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Old March 4th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The more I use it, the more I like the keyboard

I had an AT&T Tilt before this, so the transition for me to the Droid keyboard was pretty easy.

Nonetheless, I did a lot of travelling last week, and did some serious work on the Droid during my travels. My experience cemented my enthusiasm for the slide-out keyboard design.

For short emails, texts, etc., the onscreen keyboard is fine. In fact, I am pretty proficient at one handed typing in portrait mode.

But when it comes to writing extensive messages, etc., I really prefer the slide-out. More important to me than the physical keyboard, is that I can see the whole screen while typing. This is really useful for reading, reviewing and editing messages.

I am hoping that Motorola sticks with this design in future iterations. I am worried that all the negative harping will convince them to do otherwise.

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Old March 4th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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More important to me than the physical keyboard, is that I can see the whole screen while typing. This is really useful for reading, reviewing and editing messages.
I found this to be the main reason I still use the physical keyboard. I don't know about future designs. It seems like things are going all touchscreen, but Motorola still makes a lot of phones with physical keyboards, so I think if anyone is going to stick to it, they will.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default I agree

I love the keyboard. Much more user friendly for me.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to be a hardcore blackberry fanboy. And while I tink they still make the best keyboards on mobile devices, the Droid keyboard is actually really good. And I use it frequently. My keys are bubbled, so I'm not so sure about the unfortunate bunch with flat keyboards.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I didn't really care for it at first, but it is growing on me. The more I use it, the better I get. Plus, like you, I like being able to see more of the screen.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by spangler07 View Post
I used to be a hardcore blackberry fanboy. And while I tink they still make the best keyboards on mobile devices, the Droid keyboard is actually really good. And I use it frequently. My keys are bubbled, so I'm not so sure about the unfortunate bunch with flat keyboards.
Same here. I have the good keyboard as well and I just love it. Its also great for getting to those small links on websites using the D-pad. And sometimes I just like having a real button to push and not a screen...
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Now you got me wondering. I didn't know there was two different keyboards with these things. I thought they all had the flat keyboard. Weird....
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Mine seems flat...

but it works for me. When did the "bubbles" emerge? I've had mine since intro. I'll have to compare with my sister's-the ex CrackBerry (she got hers a few days ago).
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I didn't know there was more than one kind of keyboard either. I have the flat keyboard. But not an issue. I type with my thumbnails. The Tilt keyboard had rounded keys, but I typed the same way - thumbnails. My fingers are a bit too fat to type reliably with fingertips.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I doubt there are actually two types of keyboards. Rather, I think there are two types of people: group 1, who has actually tried using the keyboard and says "oh hey, it's not that bad at all. I actually like it!"; and group 2, who tried it for about 5 seconds and said "what crap, these keys need to jut out 2cm like they do on my desktop keyboard." People need to start trying to use the physical keyboard more; it's really pretty damn good.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well I understand the nature of the criticism. I think it mostly comes from people used to the Blackberry and Treo. Those keyboard are finger friendly. But of course they sacrifice a lot of screen real estate. A slider for me is the perfect compromise.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I doubt there are actually two types of keyboards. Rather, I think there are two types of people: group 1, who has actually tried using the keyboard and says "oh hey, it's not that bad at all. I actually like it!"; and group 2, who tried it for about 5 seconds and said "what crap, these keys need to jut out 2cm like they do on my desktop keyboard." People need to start trying to use the physical keyboard more; it's really pretty damn good.
I would say you are right on with that. I don't believe there are two different model keyboards either. Most people try it and hate, like I almost did. Once I used it for a bit, and got use to the way you needed to work the keys, it's actually pretty good for what it is. They had to do what they did to give us all this sexy azz phone!!
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Old March 4th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I use the virtual keyboards for very short text entry, but I use the physical keyboard most of the time. The Droid is the first phone I've ever had with a keyboard and I think it works great. I also find the d-pad to be quite functional and somewhat more usable than the trackball on the Eris and N1 phones that I tried.

Most of all, I like the physical keyboard because it allows me to actually see the display without a virtual keyboard taking up most of it. This is most useful when using SSH (ConnectBot) to login to Linux machines.

