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Slide-Out vs. Touch Screen keyboard

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by RideZeLitenin, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. RideZeLitenin

    RideZeLitenin Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    It seems that most people nowadays are perfectly content with a touch-screen only phone, while I do really like having a slide-out keyboard. For me, it's also frustrating to see most all the new, more powerful androids are all without slide-out keyboards. But on the other hand, I could see how some people like the less-bulky build the goes with the lack of a slide-out keyboard.

    Sure, I could get by with typing only on a touchscreen, but a physical keyboard is a good deal faster and more comfortable than than having to tap you're fingers on an on-screen keyboard. Plus what I really like is how my Ally can perfectly play emulators with it's beautiful D-pad.

    What are everyone's thoughts on touch-screen vs. slide-out?

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  2. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    Having a Droid for well over a year, I've realized I use my slide-out less and less. (literally the only time I do is whenever I flash a new ROM and have to reenter my Google, FB and Twitter accounts!) Having used Swiftkey since it was in beta, I'm a huge fan. My next phone will very likely be touch screen only, unless the only unlocked/vanilla Moto is the Droid 3.
  3. ari-free

    ari-free Android Expert

    The apps and games that I'm interested all require a slide out keyboard. I want to do real word processing, spreadsheet, etc on the phone. (I can't wait for softmaker office http://softmaker.com/english/blog/?p=147)

    I want 3D fps and military games that use every key on the keyboard. I'm not interested in the touch tap games that are popular on the iphone.
    The problem is that we don't see too many of these apps because developers have to consider all the people without keyboards who won't get to use them and android basically ends up like a copy of an iPhone.
  4. pool_shark

    pool_shark Android Expert

    I prefer a physical keyboard because I use word/excel and the terminal emulator a lot, doing that with the on-screen \keyboard half the screen is covered.
  5. TozyJay

    TozyJay Well-Known Member

    Well I have the Droid 2 as I used to be an adamant physical keyboard user (my Blackberry days did it to me). Over time though it's just started to annoy me and it makes my phone feel like a less solid device as the keyboard gets loose. It also bothers me that dust and stuff gets in the keyboard when I have it in my pocket. I know I sound petty but that's just me. :)

    Next week I'm making the switch to touch screen only.

    Oh and I use alternative on-screen keyboards from the market. Lately I've been diggin KeyPurr.
  6. ari-free

    ari-free Android Expert

    An on-screen keyboard just takes up half the tiny screen...useless! It's not such a big deal on a tablet, however.
  7. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert

    I own a Desire Z, which is my first and currently only Android with a slide out keyboards. I live with it on a day by day basis with touchscreen Androids.

    Its not any faster than a pure portrait display touchscreen phone. With a portrait touchscreen, you can immediately enter text right on the screen with one hand. On a slider, you still have to turn the phone around, pull down the slider, then start typing on both hands.

    Usually single handed texters like me generally have a Nokia heritage. Meaning you started texting on a Nokia with one hand using a T9 keyboard. You continue that single handed habit even as you migrate to a touchscreen phone.

    Double handed texters generally either started with featurephone sliders or started something with a Blackberry or a portrait qwerty, like Nokia E series and some Samsungs. These people will continue to benefit from a slider qwerty.

    I think a keyboard is more accurate but touchscreen is faster. Add Swype and voice input into the context. I do feel that having a qwerty gives you an advantage on longer compositions, like longer emails and responding to forums like Phandroid that have apps.

    On the other hand, a keyboard is actually more fun to use due to physical reasons. Repetitive muscle movement creates muscle memory and its own addiction hence why "crackberry" is a real phenomenon.

    I should mention that the LG Ally has one of the better keyboards on an Android phone. In fact, all the LG slider qwerty models I have pressed on their keyboards seriously impressed me.

    LG and Samsung sold tens and tens of millions of featurephone qwerty sliders, and Nokia being unable to respond to that, is one reason why LG and Samsung been eating Nokia's marketshare on the low end. These companies truly got some expertise in making slider qwerty.
  8. ari-free

    ari-free Android Expert

    One thing I would also like to see is a trackball for 360 control. And if i was in the market for a tablet, I would like a trackball and a pressure sensitive stylus so I could draw on it. You would actually be able to do something like photoshop on those things.
  9. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    The two smartphones I have owned (Nokia N97 and now HTC Desire Z) as well as the one I have for work (BlackBerry Tour) has physical keyboards. I like the fact that I can type while still looking at the screen where I am typing. I also feel that it is easier for me to type on a physical keyboard.

    I have been starting to use the virtual keyboard occasionally. When entering a little bit of text like a word or two for Google search, I may just use the virtual keyboard. Also, if I want to type something while keeping the screen in portrait mode, I use the virtual keyboard. If I plan to type at least a sentence, I would use the physical keyboard.

    I have gotten better and better at using the virtual keyboard. I probably can get used to it if I really had to. As long as physical keyboards are an option, I will continue to use them. That was one reason I did not get an iPhone. There are no iPhones with physical keyboards.
  10. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Extreme Android User

    I have never wanted a physical keyboard ever since getting the iPhone when it was released in 07. I got the Droid when it came out with the intention of upgrading as soon as a good phone with no keyboard came out. I love touch screen only and in portrait I love Swype, touch keyboard in landscape.

    For Emulators when I play them I usually use my Wii controller which works great.

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