Samsung by no means fell within the “modular cellphone” lure that firms like Motorola, Google and LG went into. Nevertheless, the corporate did experiment with methods so as to add performance by means of instances – issues just like the Lens Cowl that we checked out a number of weeks in the past.
The Keyboard Cowl on the Galaxy Note5
This was a removable QWERTY keyboard (and completely different layouts) that clipped on the entrance of the cellphone. It lined up the decrease third of the display screen, roughly the a part of the display screen that’s lined by the on-screen keyboard, and gave you bodily keys that allow you to contact kind. This additionally included the three button navigation that Samsung nonetheless defaults to as we speak.
The keyboard was a part of a two-piece bundle with a case that helped defend the again and in addition hold the keyboard in place. We must always word that there was nothing to plug in, no batteries to cost, this simply used the capacitive touchscreen beneath to sense keypresses.
This might not be as excessive tech as you imagined, but it surely made the most effective out of the multi-touch help. You may, for instance, maintain down the Alt key to kind in digits, without having a devoted quantity row. On-screen keyboards allow you to long-press to get various symbols (e.g. punctuation), this was quicker.
Whenever you have been accomplished typing, you may unclip the keyboard from the entrance and clip it on the again. It was additionally sufficiently small that you may simply put it in your pocket too.
Once more, this was in 2015. BlackBerry was nonetheless round and was making ready to launch the BlackBerry Priv, its first Android cellphone, which had a slide-out QWERTY. The yr earlier than it launched the squarish Passport and the extra conventional BlackBerry Traditional with mounted QWERTYs. Bodily keyboards have been definitely a dying breed at this level, however haven’t disappeared fully.
On the time in the event you needed a QWERTY cellphone, you had a restricted vary of decisions. Plus, makers needed to design and construct a cellphone that would (and doubtless would) fail within the market. The Keyboard Cowl was the most effective of each worlds – you may get one of many best-selling telephones of 2015 and there wasn’t a lot threat for Samsung both. You may decide up the case for $80 and you may decide between black, silver and gold colours.
The factor will need to have bought effectively sufficient (or perhaps Samsung was simply affected person), as a result of in 2016 the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge additionally launched with keyboard covers.
This was the top of this journey, nevertheless, Samsung by no means launched a Keyboard Cowl for the Galaxy S9 era. That’s nonetheless longer than the Lens Cowl lasted, which was a one-off.
We nonetheless see new initiatives begin up that try to convey again the bodily keyboard for smartphones. The newest instance was from CES in January with the Clicks keyboard for the iPhone 14 Professional, 15 Professional and 15 Professional Max.
This can be a one-piece case, so taking it off and placing it on is more durable. On the plus facet, it doesn’t cowl up any of the display screen (but it surely makes the cellphone fairly tall). There was no different technique to do it, after all, since Samsung might adapt the TouchWiz UI to go away house for the keyboard, however Apple’s iOS is simply too locked down for such a feat.
What do you assume – have on-screen keyboards surpassed bodily ones and we’ll by no means return? Or perhaps we should always return with equipment just like the Keyboard Cowl?