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Well, I thought I would share my initial thoughts on the Storm. As I have ... BlackBerry Storm forum

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    StefanSmith's Avatar
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    I have a vodafone storm...landscape keyboard an issue!

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    Well, I thought I would share my initial thoughts on the Storm. As I have a Bold, I have not provisioned the Storm as yet and have had only around 10 minutes play time.

    Whilst there are so many aspects of the device, all I wanted to try out first was the keyboards!

    The SurePress system (i.e. screen clicks) works really well. They got that right. The suretype keyboard in portrait mode is very easy to type on - I have previously owned a Pearl and mastered typing at speed on that.

    BUT - landscape keyboard - oh dear! I am a very quick typist and if you are too...don't think you will be typing at speed in landscape mode. It does take time to master a keyboard and 10 minutes isn't necessarily being fair. But I also own an iPhone and I have to say in landscape mode, I really from day one didn't have many issues typing at speed.

    It is incredibly difficult to be accurate. Whilst the spell checker is switched on it may save one or two mistakes as you type, but immediately I can see the Storm needing a system like the iPhone which isn't too bad at working out what you meant to type rather than what you did type.

    My thumbs are not too big and I can type very quickly on my Bold; I am experienced with the iPhone in both portrait and landscape and I consider myself very fast on those too; but my initial efforts with landscape mode were just appalling.

    Even slowing down and focusing, I could not hit the correct key

    e.g. typing the word "we" ends up too many times as "wr"

    You can alter the pressure you use on the screen to highlight the letter first before pressing the screen down. I tried this (which is very very slow) and accuracy improved a lot but you really do have to concentrate to do this.

    Even when I concentrated on hitting the letters correctly, I still made so so so many mistakes.

    By contrast, the SureType works so well because its more difficult to press the wrong key.

    I intend to give more time to this later tonight and I shall report on my results. But given my previous experience I really thought the results would be better.

    I am very unsure whether I will now switch from my Bold to the Storm.

    BTW - everything else on the Storm is awesome! The form factor, screen and SurePress really are magic.

    I have a feeling I won't be changing my mind on landscape mode and RIM should really think hard about implementing the same type of system as Apple.

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    I wonder if people will return it because of that...

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    j llama's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review, I have used various Pearls over the course of two years or so, as long as suretype is blazing fast to type with, I'll be happy.

    ++

    I checked Vodafone's forum over in the UK and found they are running Version OS
    Version 4.7.0.65 (platform 4.0.0.76) with the launch storms there.

    The Pre-production Verizon unit I used ran 4.7.0.61 OS.
    Last edited by j llama; 11-14-2008 at 02:43 PM.
    BlackBerry® Certified Support Specialist

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    thanks for the review i cannot wait to get mine and im one of those users that wont mind the Suretype as i loved it on the 8220

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    It takes time to get used to. Give it a day or so, and you'll find it much easier to type on.

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    A little more on the keyboard...

    Actually, the SureType is presenting me with problems too! I am not 100% what is the cause but I think it is one of two things:

    I have spent an hour typing and typing and typing in both layouts.

    One potential problem is as the screen is depressed it may not be springing back up quick enough.

    To prove my point I have videod some typing. And I am correct in the following - if I type a word in SureType e.g. the word people - I can count six distinctive clicks and the video shows I have hit every letter correctly but only 5 letters appear!!

    Unless there is a software issue, I think typing at speed causes an issue that the screen doesn't return to position quick enough. Therefore, it is possible to make two firm depressions i.e. typing two letters, with only one letter showing.

    My alternative theory is the screen is reacting to the depressions differently if you physically are hitting nearer the edge of the screen.

    On the suretype keyboard letter combinations such as ER and OP are often the missing letters when typing more quickly...and I am definitely counting the correct number of positive clicks to the letters I type.

    To date, I am very disappointed with the keyboard (not the SurePress which is fantastic).

    If you type more slowly, it really does work well. But I really wonder how fluent typists are going to get on with being forced to slow down.

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    j llama's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update, keep the review coming!
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    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~have you increased your settings under Options, Screen/Keyboard? There's key rate, touchscreen tap, hover and swipe to play around with.

