Anyone think the D4 keyboard is a step backwards?

Roger that; "if you use Swiftkey" then "the layout isn't that bad" -- you're right.

If you reviewed this thread before posting in it, then you noticed my post of Feb 25 above which discusses the misunderstanding between two typist styles.

You have identified yourself as primarily a one-finger typist. This means you are using the D4 hard QWERTY keyboard like people use a virtual keyboard. You don't really need the D4. Swype will very possibly be even faster for you than Swiftkey.

But for those who touch-type and watch the copy or the display as they type -- and for whom word completion serves no purpose, except occasionally as a spell-checker -- the D4 keyboard layout remains a major disappointment and a caricature of what it should have been, despite its admittedly fine feel.

Perspective instantiates reality.
( By DX w/DF app. )

You know what happens when you assume, right? ;-) I am a touch typist.

Swiftkey is still awesome because: For quick messages with the hardware keyboard in it is the best virtual keyboard around (I have used Swype and FlexT9, always go back to Swiftkey). When you are using the hardware keyboard, it's still awesome because it has next word prediction, allowing you to hit the spacebar to autocomplete a word. The idea that word prediction and completion is useless for touch typists is just silly. That might be your preference, but it is not universal.

Also, the layout is not so substantially different that it isn't learnable. Every keyboard I have ever used has small differences that slow typing down until you get 'the feel' for the keyboard. It is still recognizable QWERTY. While I agree a caps lock key is silly (why would you ever need that on a phone), it doesn't 'ruin' the keyboard...
 
I actually disabled next word prediction because it was making some of the most ridiculous changes one could imagine. Now I just touch the word in the suggestion bar to autocomplete.

Tappin' and talkin' with Tapatalk.
 
Can you rebind the keys to what you want with an app somehow?
 
When you are using the hardware keyboard, it's still awesome because it has next word prediction, allowing you to hit the spacebar to autocomplete a word.
I kinda hate that feature because it sometimes suggests longer words then you want, then you have to hit spacebar to do a regular space not choose the word, so then you sort of just have to wait until it goes away. I should probably disable it heh.
 
If it worked the way BlackBerry's autocomplete does, it would be perfect. In BlackBerry, you could predefine abbreviations to be lengthened, such as govt into government and remove any corrections you didn't want made.

Tappin' and talkin' with Tapatalk.
 
The question is simple: If you look at your hands or at the keyboard when you type, you do not NEED a physical QWERTY -- *and* it will be completely outside your experience and comprehension why anyone else would NEED one either.
I think there's a bit more to it than that. I never put my all fingers on (ASDF JKL;) on my D4's physical keyboard, you can't really touch-type like that because it's too small. But having had over 20 years of touch typing experience, the D4's physical keyboard is hands down the fastest keyboard that I've ever used on a phone. I think what it is is that a lot of your touch-typing experience transfers over to this keyboard better than any other phone because it's more like a regular QWERTY keyboard than any other, so even though you can't technically touch-type on it, it's still much faster.
 
Can you rebind the keys to what you want with an app somehow?

You don't need an app, just Notepad+, but you can't necessarily make all the changes you want because part of the way the keyboard act is actually a part of Moto's Rom, not just the keyboard mapping itself.
 
I agree: the keyboard layout isn't at all the best design I've ever used and seen. But not being able to design and install to it my own custom physical kb at this point, I guess I'll just have to adapt...
 
My mom has the D3 and the keyboard on that thing compared to my D4 is soooo much better than the D3. I do agree the caps lock button really sucks especially when I accidentally activate it but I can look up and still know what keys I'm pressing on the keypad. Definitely a step up for me =)
 
Droid 4 keyboard -- a love/hate relationship

I think there's a bit more to it than that. I never put my all fingers on (ASDF JKL;) on my D4's physical keyboard, you can't really touch-type like that because it's too small. But having had over 20 years of touch typing experience, the D4's physical keyboard is hands down the fastest keyboard that I've ever used on a phone. I think what it is is that a lot of your touch-typing experience transfers over to this keyboard better than any other phone because it's more like a regular QWERTY keyboard than any other, so even though you can't technically touch-type on it, it's still much faster.

