If there is one thing that I struggle with currently it is my keyboard. I have had an on again off again relationship with my keyboard since the very early days of the PC with my parent’s first Intel 286. I remember my dad setting up Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and letting me play my first computer “game”. Since that time I have used many different keyboards and found several I like and several that I haven’t. My PC has always been pretty straight-forward, not all keyboards are created equal but they are all pretty similar so it’s hard to go too wrong with them. Then out came the mobile technology and it changed the way we looked at keyboards.
My first smart phone was a Blackberry Pearl 8100. After having texted on an old-fashioned T9 keyboard I thought it would be nice to have a real keyboard on my phone. Then I realized I didn’t like the fact that each key shared several letters and/or special characters. It was close to a real keyboard but still seemed more like a T9.
I then upgraded to a Palm Pixi which was similar to the Pearl but it was an actual QWERTY keyboard with individual keys for each letter. Each key had a slight rubbery feel to it and a little bit of resistance that gave a satisfying click when pressed.
I soon outgrew my Pixi but wanted to stick with Palm. I upgraded to the Palm Pre and that was the best thing I could have ever done. The Pre had the best keyboard I have ever experienced! It was very similar to the Pixi but was a little bit wider so I had less chance of fat fingering the wrong key. It was also a slider phone so I could put the keyboard away when I didn’t need it. With some clever homebrew tweaks I could even use an onscreen keyboard.
Then my Pre started to die on me and I was forced to get something new. I switched to the Samsung Galaxy S2. I loved the phone but the keyboard, or lack thereof, and I never quite hit it off. I was forced into the digital age and had to learn to use Swype. It was nice not having to press every letter but it’s embarrassing when you text someone and forget to check it before sending… I’ve tried just about every keyboard app available and have finally settled on Touchpal as my favorite but I still miss my old physical keyboard.
I wasn’t too thrilled with the recent announcements of the Note 5 and the S6 Edge Plus. The lack of a removable battery and external storage really turned me off. But then I heard about this new keyboard and I started to give them a second thought.
The keyboard has been mocked and made fun of across the blogosphere but I am really tempted to give it a chance. It will be sold as a cover/case for the Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus and allows the user to attach a physical keyboard to the front of the device and then remove it when not in use. When attached to the front of the device it automatically registers the device is attached and shrinks the viewable touchscreen to just above the keyboard so that nothing is hidden beneath it. It isn’t quite a slider but it is a similar concept.
So although I’m still not completely sold on the Note 5 or S6 Edge Plus I now have additional incentive to possibly make the switch from my current device.
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Roy likes to dabble in all things Android and contributes everywhere he can. He owns the site rwilco12.com and its accompanying forum, he develops his own apps and ROM’s, is a Moderator and Recognized Developer on XDA-Developers.com and is the VP of Public Relations for AndroidFileHost.com.