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this thing needs stylus [ot]

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, May 24, 2008
10 years ago4,038 views

I like the iPhone, but, much as I try, I cannot reconcile myself to its finger-only input metod.


iphoneworld.ca/wp-content/uplo ...



Why? Because it requires an on-screen keyboard that's far larger in size, almost half the screen real estate, than would be needed had a stylus been used.

For comparison: on a Palm PDA with practically the same screen size as an iPhone, using stylus, I get 18 lines of text overview SANS on-screen keyboard; 12 with keybord; but no more than perhaps 6 with fingertop-iPhone default keyboard). This sucks. A lot.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I'm not a big fan of syluses (styli?). For one thing, it takes some fiddling to get them out and precisely use them say in a crowded subway. Then, they can also be easily lost, happened on my last Windows mobile phone (which I now stopped using as Windows mobile OS is very badly usable, IMO). I think the way the iPhone does it is really interesting (have only played around with it on other people's phones so can't tell in the lon run :)), though as they lock you in to the phone company contract in Germany when you get the iPhone hardware it's nothing for me at the moment...

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I have a ds and an iPod touch, when i first started using Safari on my iPod I couldn't believe how responsive the keyboard was, and i did, at first make mistakes, but withinn a week i could type with both thumbs easily and quickly with little or n mistakes.

Then when i go back to Opera on DS using a stylus, you kinda miss using your fingers, so i guess you just get used to it ;-)

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Philipp, are you missing the point deliberately? The issue was not your private hobby of misplacing styli, but that the iPhonian "fingertip input method" requires far bigger keyboard --ergo covers more of already limited screen area-- than would otherwise be needed. Hence very little text area/ content overview.

Yes, I know iPhone (or, more corectly: Cocoa Touch API) wasn't designed for long-text input, but since when did any such thing stop users from extending the UI-envelope rhetorical question.

[put at-character here]James Xuan: there's no doubt, that two-thumbs iPhone typing works after a while, though I wonder how it fares in the error/ need-to-correct dept. in comparison with far more precise "styled" input method – no less because, unlike the fingers, the single stylus doesn't OBSCURE the keyboard. You don't think that matters?

[ If anyone here has seen some ergonomic studies on how effective is the Cocoa Touch input, please cough 'em urls up.]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> The issue was not your private hobby of misplacing styli

I do not misplace them – they actually fall out of the phone after a while through no human action at all (except perhaps walking the street with the phone in your pocket and so on). And judging by the fact that my phone shipped with one additional fallback stylus by default, I guess I'm not the only one who that happened to either. I'm sure some devices handle this better than others and that there may be improvements in this area in the future, but as I said, even then I don't like fiddling with a stylus as much in busy outdoors situations. I went back to a plain old Nokia with the typical number keys and it works much better now (and only requires one hand, not two as when you're outdoor with the stylus – can one type easily on the iPhone with one hand by the way?).

Have you bought an iPhone? How long did you use it? I cannot really judge it, I don't own one...

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

It seems Ian just want people to side with him, not to give opinions... The Cocoa Touch API was of course intended for long text input! Thats the whole point! And there is, as I have said, almost no need to go and correct, as the system auto-corrects anyway, in fact, i have more trouble with a stylus than my fingers since I'm using a secondary pointing device ie. a stylus, and your finger is much easier to control

But whatever floats your boat...

dualsub2006 [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Idunno Ian, your Palm loses 1/3 of it's screen space to the Graffiti area. The iPhone/iPod Touch has the advantage of the keyboard not being a permanent part of the screen.

I have an iPod Touch and a Blackberry. With either I can type MUCH faster than I ever could write using Graffiti on a Palm, and both use predictive typing that slams any Palm device to the ground head first.

Over the period that I used Palm Pilots and Treos I spent a lot of money on replacement styli while I have never needed to replace either of my thumbs thank you very much. Sounds like you have a personal preference issue that most people will not share.

Motti [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

The grafitti area of the Palm's as long since disappeared in favour in favour of a being able to write full-screen. The closest you get to grafitti-like input for extended writing is Windows Mobile who's handwriting recognition is getting quite phenomenal. I currently own a Sony-Ericsson which also has allows a limited handwriting recognition (full screen, no virtual area needed) and capable of extended writing, it's just a shame it's such a terrible phone is other regards.

If the iPhone would allow handwriting recognition, I would buy one asap as I currently coul;dn't live without the ability to write long memos on long commutes, from the times I've tried it the iPhone isn't great for extended writing.

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp: I use "iPhone" as a shortcut for Cocoa Touch APIs, and my primary keyboard-input experience is on an iPod Touch (= iTouch), not the iPhone.

[put at-character here]dualsub2006: [ [Up] blogoscoped.com/forum/131899.h ...] – please go back to my first post, and read it closely – my Palm Lifedrive's (PalmOS Garnet 5.4) 320x480px screen [ 306x448px effective, sans scrollbars], practically the same as iPhone's, does not sport a permanent, but on-demand multimodal QWERTY-keyboard, or a choice to use Graffitti on entire screen. However, I specifically did not mention Graffitti, but only finger-vs-stylus KEYBOARD input.

I do *NOT* advocate Palm devices; merely observed that because of iPhonian kbd and finger-pecking method obscuring much larger screen area, the overview of context suffers in comparison with such when much more precise pointy-stylus-on- smaller-yet- discrete-square is employed. While this may be too important when twittering (=as metaphor for all short-messagigng), I do not understand how ensuing lack of overview can not be detrimental to composition of longer texts on current-gen iPhone. Perhaps that is also why Apple hasn't cared enough to provide native/ global copy/paste functionality for it.... because they realize iPhone is but for short text-writing.....?

Philipp mentioned another valid point: ability to use a hanheld SINGLE-HANDEDLY, whether for keying-in telephone numbers, or scrolling and/or browsing in general (I assume).

While both are eminently doable on the Palm, the latter, sadly, is pretty much impossible on iPhone.... where both hands are required even for the simplest of up/down scrolling, or next/ previous page action [ though not for mere tel# input.] Nothing beats dedicated hardware Navigator keys on a Palm.

I won't comment on predictive typing or auto-correction (as an advantage of iPhone over Palm, etc.) because, far as I could ascertain, these do not work well in other linguistic contexts than the English, for which they were designed. Sad facts of "life" as we know it.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I prefer not having a stylus. I do own an iPhone and I will say it took a little bit of time getting used to the touch keyboard. The auto spell checking helps a ton plus you could intentionally misspell words using less letters and it will print out the correct words for you so it takes less effort/time.

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I suppose iPhoney "finger-mastery" can be trained, esp. with the help of such exquisite tools as this one:


iphoneworld.ca/wp-content/uplo ...


... which to my eye looks like the silliest native iPhone app to date. Fine by me – we need all the silliness we can muster....
[ source] iphoneworld.ca/news/2008/05/26 ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

If you master Fingerrunning you can progress to Fingerboarding, apparently a sport :)

+ Show video

Ben Allen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

That was all the rage in middle school.

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