My Motorola Droid Keyboard is Unnecessary

I’ve had a Motorola Droid for over six months now and have decided that the slide-out keyboard is totally unnecessary for my use. That’s a little surprising to me in retrospect, since I originally got the Droid for three reasons:

  1. it ran Android on the Verizon network
  2. it had a good touchscreen
  3. it had a keyboard I could actually type on

In reality the on-screen keyboard is good enough for most circumstances that I wish I could give back the physical keyboard in return for a thinner phone (or maybe more battery). I just don’t find myself doing nearly as much typing as I thought I wold.

App designers have done a very good job of making it easy to live without much keyboard activity, and the auto-complete stuff that some apps take advantage of makes it easy to use the “slower” software keyboard in most cases. The only real exception has been using an SSH client. But that’s rarely something I do more than once a month anyway.

I’m guessing my next phone will have a better screen (of course), run Android, and not have a physical keyboard at all.

About Jeremy Zawodny

I'm a software engineer and pilot. I work at craigslist by day, hacking on various bits of back-end software and data systems. As a pilot, I fly Glastar N97BM, Just AirCraft SuperSTOL N119AM, Bonanza N200TE, and high performance gliders in the northern California and Nevada area. I'm also the original author of "High Performance MySQL" published by O'Reilly Media. I still speak at conferences and user groups on occasion.
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10 Responses to My Motorola Droid Keyboard is Unnecessary

  1. dm says:

    agreed (i have one too)

    it doesn’t help that it’s a really bad keyboard (compared to say, a blackberry keyboard)

  2. That’s a very good point. My blackberry was a lot easier to type on.

  3. I should agree the keyboards is pretty bad, but I just can’t live without it. Maybe because I constantly switch between english and spanish and there is no software keyboard with the flexibility I need.

  4. Corey says:

    Totally agree about the keyboard being useless. I had the original Moto Droid and *never* used the physical keyboard.

    I upgraded to the Droid X, which is essentially the same as the Droid 2, but sans physical keyboard. It is lighter, thinner, yet boasts a bigger screen.

  5. Agreed that the Droid X is probably what you’re looking for.

  6. -dsr- says:

    I’m going to agree and disagree. Yes, the hardware keyboard is only really useful for SSH (and longer emails). No, I don’t want to trade it away — because when I use SSH and write long emails, it really is handy.

    I’ve been told that the extended battery for the Droid 2 will also work on the Droid — it includes a new battery cover that makes it about 2mm thicker. That’s about all the change I think I want in the Droid for another year or so — at which point I’ll go looking for another keyboard-equipped, high-resolution Android phone.

  7. dsh says:

    @Aníbal: try AnySoftKeyboard. It is free in the Market, and has many different layouts and languages available including Spanish, Catalan, Dvorak, Hebrew, Thai, etc. It allows changing the layout at any time without even leaving the text field in which you are typing.

  8. Alex G says:

    That is the exact reason why I got the HTC incredible. It is a thinner phone without the physical keyboard. I used Palm Treo for over 5 years and always loved the keyboards but with the new apps and the autocomplete functionality I did not see the need for it. As far as Verzion I’m in NY and I have had ongoing issue over the last 6 months with reception issue. How is it working in Cali? Anyone else in NY experiencing the same low reception issues?

  9. NEX-5N says:

    שלום Im חדש בדף זה באינטרנט רציתי להגיד היי. זה יכול להיות אתר אינטרנט גדול ושמח im הצטרפתי. חדש זה בזכות הבלוג מקדמים בברכה את. באתי רק הבלוג הנפלא הזה ורציתי להציג את עצמי לכולם. זה באמת כזה אתר אינטרנט מעולה.

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