convinced by that keyboard yet

I switched to an iPhone just over 3 weeks ago. My previous phone was a Nokia E62. I would have a lot of good and bad things to say about that Nokia, but for sure one of the good things was its full QWERTY keyboard. I didn't get a chance to compare it to one of those Blackberry keyboards, but it is for sure more comfortable to me than the Treo keyboards: the keys are larger and the keyboard itself is wider.

I wasn't sure what to expect when switching to the iPhone. Some predicted the iPhone keyboard would be a lemon, while others found it much better than the Treo keyboard. I will have to agree with the usability study done by User Centric: if you are used to the real QWERTY keyboard on your current phone, be ready for a big disappointment when you switch to the iPhone.

The correction algorithm is nice; very much so. But you will come to hate it if like me you occasionally write in a language other than English. And considering how multicultural the U.S. is, I assume I must not be the only one having a problem with this. This in one major deficiency of the iPhone. At the very least Apple should have provided a quick way to disable the correction algorithm.

And then, even when writing in English, I am much slower on the iPhone than I used to be on the Nokia E62. I was frequently writing a few paragraphs worth of text on the E62. Doing the same on the iPhone would be a waste of time, and I rarely write more than a couple of sentences on the iPhone.

This is too bad, as the ability to capture text is IMHO one important feature of a mobile device. Maybe we all need, in addition to our iPhone, to have a Hipster PDA!