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  1.    #1  
    I remember reading somewhere (admittedly a while ago) that all webOS phones would have hard keyboards. Obviously, the simple inclusion of a soft keyboard does not imply a manufacturing decision contrary to this, but it makes it all the more likely that we're going to see at least one slate device (other than the tablet) running webOS sometime in 2011.

    I don't have a problem with different form factors, but ever since Palm was picked up by HP, I thought that they would give us the phone that they owed us: a phone that does the hardware keyboard right (while preferably increasing the screen size to at least 3.5"). According to everyone I've conferred with, hardware keyboards are superior to soft keyboards (sentiments that are echoed on this board as well ).

    I'm not a backseat product line manager, but I've always thought that if they could combine the best of both worlds (an OS better than the iPhone with the keyboard of a Blackberry) that they could potentially scoop up defectors from both platforms.

    I guess with all the slate devices from each of its competitors, HP feels as though they need to conform to compete. I maintain that if they're able to create form-factors that are attractive and have great keyboards, they'll be able to do more than just "compete".

    But what do I know?

    Does anyone else feel like this?
  2. #2  
    A company unwilling to change with demand and innovation won't last very long.
  3. #3  
    No, not really. It seems that HP/Palm will have various form factors that include some with a physical kb (both landscape kb and a vertical slider kb) and some with a virtual one. It seems like a win-win for those interested in WebOS.

    Personally, I don't like landscape kb's and that would deter me from the Epic device offered by Samsung. I'd choose the Evo if I were leaving WebOS, even though it doesn't have a physical kb.
    Achill3s' Palm Pre: Modded and patched to death!!
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Achill3s View Post
    No, not really. It seems that HP/Palm will have various form factors that include some with a physical kb (both landscape kb and a vertical slider kb) and some with a virtual one. It seems like a win-win for those interested in WebOS.

    Personally, I don't like landscape kb's and that would deter me from the Epic device offered by Samsung. I'd choose the Evo if I were leaving WebOS, even though it doesn't have a physical kb.
    Maybe its the cynisist in me, but I suspect the "multiple" devices roadmap will fall through. For some reason I picture only two devices being released next year: the tablet, and a slate phone.

    If the slate phone is unsucessful, why would they bother creating one with a keyboard? And if it is succesful, again... why would they bother creating one with a keyboard?

    I don't know, I think the writing's on the wall at this point, but I hope I'm incorrect.

    .
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    In the end, I believe that hard keyboards will fall by the wayside for media-centric smartphones. A case can be made that most if not all of the hardware problems that the Pre has can be attributed to the hardware keyboard and removable battery.

    First, hardware keyboards must be customized to target country while software keyboards can be modified by a software setting. Think of how powerful and efficient it is to essentially sell the same device in multiple countries. This, of course, assumes that all users in a given country use the local language - which is never the case.

    Second, hardware keyboards add moving parts like a slider which exponentially increases potential hardware failures. They also make the device thicker or the battery smaller.

    Third, hardware keyboards fix the orientation of input. I don't believe that HPalm will support both hardware and software keyboards because it's a developer's nightmare to not know what the screen will look like when the user wants to input something. Developers will usually target the lowest common denominator - otherwise they have to have both kinds of devices to test on. So that means they will just assume there is a software keyboard and adjust the UI accordingly - effectively turning the device into a slate.
    Excellent points! While my personal preference is a hardware keyboard, I see soft keyboards as an inevitable result of the evolution of mobile devices.
    Palm m130 > Verizon Trēo 650 > Verizon Trēo 755p > Verizon Palm Prē Plus > TouchPad > Verizon Palm Prē 2
    ~ The Future's Just Not What it Used To Be ~
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by not-yet-pre View Post
    Excellent points! While my personal preference is a hardware keyboard, I see soft keyboards as an inevitable result of the evolution of mobile devices.
    That is exactly it. While the hard keyboard may remain for a while, and likely longer with Palm than with others, there is a high probability for it eventually going away for a virtual.

    The virtual keyboard needs to be embedded in WebOS to support multiple platforms.
    Dan
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by alex.dobeck View Post
    A company unwilling to change with demand and innovation won't last very long.
    Cosigned by business consultant with tech/innovation certification.

    I LOVE the hardware keyboard, and it was a selling point for me. I love webOS, but could defect if I am forced to consider a non-hardware keyboard device in the future.
    Prē
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    In the end, I believe that hard keyboards will fall by the wayside for media-centric smartphones.
    and a step backwards for those who like to touch type.
  9. #9  
    I hate on screen keyboards. I type a lot slower on them because I have to check every word and make sure I typed it right cuz I cant FEEL any buttons. I've also seen a lot of other people type slower on on screen keyboards. But also people who type fast. So I guess its a preference thing. If Palm comes out with multiple devices, I will always chose the one with the hardware keyboard.
  10. #10  
    I agree. The hardware keyboard is the reason I chose the Palm Pre for my upgrade in the first place (regardless of how much the o2 rep tried to shove the iPhone down my throat).

    That said, this was following using an HTC Touch (XDA Ignito) with Windows Mobile 6 which was a truly agonising experience.

    Sent from my A70S using Tapatalk

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