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May 11, 2009



What a load of [email protected]! You summed it up best at "I am writing this on the keyboard of my laptop"...

Tomi Ahonen

Hi John

Load of cr*p you say? Because I wrote this story from my PC?

I do blog stories from my phone too, but not this one (and not the majority of them).

But John, you and I are the privileged ones - the MINORITY on the planet, who own both a phone and a personal computer. The vast majority of the digitally connected population of the planet has ONLY a phone, no PC. For them there is no alternative. They HAVE to use the data entry of a phone to write. And yet they do.

And even if that point of view was true, that the text entry was forever "inherently better" on a PC keyboard - then you still ignore all the other forms of data entry - cameras, sounds, the motion detector. Did you notice that the gaming platform of Wii overook Playstation as the best-selling gaming platform last year, and did it on the basis that it had motion sensors while the Playstation did not. Motion sensors and data entry by moving your hands with the device - are valid data entry methods, and as the population of advanced phones with the feature grow, so too does the opportunity for developers to make radical new services and apps for us.

So yes, load of cr*p you say. Fine, you can hold that view John. But maybe you can give me the benefit of the doubt and allow the CHANCE that I may be right? Why don't you return to this blog story in about two years and lets see if your mind has changed. Bear in mind that Google CEO, Yahoo CEO and Apple CEO have all projected a strong shift away from PCs into mobile. Perhaps they know something about both industries to make such bold statements?

Still, you are of course entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Your comment will be kept here on our blog as a voice of dissent and I'll be the first to acknowledge you John as having been right, if the world ends up that way.

Thank you for posting the comment and I hope you'll return.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Greg Chamberlin

Interesting article. Another point for the phone is using the phone as an input device to a number of web based services. Using services such as or and a fairly basic phone with SMS, I can verbally send e-mail and text messages, update my calendar, note new tasks, and compose notes and other reminders. These are then transcribed and end up in the appropriate location - e-mail, online calendar and task manager, or back on the phone as a text message. Web based calendars and task lists can send me appointment reminders and today's to-do items via SMS. Throw in a service like and you have a research assistant responding to your voice query to any question, with the answer returned by SMS - Cha cha makes for a great replacement for the expensive 411 services with more flexible queries (what's the address and phone number for Mom's Restaurant on the north side of My City - oh and what's the main cross street intersection?) and more accurate results.

For the best of both worlds, I have a portable, foldable keyboard that works with my phone and the combination of the two with the above services has replaced the need for me to pack around a laptop for 95% of my outings.

Mr. Dana Suess

All current mobile phone keypads are compromises. Some use more than one letter per button, making them unpredictable and complex to operate. Others use 10-button wide QWERTY, which results in phones that are either too wide for comfort, have buttons that are too tiny and cramped, or force two-handed operation.

There is now one elegant mobile phone keypad that gives people exactly what they want - slim form factor, single-hand operation, one letter per properly sized button, plus QWERTY familiarity and speed.

The Delta II smartphone keypad is demonstrated at

Tomi Ahonen

Hi Greg and Dana

Thank you for the comments. I'll respond to both individually

Greg - great examples of services that can also help, very good. And yes the foldable keyboard is another solution but it is certainly one for specialist needs, most average users will not want to carry along a second device such as a keyboard.

Dana - good points but there also are phones with "no compromise" which are the ones with the QWERTY keyboard being a wide set as a slider or clamshell, like the E90 Communicator and the new Nokia N97.

As to the Delta II - this does look interesting, but its been around for a while, and it has a very severe problem, in that it shifts away from the classic keypad format. This is a bit like BMW releasing a new car, but re-arranging the pedals so your gas pedal and brake are switched around.

We've seen this before. Nokia has tried twice to re-arrange the phone keypad, with the round shaped buttons and the one where the buttons were aligned on both sides of the screen. Both were enormous failures because the consumer base had already learned to want to send SMS text messages, and now the changes to the keypad had caused severe un-learning and re-learning by the consumers.

I do think the Delta II came way too late to be relevant but I am happy if proven wrong. We'll see how it develops.

Thank you both for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hi Tomi,

Delta II is now on Android (Big Buttons Keyboard): 100,000 downloads. 4+ star rating.

You are right about flipping gas/brake pedal. The reason Nokia failed was they did not consider how human "motor memory" affects a users learning curve.

We learned hard these hard lessons a long ways back when designing sport skydiving equipment for students.

If you study the matrix, you see the pedals are right where the user is used to seeing/reaching them. That's why Delta II works.

Best regards,


portable keyboards

You can also used portable keyboard in your phones for such phones that have three or four button per button. This way you can freely type, make emails and easy do typing jobs as what have you done in laptop/PC. There are also phones who are out in the market which is somewhat like to laptop but you can do it on handy. Delta II is the best example.

Casio CTK 3000

I thought this was a very interesting post. I agree that the Delta II does have a real problem because it has shifted away from the classic keypad format. It just isn't as user friendly.


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