An iPhone With A Keyboard? Three Reasons Why It Could Happen

Article first published as An iPhone With A Keyboard? Three Reasons Why It Could Happen on Technorati.

Well, the latest rumor about the iPhone involves a keyboard, and before you go dismissing this as another crazy story trying to drum up attention and page views, allow me to hypothesize why those innovative Apple designers could be toying around with such a configuration. Although I think there's more of a chance that we'll see an iPad mini first, here are three reasons why an iPhone "Slider" just might be in the works.

Slider Love
Is it me or is there something just fun about slider devices? I've loved them ever since my Samsung i730, the long awaited but quickly replaced Samsung i760 and my "new" (thanks to eBay) OQO 2. That clicking noise just screams "cool gadget" to me and possibly "gadget nerd" to you. Furthermore, every now and then, I catch myself glancing over at my wife's LG Ally and think, "Ah...a slider keyboard..." A strong build and high-quality construction would be essential. Although third-party product developers have displayed some fine innovations, I'd be more interested in seeing what those Apple engineers can do when integrating the keyboard directly into the phone.

True Landscape Typing
We can be honest with each other that typing on the iPhone's virtual keyboard in landscape mode gives you more space, but it does so at the expense of valuable screen real estate. How much of the screen is left for viewing after the virtual keyboard is displayed? Less than a third, and a physical slide-out keyboard would instantly alleviate this problem. You would be able to see more of the Web page, document, or whatever is displayed on the screen. With arrow keys, you would be able to navigate through forms, text boxes, and other important components without the need to zoom in and out as much.

A Better Gaming Experience
With the daily influx of new games to the App Store, the iPhone has turned into a contending mobile gaming platform. Granted, you won't catch anyone playing World of Warcraft or Call of Duty on the iPhone anytime soon, and app developers have gotten quite creative in utilizing multitouch gestures when playing more complex games (i.e. Madden NFL 11). Still, the addition of a physical keyboard - with arrow keys - would allow for multiple input opportunities and it would make the game-playing experience resemble the conventional one that most gamers are accustomed to.

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