How To Fix The BlackBerry Storm's Keyboard - InformationWeek

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Commentary
5/13/2009
11:25 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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How To Fix The BlackBerry Storm's Keyboard

At Research In Motion's recent Wireless Enterprise Symposium, I noticed a conspicuous absence of BlackBerry Storm devices. Why? Most people I spoke to about it admitted that they tried the Storm, but had to revert a real, physical QWERTY keyboard. That got me thinking...

At Research In Motion's recent Wireless Enterprise Symposium, I noticed a conspicuous absence of BlackBerry Storm devices. Why? Most people I spoke to about it admitted that they tried the Storm, but had to revert a real, physical QWERTY keyboard. That got me thinking...I saw a total of three BlackBerry Storms all week. Granted, I didn't expect the pockets of every attendee, but I saw a lot of BlackBerries. I found it a telling sign that so many RIM employees and RIM partners had shied away from the touch-based BlackBerry. The reason given when asked? Plain and simple: The Storm ain't so great for typing.

The Storm offers several different methods for typing text. When held in the portrait orientation (traditional phone style), the software keyboard can be set to T9, SureType or full QWERTY. When held in landscape orientation (sideways), the Storm has a larger version of the software QWERTY keyboard that stretches across the entire screen. All these software keyboards require that the screen be physically pressed (what RIM calls SurePress) to register each and every key entry. It takes some effort.

This clicking of the screen is what people can't stand and/or can't get used to.

Truthfully, as an iPhone user of almost two years, I have a hard time switching back and forth between the iPhone and Storm, as the input method for typing is so different. The iPhone registers presses on its touch capacitive screen quite easily. Because you don't have to physically press the screen, you can type extremely fast. Then it dawned on me.

RIM can solve all its Storm typing issues be doing away with SurePress.

The Storm has a touch capacitive screen, just like the iPhone. It registers even the slightest touch. If RIM were to offer end users the option to disable SurePress (the physical clicking aspect) and make the on-screen keyboards respond to the basic touch of the surface of the screen itself (no pressing required), it would be much easier to type on the Storm.

Agree? Disagree?

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