First Look: Android Virtual Keyboard on T-Mobile G1 (Video)
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
No smartphone is perfect. There are always features that could be added to even the highest-end devices to further their functionality. For the iPhone, cut and paste likely tops the list of most desired features. The brand new BlackBerry Storm? Wi-Fi. T-Mobile’s G1, the first handset powered by Google’s Android mobile OS, lacks one of the most basic features for a touch-screen device: an on-screen virtual keyboard. But according to reports, that’s going to change in January 2009—and the upcoming Android virtual keyboard has already been caught on video.
Android Virtual Keyboard on T-Mobile G1
The new keyboard, which looks similar to the ones found on HTC TouchFlo 3D devices in form and not unlike the iPhone’s virtual keyboard in function, is a result of the recently revealed “Cupcake” Android development initiative. Cupcake also promises a variety of additional Android enhancements, including stereo Bluetooth, cut and paste and video recording. And the fruits of Cupcake will reportedly be coming to additional Android devices, as well as the G1.
Like the iPhone’s virtual keyboard, the Android keyboard in the video displays a “pop up” of every character users tap, in an effort to reduce typing errors. The new BlackBerry Storm, which features a unique SurePress screen that depresses and clicks when used, only shows a small blue “cloud” around letters and numerals as users hit them, making it somewhat difficult to tell if the correct key was clicked.
Google, along with its carrier partners, is expected to unveil a variety of new Android powered devices in 2009, including Kogan’s Agora, Agora Pro, and possibly a new T-Mobile G2.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.