Physical Keyboard vs. Virtural? ADVICE PLEASE.

chrislitzkow

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Needing some help with this... Like many of us, I have been a Blackberry user for many years- mostly because I was wicked fast on the keyboard of my 8830. Bought the Droid for a better web/multimedia experience, screen size etc, thinking that the dual keyboard was finally my dream come true.

I'm going into day five with my Droid, and still cannot get used to the cramped offset physical keyboard. The "D pad", in my opinion, seems like a serious waste of space, when the the keyboard could have been stretched out and centered so much nicer without it.

Since this is my first touch screen device, I'm wondering: Is the physical keyboard on the Droid mostly just for a secondary option? Should I just suck it up and learn to use the virtual keyboard? What are you all doing?

If that's the case, does it bother you at all that you have a phone with a physical keyboard that you're never using? (In other words, would you have preferred the Droid to not have been a slider with the extra keyboard)?

Thanks for the advice... at this point I'm really regretting the Droid, ONLY because I find it terrible for messaging, which I do A LOT of.

Thanks!!
 

movieman742

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coming from the first storm I thought it was a welcome sight. The droids physical keyboard is very unique and it's still taking me time to get used to it but I'll tell you this: I've become A LOT better with it since Friday. Still not perfect but my speed is picking up, which is nice. I use all three pretty much equally I think, which surprised me. I assumed the landscape virtual keyboard would have been used the most, by like 90% but it's not. It's still #1 probably but not by much, I like seeing what is around the text area sometimes, like in the browser, so then I use the physical or portrait. Portrait could use a little better layout, possibly bigger keys???

But I would say don't return just yet. Every new phone is hard to get used to, and I think you'll be able to better at it. I think it seems worse for you since you said you were blazingly fast on the 8830. You still have 25 days :p
 

Adiliyo

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i use the virtual keyboard more often just because i generally don't write anything very long. but i'll use the hard keyboard when i'm writing a longer email, or want to see more of the screen.

that said, i'm surprised at how much i've been using the portrait qwerty, the autocorrect is so much better than the storm's that i find i've been flying on the little keyboard, if i watch myself, i realize i make a lot of mistakes, but 95% of the time, the phone is picking up the right words and if i take 10 seconds to look back at the message i can correct the few words that are wrong.

in general i'm much faster on both soft keyboards compared to the hard one. but i'm okay with having a device with both because i generally will use the hard keyboard for longer messages and to save screen space. the option to choose is well worth the tradeoff as i don't know if they could have really made the device all that much thinner (i'm guessing the tablet version will be about 1mm thinner and an ounce lighter.)

if you alter your position on how you hold the phone when using the keyboard i've found it's much easier.

try holding it so that your thumbs are resting on s and d on the left and j and k on the right. it seems easier for me that way, vs on my bb they would almost be centered on the keyboard.
 

mrdonbonjovi

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Anyone that had a storm think about how the typing experience was on that when you first got it. I just gave my storm to my brother and when I was setting it up for him he kept asking me how I was so good at typing. Thats all it is, time. When I had T-9 I was amazing at ripping off essay text messages. Now? It would probably take me a year.
Give it some time and you'll get your speed up. I'm already much better at it since Saturday.

I only really use the keyboard when surfing the net. I feel it gives you a better hold of the device and more view of the screen.
 

TreyDaPrince

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As with everyone else, I'm still getting used to the physical keyboard a well but the virtual keyboard on this thing is so awesome its like why not type on the screen. Best thing about this phone,you have the best of both worlds. Either way there's a learning curve like most smartphone devices.
 

stingray389

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I have always been a fan of physical querty keyboards. However after a year of using virtual keyboards on both my storm and ipod touch, I find myself using the virtual keyboards on the Droid more than anything. I still like the physical keyboard when I want to see more on the screen. Give it some time, as you use the physical or virtual keyboard more, you will become faster at typing.
 

DougFNJ

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The physical Qwerty is definitely one to get used to.....but after practice you definitely get faster with fewer mistakes. Its finding the right position to hold it, and then you get the feel of where to press each key, and all of a sudden it's second nature. I use the virtual for simple searches and the slide out for longer ones.

