iPhone Keyboard Compared to Treo, Newton, Laptop, Paper
As people have gotten used to the virtual keyboard on the iPhone, most of the complaints about it’s general quirkiness compared to physical keyboards have died down. It’s efficiency is still an issue, though, and person has decided to put it to the test once again. This time they’re seeing how it stacks up to a full-size laptop keyboard, the Newton MessagePad, Palm Graffiti, Treo’s physical keyboard, and good old pen and paper. Given all the complaints from early iPhone adopters, the results may surprise you.
For the test, Phil Gyford, a regular iPhone user for the past 18 months, typed or wrote the following message using each of the input method:
I have enough faith in my fellow creatures in Great Britain to believe that when they have got over the delirium of the television, when they realize that their new homes that they have been put into are mortgaged to the hilt, when they realize that the moneylender has been elevated to the highest position in the land, when they realize that the refinements for which they should look are not there, that it is a vulgar society of which no decent person could be proud, when they realize all those things, when the years go by and they see the challenge of modern society not being met by the Tories who can consolidate their political powers only on the basis of national mediocrity, who are unable to exploit the resources of their scientists because they are prevented by the greed of their capitalism from doing so, when they realize that the flower of our youth goes abroad today because they are not being given opportunities of using their skill and their knowledge properly at home, when they realize that all the tides of history are flowing in our direction, that we are not beaten, that we represent the future: then, when we say it and mean it, then we shall lead our people to where they deserve to be led!
The laptop won, obviously (no surprise there), but the iPhone, Treo and pen and paper tested within 60 seconds of each other; using the iPhone took just under 5 minutes, while the pen and paper took roughly 5.5 minutes. That’s pretty incredible when you consider the vast differences in technology. The Newton MessagePad and Palm Graffiti were left in the dust, taking 9+ and 12+ minutes, respectively.
This test shows a few interesting things. For one, technology has greatly improved since the 2000′s. It doesn’t really rank the efficiency of each method, though, since the person doing the testing had been using the iPhone for so long. It does show that Apple was right when they said it would get easier with practice.