Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:
A few weeks ago a two-part Switched On column (see: here and here) discussed Apple’s approach to the iPhone keyboard. I agreed with Apple’s reasoning that, for a phone, or at least this first iPhone, the gains that could be made by going with a soft keyboard outweighed the cons. And, make no mistake (or actually a lot of them with typos), there are cons. Even in a best-case scenario of perfect accuracy, the iPhone’s keyboard has drawbacks. There are, for example, no cursor keys, (Mac history buffs will remember that this is just what the original Macintosh forced users to do as its keyboard had no arrow keys), and users must go into punctuation (albeit briefly if using the famous “Pogue period” hint) mode whenever you want to type a period.
Since Apple seems to have decided that keyboards are only for laptops and larger devices, and now has an opportunity to create an embedded appliance (call it Foleo-like, if you must) loaded not with some souped-up file viewers but embedded versions of, Pages, Keynote, perhaps some future Apple spreadsheet product, and a light version of FileMaker (which, for all of Apple’s stealth initiatives, is one of the company’s best-kept secrets). iWork, much like Safari, may well have some agenda beyond being a Microsoft insurance policy for the Mac.
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