Just in case you are using a Windows Phone 7 mobile device, we are sure that you’ll easily appreciate the ease with which one is able to type using its keyboard. Microsoft Research and the Windows Phone 7 product group worked on the principles of machine learning—in which technology works on a person’s behalf—to improving finger input on Window Phone 7’s soft or virtual keyboard. The team is comprised of Asela Gunawardana, Itai Almog, Tim Paek, and Eric Badger.
The problem with the Smartphones’ keyboards can be explained aptly in these words - “Fingers are big, the keys are tiny, and the sensors aren’t always reliable,” explains Almog, “so what you end up with is a bunch of ‘noisy’ XY coordinates.”
Here is how the Microsoft Research and Windows Phone 7 teams went ahead with the experiment. They tackled the problem by first conducting extensive user experiments on a Windows Phone 7 prototype. They collected data on how people touch soft keyboard keys, what it means when people employ different holding positions—using only their thumbs, for instance—and the strengths and weaknesses of competitors’ keypads. As a conclusion, Tim Paek quoted - “When you’re typing really fast with two thumbs, the touch patterns are sloppy, so you have to make the target area even bigger.”
Most smartphones now take a stab at guessing the user’s intent. For Windows Phone 7, the trick was to make that guesswork better—without getting in the way of the user. A phone’s predictive software can be so powerful that it overrides what the user really wants. On this, Asela Gunawardana said, “If you hit right smack in the middle of the ‘b’ key, I want the system to respect that. We came up with a model that allows the statistics to vary the key footprint, while still respecting the user’s intent.”
After all the research and experimentation, they have finally came up with the following 7 tips which will help you use the Windows Phone keyboard in a better way:
- Double-tap Space at the end of a sentence to add a period and capitalize the start of the next sentence.
- Tap & hold various keys to reveal hidden menus. The period key is especially handy.
- Boost your speed: Tap the Shift or Numbers/Symbols key, slide your finger to the character you want, and then release. Saves you a tap.
- In the suggestion bar, tap “+” to teach the phone a new word.
- To undo auto-correction: tap the word, then tap the first candidate (the original word) in the suggestion bar.
- Multilingual? Go to Settings > Keyboard to select other keyboard languages.
- Type fast. You can trust the keyboard to correct you.
Also, it is being heard that in the upcoming releases, the keypad even will take into account the speed at which a person is attempting to type.
[ Source The Windows Blog ]