RIM offers peek at BlackBerry 10 touch keyboard

RIM offers peek at BlackBerry 10 touch keyboard

Summary: BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has given a glimpse of the features in its new smart virtual keyboard, which it hinted could be coming in its next handset release.BlackBerry 10's virtual keyboard software predicts the next word.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has given a glimpse of the features in its new smart virtual keyboard, which it hinted could be coming in its next handset release.

BlackBerry virtual keyboard

BlackBerry 10's virtual keyboard software predicts the next word. Image credit: RIM

The prototype keyboard software, shown off at BlackBerry World on Tuesday, takes a new slant on predictive text. When you start typing, the keyboard will start showing what the next word could be above a particular letter. For example, if you write "I am going", it might suggest "home" above the 'H', "on" above the 'O' and 'to' above another letter. It typically displays more than one choice, and one tap will select the correct one.

"I tried my hand at banging out a few messages and I often found myself staring right at the word sitting on the tip of my tongue. It's honestly an uncanny feeling, almost as if the device was reading my mind," ZDNet UK's sister site CNET said in a hands-on review.

The software also has a lot of gesture support, allowing users to swipe to the side to delete a word, and with other swipes to change layout or keyboard options.

In a keynote speech unveiling BlackBerry 10 for developers, RIM's chief executive Thorsten Heins hinted that the touch keyboard will appear in the BlackBerry 10 devices expected later this year, rather than the physical QWERTY keypads seen in other of its handsets.

"Typing really matters to our BlackBerry users," Heins said, according to News.com. "So how do we make the best keypad on the market even better on BlackBerry 10? This new keypad saves you time even on full touch BlackBerry."

For a look at the keyboard in action, take a look at the YouTube video showing what the BlackBerry World audience saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEPYYo0-gfc

Topic: Tech Industry

Karen Friar

About Karen Friar

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She started out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at ZDNet.com. Next came a move to CNET News.com, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, and finally a return to her homeland with ZDNet UK.

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