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  1.    #1  
    er, sorry thats slabs not laps! Funny error when talking about keyboards. Thing is, I am at my desktop! Getting too used to the text correction I guess...

    The secret????

    The Slabs are easier to use one-handed!

    Having played with my daughter's Hero, my wife's Transform and my new Evo for a while and comparing it to the Pre, I find that they are much easier to use one-handed with their virtual keyboards than the pre is with the slide out.

    The issue seems to be a combo of weight and ballance and reach. Having experimented with them, it seems to me that the optimal placement for a keyboard to be used one-handed on a device is such that the top row of keys are about 40% up to the center of gravity on the phone. In other words, on a fairly evenly weighted phone, the top row of keys should be just a little less than halfway up the device.

    This puts the phone in a stable position in the hand and allows (me at least) to use the keyboard one-handed, being able to reach the keys, and the touchscreen, while still keeping a secure hold on the thing.

    Interestingly, this was just about the placement on my good-old 650/755p's that still have the greatest keyboard I've ever used on a phone.

    The pre keyboard, on the other hand, is too low, makng the phone "top-heavy" to hold securely while using the keyboard. Also it's necessary -- for me again -- to shift it in my hand up and down to get from keyboard to the touch screen on the Pre.

    On the slabs I have played with this is not a problem. The downside to the virtual keyboard, of course, is that it takes up space on the touchscreen but that also means that your thumb can reach the whole available area without shifting the device in my hand (full disclosure: I have a long thumb so the I can reach just everything on the Evo, others might not on that big of a screen. ) On the Pre the way its designed I just can't type and then go to the touchscreen (especially the top of it) without physcially shifting it.

    I do remember when the pre first came out a number of people mentioning the issue with the keyboard and stability in holding it, but have not seen that mentioned since then in light of all the slabs out there now and how they work. I know I dropped or nearly dropped my Pre many times while using it one-handed and that has not been the case with any of the slabs.

    As for the virtutes of the physical keyboard vrs virtual. On some Android phones the vitual keyboard is a pain since you can't just call it up and start typing, you have to get into an app first, then hit the area where you are supposed to type, then the keyboard pops up. That is not an issue on the newer phones since you CAN call up the keyboard with one press of a button and start typing. I also have found the text-prediction software to be amazing such that I am typing a lot faster and more accuratly on the virtual keyboards than I was with the Pre.

    Hope on Feb 9 HP includes a big-screened slab, with a great virtual keyboard as one of the devices they will be offering.
    Last edited by Cantaffordit; 01/10/2011 at 10:48 AM. Reason: adjusted title
  2. #2  
    IDK, I use the Pre 1 handed with the keyboard out and have 0 issues with weight distribution. In fact the buttons help easily know which key I am on, something you don't get with a virtual keyboard.
  3. #3  
    Yeah, one-handed use is further improved with keyboards like Swype. I use that when one-handed and the Gingerbread keyboard when two-handed.

    One of the biggest stability issues I've found with the Pre is when I'm laying down (face up) and trying to type on it. The top-heaviness is profound at that point.
  4. #4  
    Maybe for surfing, but not for typing, especially when I can't look at the keyboard exclusively.
  5. #5  
    what's a pain one handed on the pre's keyboard is the meta tap+keyboard shortcuts. I think those need to be include in menus you get by tap-and-holding a word, & or double tapping
  6. #6  
    In my opinion, I type faster on a physical keyboard with two hands. One handed, I can type on a physical keyboard with no problem but it does, at times, seem useful typing one handed on a virtual keyboard. Thats why I feel having both is the best (which, thanks to homebrew, I have). So, again in my opinion, the pre is perfect for me.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by patricksmangan View Post
    what's a pain one handed on the pre's keyboard is the meta tap+keyboard shortcuts. I think those need to be include in menus you get by tap-and-holding a word, & or double tapping
    That's so true. I normaly use my Pre one handed, so when a situation comes up where I need to use 'meta+key', my whole flow gets interrupted. Luckily, I don't really need to use 'meta+key' shortcuts much...
  8. #8  
    I love my Pre keyboard. I really do. But I am so much faster on my EVO with Swype. It is Swype that keeps seeting the new World texting speed record.

    But then I tried SwiftKey. Oh my. It is so much faster.

    What is faster than typing?

    Not typing.

    In the car, I use the SwiftKey speech to text for messages and emails. (Typing in a car is illegal in 30 states.)

    But the keyboard is the magic. SwiftKey learns how you write. It starts by learning your patterns in your previous texts. Then as time goes by it get better and better at guessing what your next word will be. It is so good that sometimes it suggests a better word than what you were originally thinking!

    Until 1/18/11, you can still enroll in SwiftKey's free beta. On the 18th the new beta cycle begins. I cannot wait to see what comes next!

    Right now even if we had new webOS hardware, we do not know if HP will allow the API's to be opened up to allow keyboards, speech to text, voice commands, or third party music, camera, calendar, email, and messaging apps.

    I hope that HP not only announces new hardware on 2/9/11, but the ability for developers to use it.

    - Craig
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/10/2011 at 11:50 AM.
  9. DSPKweb's Avatar
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    #9  
    I can say that on the Evo, the screen is big enough to where you can type two handed without am issue and be as fast as I was with the Pre's physical keyboard. I have always had phones with physical keyboards so was worried about the transition but it has been smooth. Here's hoping that whatever HPalm brings out for a slab phone has a large enough screen to making typing easy.
  10. #10  
    With evo in my right hand and the "slide it" keyboard I can type/text very fast with just my thumb.

    Evo-lution
  11. #11  
    You know what I would have to say goodbye to if there was no physical keyboard? Playing the NES, SNES and Gameboy emulators. I need a physical keyboard for that. The on screen buttons don't cut it.
  12. Barebuns's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    It is Swype that keeps seeting the new World texting speed record.
    I'm not sure what loophole they are using to be able to claim Swype is faster than Fitaly, since Fitaly appears far superior on a words per minute basis.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Barebuns View Post
    I'm not sure what loophole they are using to be able to claim Swype is faster than Fitaly, since Fitaly appears far superior on a words per minute basis.
    Fitaly was for the Pocket PC in 2003, right? 8pen is the modern equivalent?

    Did the Guinness Book Of Records test Fitaly? How?
  14. #14  
    I love the Evo, I feel the size is perfect and I've gotten very good with Swype and am trying Swiftkey.
    Sent from my favorite gadget!
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    I love my Pre keyboard. I really do. But I am so much faster on my EVO with Swype. It is Swype that keeps seeting the new World texting speed record.

    But then I tried SwiftKey. Oh my. It is so much faster.

    What is faster than typing?

    Not typing.

    In the car, I use the SwiftKey speech to text for messages and emails. (Typing in a car is illegal in 30 states.)

    But the keyboard is the magic. SwiftKey learns how you write. It starts by learning your patterns in your previous texts. Then as time goes by it get better and better at guessing what your next word will be. It is so good that sometimes it suggests a better word than what you were originally thinking!

    Until 1/18/11, you can still enroll in SwiftKey's free beta. On the 18th the new beta cycle begins. I cannot wait to see what comes next!

    Right now even if we had new webOS hardware, we do not know if HP will allow the API's to be opened up to allow keyboards, speech to text, voice commands, or third party music, camera, calendar, email, and messaging apps.

    I hope that HP not only announces new hardware on 2/9/11, but the ability for developers to use it.

    - Craig
    Looks like the mic api's have been released according to the front page Pre Central article...that's a good start.
    If "If's" and "But's" were candy and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas!


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