4iThumbs: iPhone gets tactile keyboard overlay
The iPhone has had its fair share of criticism from those who say the virtual keyboard is too difficult to type on, or that people with fat fingers or long fingernails have difficulty using it. It’s not the only large screen phone to suffer this kind of feedback, but it certainly gets a lot of it.
Since Apple introduced the landscape oriented keyboard across more applications in a recent firmware update, things have got better, but it seems a solution is still needed for those who love the iPhone but don’t get on well with the keyboard.
Enter 4iThumbs, a clear overlay that sits on the iPhone’s screen and acts as a tactile keyboard. Its makers say that it can stay on the screen all the time, even when the keyboard is not in use (which is a lot of the time, the way I use my iPhone), and it increases the speed and accuracy of text entry, and allows for ‘blind’ typing.
It also acts as a screen protector, if you don’t already have one on your iPhone.
You can decide to buy either a portrait, landscape, or dual mode version, for between $14.95 and $19.95.
If you’re already used to the iPhone’s keyboard you probably won’t need this device, but it’s not a bad idea if you’re transitioning from a phone with a real keyboard.
What I’d really like is an external keyboard that can be docked, or operates wirelessly over Bluetooth, much like the one I used with my Palm PDA many years ago.