Physical Keyboards

This is kind of funny:

Not because I think it's useless, but because this just arrived in my mailbox today:

I originally backed this physical iPhone keyboard on Kickstarter because typing Swiss German on an auto-correcting German virtual keyboard is difficult. If I turn off auto-correction, typing English and German becomes difficult. There's no built-in auto-correction for Swiss German.

On Android, Kännsch helps a lot. It's a dedicated keyboard for Swiss German.

Still, at least for me, typing on a physical keyboard always worked better. It helps me type correctly without relying on auto-correction.

Of course, I no longer use an iPhone at all, so my new Spike keyboard case is not much use to me anymore.

I do have a friend who is legally blind, and recently asked me if I knew of a way of attaching something physical to an iPhone to get a tactile feel for where the keys are, so I'm going to give it to him and see whether he likes it.

Clearly, these keyboards are niche products. But I'm not sure why people sometimes seem to be almost angry about the fact that they exist at all. If you're perfectly happy with your virtual keyboard, that's great. Nobody is ever going to take your virtual keyboard away from you.1 But the fact that you don't like physical keyboards shouldn't mean that nobody else is allowed to like them, and I'm quite glad to see Samsung do something in this space.

So I don't think the problem with the Samsung keyboard is the fact that it exists. The problem is the fact that it seems to suck.


Paul Fidalgo: Just Let People Use Their Damn Gadgets.

  1. For reasonable values of ever. ↩︎

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