I too, am a touch typist, and much prefer the physical keyboard. I also really hate having some of my input fields blocked by a virtual keyboard. I agree, some of the Droid 4 keyboard seems like a throwback. I would much rather have the TAB and SHIFT keys up a row, and a CTRL/ALT key or the SYM key where the shift is now. I am constantly hitting CAPS LOCK when I mean to hit SHIFT. The number keys could be narrower, with the backspace on the number row, but I can live with that. I would also really prefer to have the screen be a little larger, have it tilt a little, have the lapdock be a little more (OK, at all!) functional, have the charge and mini HDMI outlets on the bottom of the phone, and to have ICS before Jelly Bean dropped.

All of that said, I have a pretty darned functional phone that does just about everything I need and is stable as heck. The only SERIOUS disappointment is that Google hasn't adapted a full-blown CHROME browser for Android (at least, not for Gingerbread) and that you can't get ANYTHING to run natively on the Lapdock either. Seriously?

ICS should fix a lot of stuff, as Motorola has supposedly put a lot of effort into updating the functionality there for the Droid 4 and Lapdock 4.0. What I really don't understand, however, is why the DROID RAZR and the DROID 4 (with supposedly identical internal hardware except that the Droid 4 screen is a little smaller and has the physical keyboard) have such offset release dates on everything. Shouldn't ICS for the RAZR run almost identically on the Droid 4???
 
I agree the keyboard is lacking. the D3 was the best keyboard I've used to date. even the move from D1 - D2 - D3, the differences were slightly annoying at best, but never bothersome. at most, each iteration simply required me to reposition my fingers on the keys.

with that said, and I'm not sure if this was mentioned in the thread or not, but the absence of the ALT key is more perplexing than originally pointed out. as a dedicated keyboard user (myself), I do a lot with it. from using remote desktop sessions, to using forums as they appear on the web and formatting text/html, etc. as I type. the ALT key was integral in those efforts, not only for symbol recognition, but also for its function.

did you know the ALT key got you to the beginning or end of your line/field?? how do you do that now??? you can't! you have to move your hands from the keyboard and reposition. I've found that more times than not, that all of the other corrective actions that are going on between field entry, keyboard manipulation, spell checking and everything else, that if you click (touch) on a part of a sentence/field, that doesn't always mean that's where the next action takes place!

frustrating!!!
 
Biggest issues:

0) keyboard backlight doesn not work.
this was an utter failure on Motorola's part. Not only does the backlight always shut off in complete darkness making it virtually unusable until you close then re-open the keyboard, but there is no user control to adjust the setting. anyone know of a way to fix this? why hasnt Motorola released an "always on when keyboard open" or "always off" update. better question is why didnt they give us a properly illuminating keyboard in the first place, or at least immediately issue a fix.

1) no dedicated ? key.
how could they make this mistake? what does Motorola think people are using the keyboard for?

2) no ALT key.
this made typing and fixing mistakes so much simpler. one touch and you got right back to the end of your text line

3) shift + delete does NOT erase the entire line of text as in the D1.
This feature was especially useful on forums, email, forms, etc.
is there a new way to do this that i havent figured out yet?

4) CAPS LOCK key.
as everyone else has stated, this is really really stupid, made even stupider by the fact that double tapping the shift key already triggers caps.
 
The easiest way i know for deleting text quick is pressing and holding down shift key and then press the up arrow and it will highlight the text and just press delete not as convenient as shift+delete but it works welll.Keyboard is alright though. Droid 3 keyboard is great too though.
 
Honestly I love the keyboard on this phone, and I came from a D3. My friend has a D3 and he wants a D4 partly because he really likes the keyboard as well. Yeah it took a few days to get used to, but now I love it. I am on a lot of forums online, and it's nice being able to see the whole screen while typing.
 
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