psion like keyboard discussion
#1
since I think the keyboard is still in the planning stage, would it be possible to discuss its specifications so that we can influence its realization a little?
I know it's a pretentious request because what to develop should only be a decision of the productor, but it would be great if some good ideas were considered.

As for me, I like the idea of the keyboard not so much because I consider it essential (but I could change my mind by trying it) but because it would become part of the phone protecting the screen like a booklet cover (which I like as an idea, I always liked shell phones).
Did I understad well?

And would the keyboard be able to hold the phone like a laptop screen? I don't think so because the weight of the phone should be greater than the weight of the keyboard, but in this case how could we use the keyboard on a table?

Could the keyboard integrate a couple of expansion ports (like a usb, hdmi or an ethernet)? Maybe it's technically impossible but I ask because at that point the pinephone would become in effect a miniature laptop.

I think there are many other aspects that would be interesting to talk about, for example how you plan to keep the keyboard closed, how you plan not to let it touch the screen (have you also considered the thickness of any protective films/glass on the screen?), what kind of keys will be used and the mapping (I like the island ones but I think with that size the style of psion is really better), or as someone said in the chat if you integrate a touchpoint.
#2
(12-10-2019, 09:06 PM)vinnie Wrote: And would the keyboard be able to hold the phone like a laptop screen? I don't think so because the weight of the phone should be greater than the weight of the keyboard, but in this case how could we use the keyboard on a table?

This is a good question. I suppose there will have to be some sort of leg behind the phone to hold it up. Not the most aesthetic solution to be sure. Maybe it's possible to move the battery inside the keyboard? Would it be enough to make the difference?
#3
The best keyboard I had was on my Palm Treo 680:

https://www.gsmarena.com/palm_treo_680-1741.php

The reason was that this was very tactile and it did not take long for your thumbs to remember where the buttons were. You could hold the phone with two hands and just thumb away.

My worry with a Psion like keyboard is that you cannot use it comfortably while standing somewhere, so you still have to resort to the inaccurate soft keyboard we have in our Androids.

But I realise I won't see a thumb keyboard to go with the Pinephone.
#4
In my experience the Psion 5 keyboard was perfectly comfortable standing, using both thumbs on the keys. It's still the smallest keyboard I've been happy to actually type on, way better than the slightly larger one on the Toshiba Libretto. The Revo keyboard was a step backwards, fine for thumbs but not typing, much like the N900. I've not tried the Planet Gemini, but getting something that feels as good as the old Psion 5 is something they've put a good bit of work into.

I don't know if the plan is a slide like the N900 or a clamshell like the Gemini, or even something else, but each will have their supporters depending on use case.
#5
Quote:since I think the keyboard is still in the planning stage, would it be possible to discuss its specifications so that we can influence its realization a little?

Absolutely. I'll be watching this thread.

At this point the PSION-like layout, look and fundamental function are all locked in. But there is A LOT of stuff we can do or not do with this. We're happy to hear your suggestions as always.
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#6
It will probably be awesome. I would rather see a keyboard that doesn't cover the screen when not in use since that would fit my phone usage better. The whole unwrap keyboard to see screen means I need to find another keyboard.
#7
I agree that a keyboard which doesn't cover the screen in closed state would be better.
If it covers the screen then it is most like a laptop which is also a good thing but other use case.

However, I think I would use it mostly as a portable computer so I would be interested also of that type of keyboard but a keyboard which does not cover the display would be definitively better if possible.
#8
(12-12-2019, 03:27 AM)qrsBRWN Wrote: I would rather see a keyboard that doesn't cover the screen

I have a feeling there will be that sort of keyboard as well, since it isn't really a question of which one is better. It's two very different use cases. I think at least a third party will come up with the keyboard that slides behind the screen if Pine won't.

In my case I am very happy about the psion-style since this makes terminal apps very usable. So, even if nothing but coreutils works, you can still use the phone for as a terminal-only PDA.
#9
I think there are two camps among people regarding what design they prefer. One way is to do a clamshell were the screen is not visible and another is to slide out the keyboard from underneath. There are pros and cons with both designs and ultimately it´s a personal preferens.

This thread is for a clamshell design, like the Psion, so maybe we should make a thread for discussing a slideout keyboard option (and if its possible to make one)
"- is there already a tool for overclocking it desperately?" 
#10
(12-11-2019, 06:06 PM)Luke Wrote: At this point the PSION-like layout, look and fundamental function are all locked in.
Which psion? The 3, 5 and Revo were all rather different, and the Revo keys required too much pressure for typing, although they were ok with thumbs. They also lack certain characters often used in a linux terminal - '|' being the obvious one that IIRC the N900 also lacked. There's a fair bit of discussion about the various compromises on the Planet Gemini indiegogo page.

To me the important part would be to put the phone on a desk or on my lap and be able to actually type on it, and to touch the screen without it rocking backwards. It also has to be usable as a phone, and ideally the camera would also be usable. I don't want to have to open anything to see notifications, but I guess that's what the PineTime is for. I'm not entirely sure all these are achievable at the same time in a retrofit for an existing device, or that I could live with the extra bulk all the time. The Psion didn't go everywhere with me, while my phone at the time did. The more I think about it the more the Stowaway or similar might be the better option, but I could be convinced otherwise.


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