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  1.    #1  
    We all know iPhone and I think we all admire the way its built-in virtual keyboard works seamlessly and flawlessly without any issues.

    Palm, on the other hand, decided to go with a physical keyboard. Although once you get used to it, you can type quite fast (unless you have large fingers), on some occasions you just don't want to slide out the keyboard.

    For precisely that reason, more and more people want an on-screen virtual keyboard.

    Although a complete and integrated solution such as the iPhone's keyboard can be developed only by palm as part of the operating system, there are several alternatives available in today's app-catalog.

    All are great, with some better than others. The big questions are: Which one to download? Which one to buy? Am I willing to pay extra for a better product?

    Before you buy, check the following functionality list against all available on-screen keyboards.

    • Supports both landscape and portrait modes – I like the portrait mode even more than the landscape. It is easier to hold the device in an upright position especially when the device is in the car cradle.

    • Cursor visibility – make sure the cursor is visible as you type. Without this feature you will not be able to make any changes to the text without deleting the entire text backwards.

    • Edit/Modify text – In addition to the above point – can you place your cursor in the middle of the text and make some changes? Very important!

    • Navigation – Can you navigate inside the text by using the finger or with navigation buttons?

    • Auto Scroll – Have you tried to type a long quantity of text recently? Make sure your keyboard auto-scrolls the text as you type.

    • Backspace – Can you use the backspace? I know … I know… Who would release an on-screen keyboard without a backspace? You'd be surprised.

    • Customizable auto correct – The auto correct feature is great, especially when it comes to mobile devices which are hard to type with. Make sure you can add your own words to that list and customize it your way.

    • Copy/Paste – Since the method of those keyboards mainly relies on the copy/paste mechanism – make sure at least the copy part is done automatically for you! Less extra actions to perform.

    • A direct link to other applications – Make sure the keyboard has other methods to bypass the copy/paste mechanism in order to make it easier on you. Look for a keyboard with a customizable "target list" of applications which you can add or remove.

    • Languages – Does your keyboard support other languages? If you only need English, that's not important for you. But if English is your second language this one is crucial!

    • Right to left / Left to right – In addition to other languages, does the keyboard support right-to-left direction?

    • Capslock, Shift and Capital letters – Auto caps mechanism is a great benefit. Check if your shift key has two working modes – as caps lock until released or auto-release after pressing the letter.

    • Bells and whistles – Feedback as you type. That can be audible or haptic.

    Can you think of functionality better than this?
  2. #2  
    Nice write up.

    It would be nice if you had links to the available virtual keyboards. I only know of 1 or 2.
    Pilot 5K->Palm IIIc->Tungsten T/T2->Treo 650/680 -> Pre+ (1.4.5 & Uberkernel)
  3. #3  
    My Home Keyboard

    It doesn't have everything you list, but it's pretty darn close. And it ROCKS!!!!

    I have it on my quicklaunch. It's great for typing really long text entries without opening up the phone. And it auto saves everything you type to the clipboard so all you have to do is hit paste and you're done.

    IMHO it's the best virtual keyboard so far for the Pre. By far.

    Update: Not only does it do other languages, I just learned that it even allows you to type in Klingon. What other VK can do that?
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Vociferous View Post
    My Home Keyboard

    It doesn't have everything you list, but it's pretty darn close. And it ROCKS!!!!

    I have it on my quicklaunch. It's great for typing really long text entries without opening up the phone. And it auto saves everything you type to the clipboard so all you have to do is hit paste and you're done.

    IMHO it's the best virtual keyboard so far for the Pre. By far.

    Update: Not only does it do other languages, I just learned that it even allows you to type in Klingon. What other VK can do that?
    The idea of pasting everything from the Keyboard app to another app sounds like a pain. I prefer an on screen keyboard that works the same as the physical keyboard.
    Pilot 5K->Palm IIIc->Tungsten T/T2->Treo 650/680 -> Pre+ (1.4.5 & Uberkernel)
  5. #5  
    add spell-checker to the list.

    I bought the My Home Keyboard, at first i had some issues with it but I got instant reply from the developer. he solved the problem in no-time. i'm very pleased with it.

    I also tried the free keyboard version before I bought My Home Keyboard but the free version has no cursor and you can't edit text in the middle. and no portrait mode.
  6. zepnik's Avatar
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    #6  
    I also love MHK, it is no doubt one of most used apps on my pre. I think it answers all the issues raised in this white paper and more...

    i also tried the on-screen notepad app with it's very "iphonish" look, what a frustrating experience! No portrait, cannot edit, and apart from it's cool look had no advantage other than it's price.

    so... To sum things up, my vote goes as well to "My Home Keyboard"
    Pilot 1000> Palm Pilot Personal> Palm III >Palm V> Palm Vx> Palm m505> Palm m515> Tungsten T> Tungsten T2> Tungsten T3> Treo 680> Palm Pre> Pre2> Pre3+Touchpad 32GB
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by swieder View Post
    The idea of pasting everything from the Keyboard app to another app sounds like a pain. I prefer an on screen keyboard that works the same as the physical keyboard.
    For long text entry, I actually prefer having the screen real estate that MHK gives me. And once I've finished typing, it takes literally two swipes to get me to Paste and I'm done.

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