I mentioned in my last blog that I got a new phone. The old one was a Blackberry, a refurbished one, I might add, because a certain someone who promised 34 years ago to love, honor and keep me up-to-date with the latest technical wizardry was too cheap to buy something newer. Anyway, our carrier sent a letter to me in June saying service to Blackberry phones was going to be discontinued, but not to fret because I had my pick of four different phones they would be happy to let me have for free. Not one was an iPhone. I tried holding out for one, but Richard decided it would be better if I "transitioned" (his word) to an iPhone via one of the phones AT&T was offering. After I gave him a few choice words of my own, I quit the campaign, went to bed, and sulked.
The old Blackberry was just a basic phone. I could call (not that I ever did, I can't hear), I could text, and I could play a teeny-tiny version of Space Invaders on the teeny-tiny screen whenever my teeny-tiny brain needed a distraction. That was pretty much it, but I didn't mind because all I really cared about was the ability to text, a thing that comes in handy when I'm at the store and want to find out what Richard needs to keep body and soul together for the upcoming week. (The reply never varies: granola bars, instant oatmeal and frozen dinners for lunch.)
The Blackberry came with an actual keyboard built into the base of it. Like Space Invaders, it was teeny-tiny, too. Learning to type on it was a bit daunting at first because I kept fat-fingering the keys, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly using both my thumbs. My new phone, an LG smartphone, has the touch keyboard that pops up whenever I'm in text or email mode. Lemme tell ya, that keyboard is the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with, easily shoving out the thing that held the top spot for the last 22 years: potty training Brent.
Here's proof. I'm going to type below a phrase used as a typing drill when I was in high school. This is being typed on a regular keyboard as fast as I can type (I've been clocked at 60 wpm), and I'm not going to correct any typos:
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
How about that...perfect. Now, here is my attempt to type the exact same sentence using my right pointer finger on my smartphone:
There are several typos, but most people could figure it out. But the real test is using both thumbs. My daughter types on her iPhone using her opposable digits (notice SHE has an iPhone), and she is a whiz. Here's my shot at it:
Sad, isn't it?
As most people on the planet not living a Stone Age life already know (moi, before I "transitioned", for example), these devices try to guess the word you want while you are actually typing it. It amazes me how my phone can nearly always come up with the correct word from the gobbledy-gook accidentally typed in. I guess that's why they call them smart phones.
I've been assured by my family that the knack will come. I figure if Richard, who wears a size 13 ring, can manage his keyboard, then I can too. In the meantime, it's fun trying out all the bells and whistles.
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