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7/24/2009
02:50 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Palm Pre Users Want Virtual Keyboard

It is as if Palm developed the Pre to be the antithesis of the iPhone in that it has a nice QWERTY keyboard, but in doing so, they left out any sort of virtual keyboard, and that can be just as frustrating as having a virtual but no physical keyboard.

It is as if Palm developed the Pre to be the antithesis of the iPhone in that it has a nice QWERTY keyboard, but in doing so, they left out any sort of virtual keyboard, and that can be just as frustrating as having a virtual but no physical keyboard.According to MacDailyNews, users are generally pleased with the Pre, which is running the new WebOS developed by Palm. A big shortcoming for some though is the requirement to slide the keyboard out to input any data. On just about every other touch-screen phone that has a slide-out keyboard, you can quickly tap out information on the screen using your finger or a stylus rather than having to slide the keyboard out. That makes it handy to enter things like simple search terms, a website URL that is easier to type than find in favorites like cnn.com, or respond to an email with a terse "thanks."

Hopefully this can be rectified relatively easily with programming. Worst case scenario, the hooks for a virtual input system don't exist and Palm would have to release a major update to WebOS to allow for virtual keyboards. That would also open the market to third party input systems.

I have no doubt that Palm will release devices running WebOS without physical keyboards. Different users have different needs and not everyone wants a QWERTY keyboard. The real question is, will Apple ever release an iPhone that has a physical keyboard?

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