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Innovation

iPhone text entry can rival BlackBerry

The iPhone's narrow virtual keyboard input is an acquired taste for most users; it's the feature that we love to hate. However, a recently-released iPhone application aimed at email messages offers landscape entry and variable font sizes.
Written by David Morgenstern, Contributor on

The iPhone's narrow virtual keyboard input is an acquired taste for most users; it's the feature that we love to hate. However, a recently-released iPhone application aimed at email messages offers landscape entry and variable font sizes.

Released about a week ago, Sax Software's EasyWriter appears to solve most of the issues I've had with data entry on the iPhone -- at least for email messages. It puts a wide keyboard in landscape mode with bigger keys and more importantly, more space between keys. With EasyWriter, I am confident to use both thumbs for entering text. (I admit that I've been relying on the Pogo iPhone Stylus, which can navigate the narrow keyboard and also helps clicking accuracy on link-packed web pages and IM text entry.)

In addition, the EasyWriter supports the native multitouch pinch and zoom interface to increase or decrease text sizes. This really helps those of us whose vision deficits lead us to prefer bigger text.

It's very easy to use: just start your email message, open EasyWriter and enter your message and then click the Send to Mail button.

I note that the iPhone's touchscreen text entry is the biggest worry that I hear from current BlackBerry owners. Most of them handle my iPhone with a wishful look in their eyes, and they sigh when handing it back to me. Then they say that with the amount of text they need to enter, a hardware keyboard is necessary.

That argument looks to be in trouble with the arrival of EasyWriter. Developers of productivity apps that have text entry should take a lesson from Sax Software and support the landscape mode and the larger keyboard.

In addition, BlackBerry users might want to check out the latest reliability research. Just as it regularly tops the customer surveys for computer reliability, Apple appears to be doing the same with the iPhone.

Here's a bit on the report from a post earlier today by Jason O'Grady:

TechCrunch is reporting that the iPhone is twice as reliable as the BlackBerry after one year of ownership, according to a new study by SquareTrade. SquareTrade looked at the failure rates of 15,000 phones covered under its plans and stated that the malfunction rate for iPhones after one year is 5.6 percent, compared to 11.2 percent for the BlackBerry and 16.2 percent for the Treo.

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