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QWERTY for the foreseeable future
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes: Following its introduction in 1873, QWERTY became the most popular keyboard layout. While it was designed to prevent typewriter typebars from jamming, its longevity beyond the mechanical typewriter was guaranteed when it was adopted as the layout for computer keyboards.
Although there are undoubtedly better systems that QWERTY available, ranging from different layouts to swipe systems to voice control, the advantage that QWERTY has over the competition is that it is ubiquitous, and almost anyone with even a passing familiarity with a computer can pick up the smartphone or tablet and start using it.
While QWERTY might be considered by some to be old, slow and inefficient, no other system can boast this level of usability, and this is why it migrated beyond the keyboard and into cutting-edge post-PC devices such as smartphones and tablets. And this guarantees that we will be seeing – and interacting with – QWERTY for the foreseeable future.
More efficient methods for text entry available
Matthew Miller: My smartphone life began with the Danger Hiptop (aka T-Mobile Sidekick) back in 2002 and I was hooked on hardware QWERTY keyboards ever since. I progressed through Palm Treos and Pres, BlackBerrys, various HTC devices, and more in my desire to always find and use devices with physical keyboards. I have now given up that lengthy affair and find no reason to go back.
The only high end smartphone today with a QWERTY is the new BlackBerry Q10, admittedly one of the best QWERTY devices ever made. However, you give up viewable display area and the ability to use advanced software keyboards while adding another hardware failure point.
QWERTY was designed for two-handed PC keyboards and is not a system optimized for the mobile phone. There are more efficient methods for text entry available today, such as Swype on Android, and the predictive keyboards today mean many people don't even tap on all the letters in words they enter on their phones.
Efficient QWERTY usage also requires two hands while software keyboards work well with one thumb or finger tapping or sliding away on the display. Folks, put your thumbs down and slide that index finger across your screen.