I had decided to try my hand at writing a word document with the Docs to Go application on my Samsung Captivate, and I was not enthused in the least bit. Only a few hours passed since I had bid farewell to my BlackBerry Bold 9000 model in exchange for the Samsung, and my grieving period over the tactile qwerty was not done. I believe this is the reason why I had reacted so negatively to the on-screen keys and made a rash decision to flee to my MacBook.
Even after leaving behind the qwerty bar device at the AT&T store, there was still a part of me that clinged to the familiarity of tactile buttons. Sitting up into the late hours to burn the midnight oil with the backlit illumination of keys was a favorite pastime, especially with good music in my ears. Each reassuring click from the BlackBerry keyboard seemed to be weaving itself into a hypnotic rhythm that would grasp my concentration so effortlessly. In this writing trance, I could lose myself for prolonged periods of time and did not care as long as my thumbs could tolerate it. Honestly, this felt like my own private time for meditation. The first part of my going back to a virtual keypad involved my delving into an old method that seemed to almost be forgotten. Suddenly dealing with nuances of touch feedback instead of tactile keys caught me off guard, and I wrongfully cast judgment on the Captivate.
However, after over a week of getting used to typing on the larger 4inch screen, I am more at ease from the first day. The display being larger than the Nexus One was also a strength for Sony Ericsson X10. Unfortunately, it was hampered by inconsistent feedback on a UI that had the potential of being very sluggish. While it is one thing to have interface lag, it is really disconcerting when even simple typing cannot be relied upon. This led to the downfall of the X10 in my eyes, and I am grateful that the Samsung has escaped this same fate so far. There may be occasional lags in navigating homescreens and open applications, but typing on the virtual qwerty is sound for the most part. I can even go as far as to say that my Captivate rivals the Nexus One with its keyboard feedback. When one takes into account the convenience of word completion along with the extra space from a bigger display, the Galaxy S line may have a winner as a Nexus One successor.
All this praise comes from using the keyboard in portrait mode, so one can only imagine the awe of landscape mode. My naked eye may not be able to notice the initial benefit of SuperAMOLED in comparison to the Retina display, but the extra measurement of the screen is absolutely apparent! I recently decided to transfer to my phone from the MacBook my word document log of device findings for my Captivate usage. Since I no longer have to sit at my desk with the Mac, this is a more efficient way to stay on top of recording important entries for my blog post. A bit of a shocking result of this is that I no longer have a desire to try a bluetooth keyboard with the Captivate. I once considered the Logitech DiNovo mini model, but started to feel hesitant upon reading user reviews on Amazon. In addition to the risk of adopting this unit that may not work with the Android, there is also the prospect of adding another gadget to carry.
At this point, I can say in full confidence that I am over the grief period for leaving the hardware keyboard of the Bold 9000. The more I think on the possibility of using a tactile keyboard, there is a potential con that emerges in my mind regarding the ease of use. In order to retain a display that is at least four inches, a sliding keypad seems to be most necessary. When this feature is included in the build of a phone, it is usually the case that additional bulk is to be expected. Accompanying this added bulk is the potential for more cumbersome operation of a mobile device. Sliding a qwerty may not seem to be too bad, but it is much easier to have only one primary touch surface to deal with. Considering my past history with sliders such as the Touch Pro 2, N900, Tilt, and E75, I tend to be drawn to either a qwerty bar or touch slab form factor. It seems that a touch slab is best since a qwerty bar would not allow me to retain a large display of at least four inches. The Captivate now offers the best combination of measurements and interface performance for typing, so I may have found a fitting upgrade to the Bold 9000 in regards to writing. Unlike the Nexus One, the Samsung actually encourages me to write a lot more often...hence this posting.
Sent from my Samsung Captivate