Touchscreen phones are phones missing a keyboard

by Volker Weber

RIM makes really, really good smartphones. In fact, I think the Bold 9700 is by and large the best phone you can buy today. It. Just. Works. And I have not been able to deplete the battery in my longest day.

Today it was time to use the other new phone that RIM just brought to the market: the Storm2. Wonderful large screen, much improved SureType over the Storm1. And yet, it is simply missing a keyboard, no matter how well they try faking one with the onscreen keyboard.

Want an example? I installed Google Sync to get my contacts and calendar on the phone. Simple install: go to m.google.com/sync, hit the install link, follow the prompts and launch it. Sync asks for username and password. Enter username, tap on password. Up comes a menu as if you pushed the menu button. Fooled around for a quarter of an hour and cannot get it to tab down to the next field. ARGHH!

Turns out there is a solution. Go to options, go to applications, select 3rd party applications, tap Google Sync, open menu, select "disable compatibility mode". Reopen Google Sync, and now you can tap on the password field. How many people will ever get there?

On a Bold, this just works, roll down to the password field, and you will never hit this road block. On the Storm I constantly find myself crashing into these obscure obstacles.

Comments

From your post it sounds like you were missing the trackball/trackpad not the keyboard to solve this particular problem... ;-)

Michael Weitzel, 2009-11-13

I owned a series of touchscreen phones, initially w/o keyboard, later with keyboard (SonyEricsson P800, P900 and P910). With the stylus I was quite efficient in writing, but especially for rarely used characters it was in the end more efficient to use the keyboard. With some hesitation I switched to the Nokia E71 and the only reason I hesitated was that I thought I'd miss the touchscreen. And I do. Not very much, but still. I would wonder whether any of the phone manufacturer's labs has ever tried to make a touchscreen where you can use a finger instead a stylus but still use strokes to "type" characters. I'm not sure, but I could figure that given the advancements of touchscreen in the past 4-5 years, that could be good enough...

Ragnar Schierholz, 2009-11-13

So basically from what I understand you are in favorite for the touchpad of the bold2, not the keyboard itself - to easily move down to the password field...

I was always wondering why a touchpad has not been put in the middle of the storm1 keys below the screen (I am still using the 1 version - soon I will get myself the Storm2 :-)

I would rather say that RIM was not able to bring out the right OS for the right phone navigation. Just using the OS from the keyboard-blackberries was not right at all...

If you see all the news from the RIM Dev Conference, I - even after suffering some pain with my Storm1 - will get myself a Storm2. This will be be future phone, next to the 9700 - and hopefully soon supported also in the right way through the new OS 5.0...

Take care, -MarcO

MarcO Mathews, 2009-11-14

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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