Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, John Rauser, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Wearables, Mobile IoT

Wearables: Article

iPhone Keyboard and How to Use It?

The other day I was chatting with a friend and he was taking notes about some things using his iPhone

The other day I was chatting with a friend and he was taking notes about some things using his iPhone. I commented on how unbelievably fast it seemed he was able to type using the keyboard. Up until recently, I've been "OK" at using the keyboard but I never really considered the iPhone as a device on which I could take notes - I have been so abused by smartphone keyboards (virtual and physical) that I just assume that the typing experience is going to suck.

This is saying something, considering my last SmartPhone was a PPC 6700, which has a full, backlit, slide-out keyboard that has real tactile feedback and a decent "push" required to get each key to go down.. So you'd think that would have been a really good typing experience on a phone. The problem is that it sucked. If you sausage-finger two keys, you're hosed. Half the time neither key registers, and the other half you end up doing something terrible to your text. The likelihood of me sausage-fingering a line of text is quite high, for my thumbs are like massive bratwurst being slammed randomly against the glass of the iPhone.

This is where experience and interaction design comes in. If you mis-spell a word in Microsoft Word, you'll get a red underline and it will even auto-correct some things for you like changing "teh" to "the" for you automatically. This is pretty handy, but it's only handy if you're typing on a full-sized keyboard. What Apple seems to have realized is that the kind of typos that occur on a virtual (small) keyboard are a little different than the kinds of typos that occurr on a big keyboard, though there is some overlap.

Here's a priceless example. When trying to type as fast as I possibly could on the iPhone keyboard, I typed frwaling. Microsoft word has no freaking clue what the hell a frwaling is. It knows that it's wrong and when you right-click that word in MS Word, it won't give you any useful or relevant suggestions. But, when you type this thing on the iPhone, and then you just hit space and keep on typing, it will know that you were trying to type freaking. How does it know that? Because instead of using a dictionary to recommend words, it's actually using relative key positions to determine what it thinks you might have been trying to type. In other words, when you type frwaling, the iPhone goes through it's dictionary in relative key position order, not dictionary order and figures out that while frwaling is complete nonsense, it happens to be key order close to another word, freaking. If you try this in MS word, you'll get recommendations for your typo: brawling, crawling, drawling, etc. The iPhone's magic typo correction knows that you probably meant "freaking" because frwaling makes no sense, but the "e" is right next to the "w" and there's a high probability that you sausage fingered the w when you mean to hit "e". Additionally, it knows that the l is right next to "k", and when it checks both of those out, it finds a real word.

I figure its like the difference between doing a blind keyword search through data and using Google to get revelance-ranked search results.  With MS Word and pretty much any other desktop spell-checking program, you're getting blind keyword matches. With the iPhone, you're getting the word that is most relevant to what you're doing. The iPhone knows the layout of your keyboard and can seed dictionary lookups with potential matches from nearby keystrokes.

So anyway, now that I'm done harping on how cool the spell check technology is, I put my money where my mouth is. On my way home from that meeting I sat on the train for roughly 45 minutes... typing into the Notes application on the iPhone. I was jotting plot notes for a fantasy novel. I've got tons of notes sitting in there right now, all extremely useful, extremely readable, with very few actual typos.

The only thing that I dislike about the word suggestion is when you type a fictional name into the keyboard that might be nearby (in terms of keystrokes) to some real word, it's a break in my workflow to reach a finger up and hit the tiny "X" to cancel that word substitution.

Anyway, I've been proven wrong. There actually is a mobile keyboard that is so good at what it does that I can actually use it, completely with my sausage fingers and all.

tags:    
links: digg this  del.icio.us  technorati  reddit

More Stories By Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
MIchael Daitzman 10/03/07 09:24:38 PM EDT

Very important to make sure you know that the notepad is NOT backed up on any kind of regular basis. I recently had to do a restore from a current backup (they gave me a new iphone, long story) and lost a months worth of notes!!!!!!

Now I keep them in address book or email . . .

iPhone News Desk 09/06/07 09:49:17 AM EDT

The other day I was chatting with a friend and he was taking notes about some things using his iPhone. I commented on how unbelievably fast it seemed he was able to type using the keyboard. Up until recently, I've been 'OK' at using the keyboard but I never really considered the iPhone as a device on which I could take notes - I have been so abused by smartphone keyboards (virtual and physical) that I just assume that the typing experience is going to suck.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...