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  1.    #1  
    For some reason when I woke up today, I realized something. WebOS, in general, needs a keyboard for many of it's functions. For example, meta-tap + c = copy, shift + tap on text = select text, meta-tap + v = paste, option + symbol + p = screen cap, option + symbol + r = reset, for the other calculator functions you need to use the spacebar.

    These shortcuts are kind of hard to replace with a virtual keyboard, I'm sure you guys will know. Pretty much, the OS was built around a physical keyboard (Pre), so these thoughts weren't baked into the OS and will have to be embellished in. It may seem like the keyboard at first isn't used as much as you think, but it does quite a bit. And there should be no reason to have a virtual keyboard with over twenty keys to be shown and cover up the whole screen just to get a copy or paste. Am I right? It totally brings down productivity.

    Now maybe this is why WebOS hasn't seen any new form factors such as just a slate, and won't see any until late Q1-Q3 in 2011. These features will have to change how the OS works and may cause the OS to be a bit fragmented unless handled and implemented well for both Pre and Pixi devices as well as the upcoming devices. This could really make WebOS 2.0 with a halfbaked keyboard to become WebOS 3.0 with a new way to copy and paste and other gestures that could add a lot to the interface.

    It's not easy to just decide to switch all the gestures into a virtual keyboard, and just say that's it. It'd destroy the elegance of webos.

    I was thinking about an alternative for things like keyboard shortcuts, perhaps implement a metatap with an onscreen gesture? For example, put your finger on the gesture area and then with the other hand make a letter C, and any text that was selected earlier would be copied. The same would be for paste, and this could allow for screencaps (which I use A LOT) without bringing up a virtual keyboard that doesn't need to be up. And ever since the gesture area is almost divided into three parts you could have the left side of the gesture be the shift area so then you could select text, and the right side be the option key. Just a thought as to how this might work.

    I'm sure that HPalm will come up with a great solution to these problems that will occur with the loss of a physical keyboard, but it will take some time. I don't know if people have recognized this, but I felt like this should be noticed.

    Hope you were somewhat interested by my thought, and put in your thoughts!
  2. #2  
    And your point or question is???
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  3. #3  
    Yup good points I like those shortcuts and I like the physical keyboard. Took a little to get used to, but I've tried the VK and well, let's just say that patch isn't installed anymore. Nice ideas with the metatap+gesture. If that were an option, being able to map out your own gestures would be neat.
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  4. #4  
    physical keyboard is preferred.
  5. #5  
    Palm is very innovative when it comes to software.

    If they designed the most streamlined and impressive phone OS as far as UI, do you think they wont be able to come up with solutions to make a software keyboard work?

    They invented Graffiti and Gestures, some of the most innovative software translations of physical actions in the real world. Im pretty sure making a functioning software keyboard and modifying WebOS to work with it is within their grasp.
  6. Analog's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by not-yet-pre View Post
    And your point or question is???
    The point is self-evident, and the question, such as it is, is pretty well implicit in "Hope you were somewhat interested by my thought, and put in your thoughts!" The OP was inviting discussion of an aspect of webOS, here in this webOS forum. Go figure.

    I personally suspect that the OS was designed in the beginning on the assumption that all the devices would have physical keyboards. That's not insurmountable, though, if the market really really insists for whatever reason that it MUST have devices without them.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by rmausser View Post
    Palm is very innovative when it comes to software.

    If they designed the most streamlined and impressive phone OS as far as UI, do you think they wont be able to come up with solutions to make a software keyboard work?

    They invented Graffiti and Gestures, some of the most innovative software translations of physical actions in the real world. Im pretty sure making a functioning software keyboard and modifying WebOS to work with it is within their grasp.
    I never did say they won't come up with a solution in fact if you read the passage that said I'm sure HPalm with come up with a solution, then you would see I agree with what you are saying. My point is that people are so pesky about how Palm needs to come out with a new form and that they are taking forever. I just felt like it should be reiterated that WebOS seems built on a physical keyboard and will have to spend more time to make sure they perfect webos with a virtual keyboard. Just defending palm, that's all.
  8. #8  
    I am 99% sure that Palm has already reworked WebOS to work with a virtual keyboard.

