Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Typing on the iPhone, Practise Makes Perfect?

The first order of the day after my arrival in New York was to visit a store that sold the iPhone, in my case the Union Square location of AT&T. The store was almost empty and got access to an iPhone immediately. After studying the device exstensively online, I felt pretty comfortable using it right away, until I tried to enter a URL in Safari‘s address bar. Using the virtual keyboard is incredibly tough!! I mistyped constantly and everything. Forget about a two thumb approach. Thumbs are less of a pointing device, they hit the keyboard on an angle and force you to compensate for it, which is a hard thing to do. A few days later I met my friend Dave Carroll, associate professor at Parsons School of Design's graduate degree program Design and Technology. Dave is a notorious early adopter and has some great iPhone tips to share on his blog He convinced me to trust the iPhone spell correction feature. So I tried to plow through writing text without regard to spelling. After a little while I was able to produced text fairly fluently.

However, the spell correction does not come into place when typing URLs. Get used to bookmarking URLs as fast as possible! I was disappointed that the iPhone doesn‘t have any other dictionary but the english one. Don‘t look for international keyboard layouts. They are not implemented with this first version. This iPhone is strictly for the english speaking market, which is weird because the States are so diverse as far as spoken languages go. Dave showed me javascript based keyboard layouts online, but their small button sizes are not suited for the iPhones finger-pointer approach.


Blogger David said...

Thanks for linking to me, Dirk. For those interested, here's a direct link to the iPhone related articles on

iPhone on

August 2, 2007 at 9:20 AM  

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