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Android to get virtual keyboard in 2009

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Fri October 24, 2008

Android virtual keyboard

The highly-anticipated T-Mobile G1 handset shipped to eager buyers earlier this week, bringing with it the first application of the Android operating system developed by Google. Users are already pointing out the lack of an iPhone-like virtual keyboard as a shortcoming, as they are forced to turn the phone sideways and open up the screen to access the QWERTY keyboard, which is a two-handed operation. But according to the Android roadmap, a fix is slated for the first quarter of 2009.

The handset will then be updated with an Input Method Framework (IMF) that will allow support for an iPhone-style soft keyboard as well as allow apps developers to write their own Input Method Engines (IMEs). The IMEs will support soft keyboards, a dictionary of suggestions and a suggestion algorithm. While Android will include a few reference IMEs, developers will be free to write IME apps and submit them to the Android Market.

Adding support for pure software text input will allow touchscreen-only devices or for one-handed use in more circumstances, either of which has been possible with iPhones, Windows Mobile devices and Nokia's recent 5800 XpressMusic. [via HTC Source]

By Electronista Staff


  1. Grrr

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jun 2001


    Err.. Right..

    So let me get this right.. This phone has a real keyboard built in. And folks are already crying that they want a virtual soft keyboard instead/as well?
    The built in 'real' keyboard must be awful!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    I don't get it

    I have a G1 and think it's great as-is. Most of the people who are bitching about it not doing this thing or that are those who live on their cell phones.



    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    Virtual Keyboard

    OK, when is someone going to get original and create a phone that is not a poor copy of the iPhone? So far all I have seen from the market is a need to beat the iPhone not to make something that people want because it is a great phone.

    And that is why the copycats will never beat Apple. When your level is the iPhone you will never rise beyond it.

    Jeez this whole thing is starting to sound like John McCains campaign.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Err right

    So let me get this right.. This phone has a real keyboard built in. And folks are already crying that they want a virtual soft keyboard instead/as well?

    No, you got it wrong, because you're thinking of it wrong.

    Android is NOT a phone, but an OS. Ergo, the OS is getting a virtual keyboard. It would be up to the phone to support it. So if you wanted to make a touch-screen phone with keyboard, you could.

    As for the phone, wow, three people could be complaining about it and it is 'awful'. Three people complaining about an iPhone, however, is just three testudos and don't mean anything.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999



    As I remember, just about everyone and their hamster was complaining about the iPhone when it first came out. Things like no physical keyboard, no security, no 3G, no GPS, no cut and paste, no etch-a-sketch, no can opener, no removable battery, no 4 million sales is a week, no apps, etc.

    I am sure Android will be a great platform, although I don't see how Google will benefit from it. I am sure the device manufacturers and the operators would want some of whatever action Google wants for itself.

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