RT Cunningham


Why Does a Cell Phone have a Typewriter Keyboard? It Makes No Sense

cell phone keyboard The first thing I noticed with my first [smartphone] cell phone was its choice of keyboards. It was a QWERTY keyboard layout.

A QWERTY keyboard layout is called that because the first six characters on the top alphabetical row spells it out. There are other keyboard layouts but most Americans use QWERTY.

When a QWERTY Keyboard Layout Makes Sense

I can understand why computer desktops and laptops (in the United States) have the same keyboard layouts as typewriters. When they first came out, most people already knew how to type on a typewriter. They didn’t have to be good or fast at it, they just had to be familiar with it.

Times have changed. In most American schools, typing (or keyboarding) is no longer a subject. Why should it be? How many people still use typewriters? I learned how to type on a manual typewriter in 1975. I’m a dinosaur.

A QWERTY Keyboard Layout Doesn’t Make Sense on a Cell Phone

I’m surprised people put up with it. Most of the people I know have no idea how to “type” on a typewriter or laptop computer. Pecking at the keys on a cell phone takes them longer than it takes me because they have to hunt for the keys. Even after they become familiar, I’m still faster.

Why not offer an alphabetical order layout? I mean, most Americans learn their ABCs by the time they start grade school. I’m not saying they need to do away with the current keyboard layout, just offer another option.

Most consumers who buy cell phones today, for the first time, have no idea how to type. An alphabetical order layout would make it so much easier to catch up with everything.

Okay, you can say voice typing will eventually replace keyboard typing. And I can say you’re wrong. You don’t use voice typing when you’re trying to be quiet.

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By RT Cunningham
March 11, 2018
Cell Phones