Periodically go into compose new email and type long paragraphs on anything....it's an aquired taste ;)
 

hatch.duffy

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Nov 2, 2009
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I use the portrait virtual keyboard the most (iphone Better Keyboard Skin) but from time to time find myself sliding the physical keyboard out. Once you figure out how you need to hold the phone it's actually not that bad. I use the tips of my fingers more than I do the pads of my fingers and that makes it a lot easier. I have gotten much faster since Friday as well. Just going to take some getting used to I think so I would not give up just yet. I personally could have done without the slider but it actually comes in handy when you want to view the entire screen and still type.

The virtual keyboard in landscape is very easy to type on, granted all you see is the text entry box and the keyboard while you are typing. But I can pound out emails pretty fast in the landscape qwerty because the keys are so big.
 

mclarryjr

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Nov 2, 2009
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I never use the physical keyboard I can type twice as fast on the virtual keyboard. It does take some time to get use to. I had the storm for 6 months then went to the tour and lost speed on using the tours physical keyboard. I really like the droids keyboard and wish they would make a new model without the slide out keyboard.
 

hatch.duffy

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Another tip for typing on the physical keyboard:

View the keyboard as being split in half at the H and J keys. So everthing H and to the left focus on hitting those keys with your left thumb. Everything J and to the right focus on hitting those keys with your right thumb.

Was kind of hard to think about it like this at first since standard keyboard is thought of as being split at G and H.

But practice and you will get used to it!
 

Mr.Miagi

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As of now I am more accurate and a bit slower on the physical keyboard but faster on the virtual keyboard. The virtual also does a nice job of correcting my mistakes which adds to the speed.

Before I got this phone I wished there was not a physical keyboard, but this thing is so thin anyway it doesnt bother me anymore, and I like having it now. I use it for more structured responses and the editing is easier on it. Its adds a nice grip the the phone when web browsing in landscape, something more to hold onto then just the screen. I like the overall feel of the phone, it is very comfortable in my hand.
 

thomascj

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i think it's a "whatever works for you" type deal. i'd echo most of what everyone above says: just give it a month or so, you'll be just as good as you were with anything else...

i found that when you learn to trust the auto correction on the virtual keyboard, you can just power through a message and (for the most part) you'll get it right. I love how the phone uses my contacts name, and my user names and things like that as part of the auto correct library.

having said that, i have a much higher success rate with the landscape virtual keyboard than the portrait, but i use the portrait more because i can do it one handed.

note: if you find the phone constantly correcting a word incorrectly, you can press and hold on the word (the first one in the list is always how you typed it), and it will add it to the dictionary for future use.
 

TKNOVA

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I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I am coming to the Droid from a basic LG phone in which I had no real keyboard and had to text using the numeric keypad of the phone. So for me the Droid offers a range of options and no experience with other devices to hamper my learning curve on the Droid. I generally use the physical keyboard for emails and anything beyond a short text message. I tend to use the virtual keyboards for limited text input inside web pages or apps. For all three the speed is coming up fast.
 

darkstar

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I'm with ya TK..

if i do any extensive typing.. im glad for the physical keyboard... short messages.. the virtual kbd is fine.. specially when trying to type with one hand :)
 

taeisme

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I actually like using the physical keyboard, I do use the virtual keyboard but for some reason, i am alway whipping out the physical one...
 

mskaplan

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I am starting to rock on the physical keyboard.. finally. Coming from an 8330 it has been an adjustment. Man I could FLY on the 8330. I am still not comfortable with the onscreen, but autocorrect has been nice. I tend to never use the onscreen in landscape. If it's a real short txt, I will use on screen landscape. Longer, I pull out the physical.
 

largeselection

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I'm forcing myself to use the physical keyboard. I can type faster on the horizontal on screen probably faster than I ever have (including vs my tour which has a wonderful keyboard). I'm trying to use the physical one, so I can program my fingers to type without looking. After awhile I was able to walk down the street or do something else while typing a message on my tour no prob. I don't see being able to do that without the tactile feedback of keys (slim tho they may be)
 

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