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    j llama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayfreeman View Post
    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~have you increased your settings under Options, Screen/Keyboard? There's key rate, touchscreen tap, hover and swipe to play around with.
    I wonder what the best settings for those are.
    BlackBerry® Certified Support Specialist

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    Well, I have tried all the settings in Screen/Keyboard (under options) and to be honest, changing any from the default, at least in my case, only makes matters worse.

    After several hours of use, focusing purely on the keyboard, here are my early conclusions.

    1. The SurePress is amazing. It really does feel like you are typing actual keys. The screen depresses and you are presented with a very positive "click". And its loud. There is no mistaking you have hit a key.

    2. To not press a key i.e. to hover over it - you simply need to lighten your touch.

    3. Unless my unit is faulty, there is definitely a finite speed at which you can type either in landscape or portrait.

    If you look over the many videos shown in the last few weeks of the Storm, I have not seen one where the user is typing at any speed. In fact, the typing has been slow and deliberate in every video I have seen to date. I presumed this was merely to showcase the keyboard.

    However, in real world use in the unit I have, I can see why this has been the case!!!

    SURETYPE: Whilst anyone not familiar with SureType may suffer a learning curve, this is by far the easiest keyboard. Each key is so much bigger so its hard to mistype.

    BUT - I have 99.9% sure there is a software or hardware issue. I have consistently proved to myself that when typing slightly faster, I can count the number of positive clicks as the screen is depressed but at speed, some letters simply do not show up.

    For example, if I type the word friend at speed I count 6 positive clicks but so many times a letter is missing. 6 clicks for 5 characters!

    This is either because the software cannot keep up or the typing is too quick and one of the keypresses is not detected.

    I suppose this is to be expected. As the screen is one big key, that key needs to travel back up to the top having been depressed before the next key press can be detected. Well, that sounds logical to me anyway.

    After many hours of typing and typing and typing, I am certain there is a finite speed at which you can type before you will become frustrated with the number of typing errors you see.

    In the case of the Landscape keyboard, my error rate has reduced and so has my speed. I have noted the same problem that you can type a certain number of characters and count the clicks but if you type too quickly one or more characters will be missed. So you hear the correct number of clicks but don't see the corresponding letters on the screen.

    I really believe there will be a big learning curve for many people with the accuracy of the landscape keyboard.

    Again, unless there is a fault in my unit, I see the same errors time and time again.

    The letter E and O especially.

    I have worked out that to accurately type the letter E you need to hit the far left hand side of the letter giving you the impression you would actually be hitting W. The reverse is true for the letter O - hit the far right hand side as if you were going for the P and all seems ok.

    I am disappointed with the accuracy. I tested myself again on an old Pearl and my suretype typing was faultless. My speed on the Bold was at least 3 times quicker if not more. And on an iPhone in both portrait and landscape I made far fewer errors.

    My conclusion? Yes - with practice, I see no problem in adjusting to both keyboards.

    BUT - I genuinely believe there is a speed restriction to typing i.e. if you type too quickly and even if accurate, the combination of screen and software will not keep up.

    I really see a lot of benefits to the Storm over my Bold. BUT - in my case at least, the keyboard was going to be the deciding factor. I never expected to type as fast on the Storm as I can on the bold, but I have to be honest I had expected more from the Storm than I have seen. Which is a shame as SurePress really does live up to the expectation I had.

    If the issue is the software, I hope RIM sort this out quickly.

    I realise it is early days but the one thing I am certain of is that when typing at speed you can definitely hear the correct number of clicks and so even if the typing was inaccurate, 6 clicks means 6 characters...and too often I don't see that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanSmith View Post
    Well, I have tried all the settings in Screen/Keyboard (under options) and to be honest, changing any from the default, at least in my case, only makes matters worse.

    After several hours of use, focusing purely on the keyboard, here are my early conclusions.

    1. The SurePress is amazing. It really does feel like you are typing actual keys. The screen depresses and you are presented with a very positive "click". And its loud. There is no mistaking you have hit a key.

    2. To not press a key i.e. to hover over it - you simply need to lighten your touch.

    3. Unless my unit is faulty, there is definitely a finite speed at which you can type either in landscape or portrait.

    If you look over the many videos shown in the last few weeks of the Storm, I have not seen one where the user is typing at any speed. In fact, the typing has been slow and deliberate in every video I have seen to date. I presumed this was merely to showcase the keyboard.

