I updated this article in May 2004. Written originally in 2003. So it only took a little over 12 years for Apple to catch on. Some innovation!
SWYPE for Android allows you to drag your finger around the screen to type. Apple has refused any third party from offering an alternative keyboard. The “Swype” keyboard on Android is far superior input method than Apple’s tiny keyboard.
I had a couple years without an iPhone. Between the iPhone 3G and the release of the iPhone 5, I have been at odds since Apple chose AT&T as the exclusive iPhone provider, as I hate AT&T.
Of course now all the big carriers offer iPhone. Even my pre-pay carrier Virgin Mobile offers the 5S. You have to pay up front for the phone, but you don’t pay through the butt locked in to a two year prison by one of the big three.
IMNSHO Apple has become a much more stodgy and tightly controlled company. I guess I can understand why other companies copy and steal their proprietary software and hardware designs. However, I believe Apple will suffer the same fate they did in the 80’s when they were king of the hill and Microsoft just a glimmer in Bill Gates eye. Smartphone competition has caught up up Apple and Samsung is outselling iPhones worldwide. They offer inexpensive entry level smartphones through highly sophisticated models like the Galaxy S5. Other companies like HTC, Nokia and Motorola are not standing by the wayside. Even Amazon is coming out with an Android powered smartphone. Every Android phone comes with Swype pre-installed.
The keyboard input on Apple IOS devices is terrible. The worst part is having to change screens for the most common punctuations. It’s anti-intuitive to anyone who has ever typed on a computer.
The input software SWYPE now owned by NUANCE, offers a more intuitive keyboard. Not only are most all characters are available under the same keys like a computer keyboard, it offers a natural way to speed up text input. You start with the first letter, then drag around over the letters to spell words. The Intuitive pre-cognition of the software is very good.
Of course it makes mistakes but several choices of words it thinks you mean show up just at the top of the keyboard, just in case the word you were trying to type didn’t come up. It doesn’t automatically enter the word unless you choose to replace it with another selection. I find Apples word replacement annoying, changing abbreviations or just getting the wrong word.
I have seen all of the movies, Pirates of Silicon Valley , Jobs, played by Ashton Kutcher (yuk) and read a few books and the biography by Walter Isaacson of Steve Jobs. Isaacson portrayed Jobs always considering himself a rebel, outside of the corporate fray (until he returned to Apple and ousted then CEO Gil Amelio). That may be why he was ousted from Apple by John Sculley in the early 90’s.
To me Jobs never learned to respect simple people as artists using Apple computers. To Jobs you were either enlightened or an asshole. . I suspect he had just as much contempt for all Apple customers. He always thought Apple products were for the “enlightened” and kept the pricing above all other computers. It made businesses seek more cost effective Dells, HP’s and a host of other clones to run business with.
Apple did not respond well to user groups either. Many evangelists and professional folks grew out of those groups (myself included). But very little enthusiasm for organized groups was shown by Apple. We advocated for Apple in the dark days when the company looked like it was about to throw in the towel.