GTA03 - buttons or touchscreen

William Kenworthy billk at
Sun Oct 26 11:26:48 CET 2008

Think of it this way - buttons or softkeyboards or touchscreens are just
another input method - which we already have a choice of and methods to
change so the only real impact on the coders should be the expansion of

The real concern is cost - things like a treo keyboard are not cheap

Having used a treo for the last 3 years, the freerunner is the first
complex touchscreen phone I have used and its basicly a failure in
relative terms compared to input on a smartphone.

While some things like the terminal keyboard (and how I wish I could
permanently disable that @##$$% dictionary rubbish) could be fixed in
software, its the softkey approach thats flawed.


On Sun, 2008-10-26 at 11:15 +0100, David Pottage wrote:
> On Saturday 25 October 2008 17:39:18 JW wrote:
> > vote and tell OM what you want for the next phone
> >
> > 1) touchscreen (no qwerty buttons) - freerunner, HTC Orbit, iphone
> > 2) qwerty keyboard and tracker ball - blackberry curve
> > 3) combination touchscreen plus qwerty - G1
> As others have said, lets not complicate the situation for software authors by 
> radically changing the input methods. For this reason, I think the touch 
> screen has to stay. Having said that I think input would be a lot easier if 
> we had a few extra hardware buttons.
> In order of preference
> Option 1: Touchscreen. 
> It would be nice though if we had a few extra buttons though. I suggest a 
> joystick or mini trackball below the screen and a couple of soft keys on 
> either side.
> Option 3: Touchscreen + Mini qwerty.
> The problem with this idea is that a small query is very hard to type on, and 
> a big one will take a lot of screen real estate. The way I see it the only 
> way a query keyboard can be incorporated into a future Openmoko device 
> without compromising the screen is to make it slide out from the back like 
> the Nokia N810. The problem with that is it will increase the bulk and cost 
> by to much. Perhaps a better solution would be to have a small numeric keypad 
> that won't take much room.
> Option 2: Mini Qwerty, no Touchscreen
> I HATE this idea, because it will make all existing Openmoko software 
> incompatible. Please don't take this route.
William Kenworthy <billk at>
Home in Perth!

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