The Smartphone User Experience: Android Phones With Keyboards


Probably one of the fastest changing and most dynamic markets in the United States today is the smart phone and tablet market. It was not that long ago when cell phones were purely a way to communicate via voice calls. Of course at the time the ability to be mobile or semi-mobile while using a phone was huge. Now that basic feature is important but surpassed in the general consciousness by the new generation of smart phones from makers like Apple, Motorola and HTC.

Obviously Apple's iPhone is a prominent if not the preeminent player in today's smart phone market but it does have competition from many other phone makers using the Android operating system. Android is a Linux like operating system developed by Google and available on a more free and open basis than Apple's iOS. That can be a great benefit and it can be a bit of a negative at times too, as is the case with most things, since there is less of a set standard for how the OS integrates with phone hardware.

Since the current smart phone has most of the functional capability of a personal computer many people are using them not only for voice calls and some short text messages but also for email and web browsing. This makes the method of interaction of vital importance. Touch screens are the primary mode of interaction with most of the phones excepting most BlackBerry devices. Despite the accuracy of touchscreens there are a number of top selling Android phones that use a physical keyboard to enhance the user interaction experience. The original Motorola Droid was a popular example of a Android phone equipped with a physical keyboard. Motorola, in partnership with Verizon has continued the tradition with two subsequent iterations of the original Droid phone.

For super smart phone typists there are even external keyboards available which can be connected to your Android phone via Bluetooth to give you greater freedom and speed for responding to emails or blog posting. Of course carrying a keyboard with you does increase the gadget load and at some point a small computer like a netbook might be better option than trying to equip your phone with extra PC like peripherals.

One thing seems guaranteed however: The smart phone market will continue to see rapid innovation and new breakthroughs as it further blurs the line between mobile phone, personal computer, navigation system and the like. Already we see smart phones with dual core processors and more CPU capacity than many full size PCs of yesteryear.

Source EzineArticles by Vin Hale

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