updated 08:29 am EDT, Mon July 2, 2012
Arc soft keyboard shaped for one-handed thumb typing
Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system may feature a specially-designed keyboard optimized for one-handed typing. The keyboard, shown in an image leaked to WMPoweruser, shows a curved keyboard instead of the current standard. The new operating system is also said to bring additional configurations for soft keyboards in other languages.
The Arc soft keyboard seen in the image appears to take up about 50 percent of the screen. It is positioned to be accessible at all points by one thumb, and letters are grouped onto buttons instead of sitting separate from each other.
The keyboard is demoed on what appears to be an HTC Trophy, which has led some to speculate that the keyboard options may be bound both for Windows Phone 8 and the Windows Phone 7.8 operating system that will be disseminated to older handsets.
Text entry may be as simple as multiple taps on a button to select a certain letter, as was the case with text entry on physical number pads before the rise of QWERTY phone keyboards and soft keyboards; or text entry may consist of some version of tracing with disambiguation, as seen in apps like Swype.
Windows Phone 8's Apollo user interface is also said to feature extended national soft keyboards. The leak shows off one of these keyboards, with a new design for Korean-language text entry. [via WMPoweruser]