Claire happens to be a text messaging power user. Text messaging seems to be one of the primary means of communication with her school friends. I mentioned Claire a while ago when I referred to her approach to multi-tasking which included chatting on IM with one hand while text messaging with the other. Even though I was warned about her typing speed using her cell phone keypad, I still took the risk of getting into a speed typing contest with her using my smartphones full QWERTY keyboard while she used her cell phone numeric keypad.
Jack helped us conduct the contest by reading to us a paragraph from the newspaper while Claire and I typed as quickly as we could. Here were the results:
- Pierre took 57 seconds to complete the paragraph, with 3 mistakes
- While Claire took 45 seconds, also with 3 mistakes
As if the above defeat wasn’t enough, I decided to repeat the contest but this time using the BlackBerry Pearl and the SureType while Claire still using her cell phone keypad. The fact that my SureType skills were very rusty didn’t help at all. I actually had to stop this part of the contest to save face and avoid any further humiliation.
Is there a moral to this story? One is to never get into a typing contest with Claire. But second is that different users can be comfortable with different types of smartphone keyboards. For instance, if/when Claire gets her smartphone, she may be quite happy with the Cingular 3125 or the BlackBerry Pearl. For me however, I shyed away from the Cingular 3125 and the BlackBerry Pearl because of the lack of full QWERTY keyboard. Another relevant thought here relates to the future of smartphones. The future generations of smartphones are likely to be smaller, thinner, and slicker, without the need for the full keyboards, knowing that Claire’s generation will be the target market. Thank you Claire, and Jack, and happy smartphoning everyone!