webOS 3.0 virtual keyboard performs shrink-a-dink for smartphone screens | webOS Nation

webOS 3.0 virtual keyboard performs shrink-a-dink for smartphone screens

by Derek Kessler Fri, 29 Jul 2011 9:24 am EDT

webOS 3.0 brought with it many firsts for webOS devices, and high up on that ilst you'll find a fully-functional virtual keyboard. That keyboard has been the source of much praise, what with its dedicated number row and adjustable height. But what of the smaller devices – the Pre and Veer phones of the world? How are they to get their typing on?

Right now, their only option is the physical keyboard, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (we’d argue it’s a good thing if that had to be our only option). But HP’s not resting on their laurels. We may not have any idea when webOS 3.x will make it to smartphone-sized devices, but we can tell you that HP has at least laid some of the groundwork to shrink the tablet OS onto smartphones.

As PreCentral forum member TheAngelOfElysium noticed when playing around in the emulator, setting the resolution to 320x480 gave him a new phone-sized virtual keyboard. Now before you start thinking that this is just a squished version of the keyboard, note the lack of number row, right side shift key, and other missing or relocated buttons. This is a webOS virtual keyboard specifically built for phone-sized devices. Fellow forum member gollyzila noted that the SDK holds two sets of keyboard images – one for tablets and one for smartphones.

HP may not have any public plans to bring webOS 3.0 to smartphones any time soon, but it’s good to see that they’re at least making preliminary steps down that path for when the day comes.