    People found code for a virtual keyboard in the 2.0 SDK.

    They have also probably already reworked it to work on a Tablet, as I am also fairly certain that it will be shown at CES.

    Although a Merger stops all marketing and releasing of devices and PRPRPR, $it$ $doesnt$ $stop$ $you$ $from$ $working$ $on$ $things$ $behind$ $the$ $scenes$.

    I am pretty sure Palm has already worked this all out.
  9. #9  
    so does Palm have an official Virtual keyboard release?
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by rob1979 View Post
    so does Palm have an official Virtual keyboard release?
    No, and they won't until they have a device ready to market that uses a virtual keyboard, like the tablet mentioned above.
  11. #11  
    I agree with the OP. Back in June of '09 I sent Palm an "suggestion" about that. I gave them many suggestions (some gathered from a thread I started: here) on how to use the gesture area more and the keyboard less.

    I never saw anything come of it. Maybe it went straight to file 13.
    Last edited by taharka; 12/19/2010 at 02:06 PM.
  12. JLegacy's Avatar
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    #12  
    I'd love to see this "physical keyboard centric OS" utilize a horizontal slider.
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  13. #13  
    Can't you do (nearly) all of those meta+ or orange+ functions from the top left menu?
  14. PLinger's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew.rosenfelder View Post
    Can't you do (nearly) all of those meta+ or orange+ functions from the top left menu?
    Nope. There are no menu shortcuts for orange+tap a hyperlink, for example. I must be one of the few Palm Pre 2 users who got it despite the presence of a hardware keyboard. I really hate having to remember keyboard shortcuts and the copy+paste, text selection, cursor movement etc is horrible on webOS; it's probably the worst implementation out of all the smartphone platforms. The only good thing about the ever present keyboard is Just Type and, with the software keyboard replacing the quick wave bar, you don't even need a hardware keyboard for that.
  15. #15  
    All of these meta tap shortcuts will work just fine with a virtual keyboard.

    Meta tap + push the virtual keyboard "c" = copy

    etc.

    The screens are multitouch. Am I missing something here?
  16. PLinger's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiddlekins View Post
    All of these meta tap shortcuts will work just fine with a virtual keyboard.

    Meta tap + push the virtual keyboard "c" = copy

    etc.

    The screens are multitouch. Am I missing something here?
    The screens might be multitouch but the virtual keyboard hidden in webOS 2.0 is not multitouch. You're also missing the fact that using a virtual keyboard alt key combo for copying and selecting is remarkably stupid, given that using touch actions or gestures could be used instead. iOS has great copy&paste, Android's is looking a lot better with the Gingerbread update and even WP7 is entirely touch based.
  17. #17  
    There is also the rumor of a new keyboardless phone, dubbed the "smallest smart phone" heading to SFR. If true, I would imagine they have sorted out issues of not having a physical keyboard. Allegedly it will be a Pre without the sliding keyboard. SFR Reportedly Set to Offer Palm Pixi 2 Soon
  18. #18  
    heres my idea:

    Metatap + draw "C" gesture = Copy
    Metatap + draw "X" or "&" gesture = Cut
    Metatap + draw "P" gesture = Paste
  19. #19  
    Something is going to have to change significantly. It's not only physical keyboard-oriented, but also portrait-oriented. That's going to be a huge handicap to a tablet. I imagine that the tablet version of WebOS is going to be hugely altered or a clunky mess...or - worst case scenario - both.

    It's going to be interesting to see how HP Palm skirts further fragmentation when they are unable to dictate when updates go out to users on the various carriers.
  20. #20  
    Although I agree that the OS is "physical keyboard-centric", I am excited to see what fun things they do to move away from that going forward, especially if they are going to start releasing multiple form factors.


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