    However, in real world use in the unit I have, I can see why this has been the case!!!

    SURETYPE: Whilst anyone not familiar with SureType may suffer a learning curve, this is by far the easiest keyboard. Each key is so much bigger so its hard to mistype.

    BUT - I have 99.9% sure there is a software or hardware issue. I have consistently proved to myself that when typing slightly faster, I can count the number of positive clicks as the screen is depressed but at speed, some letters simply do not show up.

    For example, if I type the word friend at speed I count 6 positive clicks but so many times a letter is missing. 6 clicks for 5 characters!

    This is either because the software cannot keep up or the typing is too quick and one of the keypresses is not detected.

    I suppose this is to be expected. As the screen is one big key, that key needs to travel back up to the top having been depressed before the next key press can be detected. Well, that sounds logical to me anyway.

    After many hours of typing and typing and typing, I am certain there is a finite speed at which you can type before you will become frustrated with the number of typing errors you see.

    In the case of the Landscape keyboard, my error rate has reduced and so has my speed. I have noted the same problem that you can type a certain number of characters and count the clicks but if you type too quickly one or more characters will be missed. So you hear the correct number of clicks but don't see the corresponding letters on the screen.

    I really believe there will be a big learning curve for many people with the accuracy of the landscape keyboard.

    Again, unless there is a fault in my unit, I see the same errors time and time again.

    The letter E and O especially.

    I have worked out that to accurately type the letter E you need to hit the far left hand side of the letter giving you the impression you would actually be hitting W. The reverse is true for the letter O - hit the far right hand side as if you were going for the P and all seems ok.

    I am disappointed with the accuracy. I tested myself again on an old Pearl and my suretype typing was faultless. My speed on the Bold was at least 3 times quicker if not more. And on an iPhone in both portrait and landscape I made far fewer errors.

    My conclusion? Yes - with practice, I see no problem in adjusting to both keyboards.

    BUT - I genuinely believe there is a speed restriction to typing i.e. if you type too quickly and even if accurate, the combination of screen and software will not keep up.

    I really see a lot of benefits to the Storm over my Bold. BUT - in my case at least, the keyboard was going to be the deciding factor. I never expected to type as fast on the Storm as I can on the bold, but I have to be honest I had expected more from the Storm than I have seen. Which is a shame as SurePress really does live up to the expectation I had.

    If the issue is the software, I hope RIM sort this out quickly.

    I realise it is early days but the one thing I am certain of is that when typing at speed you can definitely hear the correct number of clicks and so even if the typing was inaccurate, 6 clicks means 6 characters...and too often I don't see that.
    I would think about taking the unit back to Voda. This isn't normal, and it's quite possible you do have a faulty unit. My husband tested the 9500 for 3 months and I've never seen or heard of this problem. Yes the OS could be snappier, but there are already a few newer builds than .65 and they're a bit better than what's installed now. But back to the keyboard, I've seen him use it for 3 months, and never once see this problem. Let us know how it goes.

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    The issue I have is typing at speed. If I type "methodically" there isn't an issue.

    If your husband on his unit types at speed, what happens?

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    Very helpful indeed- thnx for all your input and "research"


    I hope it is an easily fixable software issue- cuz I'm used to typing at blazing speeds on my pearl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanSmith View Post
    The issue I have is typing at speed. If I type "methodically" there isn't an issue.

    If your husband on his unit types at speed, what happens?
    Well, it took him a bit to get used to the device. He says he can't type as fast as a real keyboard but that you should hear 6 clicks but only have 5 register. When he types at speed(relative) every key registers. He said you shouldn't have to type methodically. I am told he has seen this before, but not often, and that the device is not supposed to work like that. Sounds like a hardware problem, but could be software also. I know this sounds funny, but have you pulled the battery in landscape?

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    Know - I haven't pulled the battery in landscape but will try. Without any benchmark to work to, its hard to know how the device should react. I think its hardware. The more I type, I think (unless I am going mad) the screen is not returning from the down position on occasions correctly...

    So I shall contact vodafone on Monday and return the unit for it to be replaced. I guess proof will be in the pudding - if a new unit responds in the same way it can only be a bad batch or more realistically, software. I shall let you know my results.

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