The Android On-screen Keyboard So Challenging That Alternative Keyboards Keep Popping Up For It

As a regular (as in daily) user of both the iPhone (4 is my current model) and Android (mostly Nexus One but also the Motorola Droid), I think the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard is better than the Android’s on-screen keyboard in both portrait and landscape modes. Android’s keyboard in portrait orientation offers a special challenge for me since I regularly unintentionally press one of the four soft keys running along the bottom of the screen (back, settings, home, search). This generally throws me out of what ever I was doing (usually writing email or filling out an on-screen form). The Android’s on-screen keyboard shortcomings is highlighted by all attention given to alternate on-screen typing systems like Swype. You do not see much interest in alternate typing systems on the iPhone. Intomobile notes another alternate typing product named 8pen.

Meet 8pen, another Android keyboard with a steep learning curve

Based on Intomobile’s description, I’m not going to test out 8pen myself. But, I did want to mention it in terms of Android users apparent search for an alterative to Android’s on-screen keyboard. There’s also one more Android keyboard issue to mention: Google and its hardware partners have not seen fit to support Bluetooth keyboards. Both the iPhone (3GS and 4) as well as the iPad work well with wireless Bluetooth keyboards. There are even foldable Bluetooth keyboards that are small and easy to transport and really ups your typing speed for longer email or even document writing. Android is in dire need of integrated Bluetooth keyboard support for those of us who are on-screen keyboard challenged.a