Palm Pre: Why No Software Keyboard? | webOS Nation
 
 

Palm Pre: Why No Software Keyboard?

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:53 pm EST


Here's a question: why no software keyboard for the Palm Pre?  Here's the answer: it has an excellent drop-down keyboard with keys that are of the same style of the Palm Treo Pro but slightly bigger, more widely space, and better.

Yet we do know a few things that may point to a software keyboard on future devices that run the webOS. 

  1. There will be other forum factors, opening the door to a version without a physical keyboard
  2. The Palm Pre uses a capacitive touchscreen, making it a much better fit for an on-screen keyboard
  3. Most importantly, we know from the webOS' excellent implementation of the notifications view that it's built from the ground-up to allow every application/card to automatically resize.  When you have a stack of notifications, you can open them up and the card will stay live and stay active on the top of the screen, in a slightly shrunken but nevertheless fully functional form.

So the short answer is that there's not a software keyboard on the Pre because it doesn't need one, but it does seem pretty clear that there's nothing in the webOS that would prevent us from having one in the future -- at least in portrait mode.  Right now, landscape view seems to only be supported by the web browser, so a landscape keyboard might be a little bit 'iffier.'

So what do you think?  Would you like to see an on-screen keyboard on the Pre even though it has a slide-out physical keyboard?  Do you think we'll see touchscreen-only versions of the webOS in the future?