Last week we ran a poll asking you to choose your favourite input method on a mobile phone. The choices were:
- Number keypad
- Qwerty keyboard
- Voice commands
Over the years many of us will have used most of these at one stage or another. Even now, your phone probably has the capability to use a couple of them.
For example, the Nokia Asha 300, Asha 202 and Asha 203 all have a number keypad and a touchscreen. Likewise, the Lumia smartphones are primarily touchscreen devices but you can also use voice commands on them.
But we wanted to see your favourite way of typing, using and interacting with your phone.
We can now reveal the results:
That’s a fairly convincing win for the Qwerty keyboard, getting nearly half of your votes.
I must say that I am a little surprised the touchscreen did not do a little better. After all, it has become the dominant form across smartphones and, increasingly, the aspirational and budget-conscious feature phones as well.
Perhaps, it is a reflection of how we are using our phones is changing. Rather than typing, we are now browsing the Internet, watching videos, taking photos and checking social networks.
We don’t really need a Qwerty keyboard for those activities, but where typing is required, the majority of us would prefer to use one.
Here are a couple of comments left on the original post about the advantages of using a Qwerty keyboard:
“I’m now on my 3rd Nokia QWERTY – the E7 – following the E72 and the E70… For myself, a physical keyboard is much easier for faster typing and accuracy. I have tried to use the on-screen keyboard in Nokia Belle but my fat fingers still mistype too much!”
I definitely prefer the QWERTY keyboard, by a country mile. You can’t beat it for accuracy or response.
Nation by nation
Breaking down the results country-by-country was also revealing. European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland were representative of the poll as a whole, and voted by a clear majority for the Qwerty keyboard.
However, the United States, with a smartphone penetration of 47% according to the latest ComScore survey, stood alone and opted for the touchscreen. The breakdown of the voting in the USA was almost an exact reverse of the findings as a whole.
- Touchscreen: 47.22%
- Qwerty keyboard: 33.33%
- Voice command: 12.5%
- Number keypad: 6.94%
Compare that with an emerging country like the Philippines, which has the fastest growing smartphone market in Asia, but yet still lags behind the US with just 29% penetration. Their results was much more in keeping with the rest of the world.
- Qwerty keyboard: 40%
- Touchscreen: 30%
- Number keypad: 15%
- Voice command: 15%
Finding their voices
It was no great shock to see that there wasn’t much love for voice commands, but it will be fascinating to see if that changes in the next few years. The technology is improving rapidly and it will, perhaps, feel more natural to tell a machine what to do.
A couple of people, Elokuu and Andreas Janke, left some excellent comments about the situation dictating, which input method they prefer. This is a fair point, and is especially true because our smartphones are becoming multi-use devices, as Nokia Drive demonstrates.
Many of you also left comments in support of the number keypad, in particular the speed with which you could type your messages using T9. However, in practically all countries it was a distant third, or even fourth.
The final word will go to Benoît HERVIER, who left a rather cryptic and enigmatic comment but also gets to the heart of the matter rather poetically.
“I believe in a phone that can write what I think…”