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Apple details iPhone keyboard with new video

updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed June 27, 2007

iPhone keyboard video

Apple today posted a new video detailing the intelligent keyboard found in its forthcoming iPhone, which some critics said made the device unfit for practical business use. The video covers such features as the included English language dictionary, automatic correction as users type, and word anticipation functionality to intelligently guess which word users are typing as letters appear on the screen. The iPhone also enlarges the 'tap area' around keys that users are most likely to press next by comparing the series of letters already typed to known words, making those keys which are unlikely to see inclusion harder to hit while increasing the likelihood that users will tap on letters that spell actual English words.

Various industry watchers and companies -- including Microsoft -- balked at the lack of a physical keyboard on Apple's iPhone after the company's chief executive Steve Jobs debuted the device at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco early this year. Recently however, tech guru Walt Mossberg with the Wall Street Journal reviewed the device and concluded that typing with the on-screen keyboard is as quick and accurate as his Palm Treo after just five days of use, despite a significant initial slowdown in typing speed after acquiring the device for the first time.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in late April also said the iPhone has "no chance" to achieve any significant market share.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance," said Ballmer. "It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get."

Those statements by Microsoft's head came after AT&T announced on April 18th that more than one million customers were waiting to purchase an iPhone at that time. Previous evidence of interest in the new cellular handset surfaced when a surge in Web searches for the device was reported by one blogger in early March, with searches for 'iphone' soaring to rank as the 55th highest volume search term overall for the week ending January 13th during the Macworld Expo. The volume of U.S. searches for that same term shot up a whopping 583 percent between the weeks ending May 26th and June 23rd, according to Hitwise, resulting in Apple receiving most of the redirected traffic for 54.4 percent of those hits.

by MacNN Staff




  1. pysan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Entourage uses OWA, which works fairly well, but it still requires that to be enabled in Exchange, which I know some bigger orgs don't like doing. Nike only recently enabled it about two years or so ago. Getting MAPI support on OS X would be awesome, and if it takes the iPhone to do it, then so be it! Again showing that the iPhone will help push OS X itself forward.

  1. rok

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cursor reposition loupe

    nice touch (about 25% of the way in) is that loupe tool for repositioning the cursor (since, you know, your finger would likely be in the way when you're moving it around).

    one kind of interesting thing is that at the very end, they show someone typing away quite quickly, but if you notice, the iphone is both a.) getting the keystrokes wrong and b.) predicting the right word VERY well. apple is not kidding when they say "learn to trust the predictive keyboard." trust? more like "rely upon." either way, looks pretty nice.

  1. DahlBryn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The guy could've trimmed his knuckle hair before doing the video... gross. As a "hand" model, you'd think he'd prep his hands from all that fur. And whats with the demonic "v" in his forehead between his eyebrows... very weird. He's wearing a wedding band that's too loose to have been there very long (as a family guy, Mr. Jobs would insist the "hand" model wear a ring). And of course, this guy lisps almost identically to Steve Jobs, plus his voice sounds like its been artificially lowered about half an octave. This is all very odd stuff for promoting a product regardless of the production values.

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: ugh

    I think George Costanza was the hand model for that shoot. He won a contest you know.

  1. DahlBryn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I want to know how the phone is going to handle other or multiple dictionaries. If you're typing messages to people anywhere else in the world (other than the U.S.), how does it handle the use of "proper" English especially. With French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc. we'll have to wait and see, but the rest of the world uses UK English with proper spellings, not the truncated way a lot of words are spelled in the U.S. This is neither good or bad, just a curiousity to see if the dictionary is selectable between US and Euro/Canadian English or if the phone is smart enough to learn about 150 differently spelled common words. To that end, can you combine English with French or Spanish in the same message and have it understand? We'll have to see how multilingual people manage with iPhone.

    All that aside, I just wish the keyboard was available in landscape mode for those with bigger fingers.

  1. HCRefugee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Negative Nellies...

    Now that's the way to counter the keyboard argument made by the negative Nellies and sell the coolness factor of the iPhone.

    The knuckle hair is deliberate, I think. It sends the msg that this is just a regular guy, or the keyboard is so simple a cave man could type with it.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    .... Can't get mine. Have to wait.. :(

  1. doctor9

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ballmer is idiot

    Like Microsoft Mobile has got a chance getting 60% much less 80% of the mobile OS market! Dream on, fat boy...hey by the's that WebTV going? What's the latest figures on the TabletPC market?

    At best, 15%, maybe 20%! Then break that down revenue-wise as to the license fees versus the hardware revenue of an iPhone.

  1. WaltFrench

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shameless Balmerisms

    > Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in late April also said the > iPhone has "no chance" to achieve any significant > market share.

    Hard to tell if he's comparing the iPhone's potential to the ultra-low expectations for the Zune (they're targeting about 2% of ALL portable players by aiming for 10% of hard-disk ones); how significant can you be with "me too" product at a 2% share?

    Or is he comparing to WinPhones, which have been around for years?

    Fine to knock the competition, but the standards he is disingenuously applying make his own company look absolutely terrible. So he must not want anybody to take his BS seriously. Deprecating his own brand.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah right

    Steve Ballmer said: "They may make a lot of money. But ... I'd prefer "

    I'd prefer to make a lot of money. Get real Steve.

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