Having said all of that, the two piece design of the Droid really sets off my OCD. I will probably go to a one piece phone in the future.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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After having the phys keyboard, I don't know if I could go back to full virtual. Having all that massive screen to view and not have any gobbled up by a keyboard is really quite nice. I use the virtual for quick stuff, but anything over about 5 words and out comes the slider.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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1 - Portrait Android
2 - Portrait TalkToMe Keyboard (skinned)
3 - Portrait SWYPE.
4 - Landscape Android
5 - Landscape TalkToMe Keyboard (skinned)
6 - Landscape SWYPE.
AND ... 7 - The Hardware Keyboard (with predictive text due to the TalkToMe Keyboard app.)

Yea ... I hate having all those options.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I usually use the virtual htc keyboard in landscape and portrait when text messaging but I always slide out the keyboard when I go online and am browsing or sending a longer email I use the physical keyboard
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I am coming from a Blackberry so I am used to a very good qwerty keyboard. Have only had my droid for a few days (it arrived on Tuesday) and while the Droid qwerty is nowhere near as good as a blackberry qwerty. I think its not as terrible as some have made it out to be. it just takes some geting used to is all.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by refuzeandrezizt View Post
I would say you are right on with that. I don't believe there are two different model keyboards either. Most people try it and hate, like I almost did. Once I used it for a bit, and got use to the way you needed to work the keys, it's actually pretty good for what it is. They had to do what they did to give us all this sexy azz phone!!
You hit very close to my motivation. I don't doubt that Motorola, or someone else, will make phones with slide-out keyboards. What I really like about the Droid is that Motorola did so in a very thin device. Heck, it is not much bigger than my Razr V9.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I am coming from a Blackberry so I am used to a very good qwerty keyboard. Have only had my droid for a few days (it arrived on Tuesday) and while the Droid qwerty is nowhere near as good as a blackberry qwerty. I think its not as terrible as some have made it out to be. it just takes some geting used to is all.
I can understand that. My wife has had Blackberrys for a few years. There is no doubt that from a keyboard standpoint, it is finger friendly. When I was tiring of my Tilt, I thought of getting a Blackberry, especially as the displays have improved. But along came the Droid, with a big, beautiful display. Every product involves trade-offs, and for my tastes, the Droid hits the mark the best.

My suggestion to you, if you have not tried, is to type with your thumbnails. It works pretty good.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:10 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I still hate the keyboard, but because the offset due to the D-pad. I have large hands, and it still feels unnatural to reach over with my left thumb. I am an excellent touch typist, so I find that it's very unnerving to have my right thumb want to hit some keys that normally the left would, because it is so uncomfortable to do so with the right thumb.

If they had eliminated the Dpad, I would have been very happy with the keyboard, even as flat as it is.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I am a touch typist too and it took me a long time to get used to two finger typing on a keyboard. When I first got the Tilt, it took months for me to get comfortable typing in such a way. At first, my rate was not measured in words per minute, but minutes per word!
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I practice on mine using it as the keyboard for my laptop in bed. I guess i am too lazy to situp to type something.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #23 (permalink)
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If they had eliminated the Dpad, I would have been very happy with the keyboard, even as flat as it is.
I see what you're saying about it being in the way and making typing awkward, but I think it's something that you just have to get used to dealing with. For me, I love the exact cursor control the d-pad gives me when editing long emails or messages. It's so much better than poking around on the screen to do it.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shadowdude777 View Post
I doubt there are actually two types of keyboards. Rather, I think there are two types of people: group 1, who has actually tried using the keyboard and says "oh hey, it's not that bad at all. I actually like it!"; and group 2, who tried it for about 5 seconds and said "what crap, these keys need to jut out 2cm like they do on my desktop keyboard." People need to start trying to use the physical keyboard more; it's really pretty damn good.
Nah, there really are two "different" physical keyboards. They're not really different "keyboards" so much as, I would guess, it's a manufacturing thing - Some people got keyboards where the buttons are all kinda bubbled up in the air and other people (like myself) have keyboards that are flat. Supposedly, the bubbled up keys are easier to type on. Try a search on here and you'll find a few threads about it with pics and everything - One of the guys took some pics of a bubbled keyboard next to a flat one and you can clearly see the difference.
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