Monday, September 22, 2008

Finger-Free, Please!


I remember years ago when I first got the Treo 180, my first QWERTY device. I was so happy not to be pecking at the screen! And even though I spent years perfecting my graffiti skills I was willing to give it all up to get that physical keyboard.
It now is a mystery to me why people want to go back to touching their screens- I mean, I truly do not understand why you would favor that over pressing a button. All the hoopla over the interface of the iphone, Instinct, HTC Touch devices has me really confused. Here are some of the cons I see from a heavy touch interface:

-Dirty hands dirty the screen. I can throw a paper towel over my keyboard and still navigate without doing any damage to my phone.
-Gloved hands. Not a huge issue for me anymore in Texas but in New York I spent a healthy amount of time on a cold train platform reading on my phone. Wild horses couldn't get me to take my gloves off so I could 'flick' my screen.
-Faster typing. I don't care what anyone says- typing on a physical keyboard will always be faster than typing on a virtual one. That's one of the reasons why laser keyboards have failed to dominate the market.
-Tired fingers. Yes, maybe I am lazy, but I cannot imagine using the kind of energy needed to flick up and down rather than just a simple press of the up or down nav pad. I predict it won't be long before iPhone users have their own version of Blackberry thumb.

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