The latest Google Android phone, the Vodafone HTC Magic doesn’t sport a sliding keyboard, some have felt disappointed about this because on screen keyboards are still no where as fast as proper keyboards when it comes to users who text alot. But from what we can see in this demo video, it doesn’t look like that much of a worry afterall, future improvements will definitely come but it seems at this point it is a neat, reactive keyboard with a bunch of well thought out cool functions (including landscape mode typing!).

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Check out the video after the jump…

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So far Apple has avoided doing anything similar to this for the iPhone. This hack done by ubiq, allowed him to use Apple’s wireless keyboard to type in iPhone apps and texts and emails, etc. Making the Apple keyboard a fully functional keyboard for the iPhone and iPod Touch, users however still need to have their devices jailbroken first. Hopefully in the future, other non Apple wireless bluetooth keyboards may also be used which means those who don’t like to buy Apple’s products and accessories won’t need to as they can resort to third party ones!

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Due to land with Vodafone soon in Spring is the latest Google Android operating phone from HTC, the HTC Magic. For a start, this new magical phone as you can see doesn’t have any kind of sliding keyboard, its got a 3.2-inch HVGA screen, HDSPA, GPS, 3.2 megapixel camera and a G1-style trackball.

Details on pricing and availability of the HTC Magic will of course vary according to local Vodafone markets, but pricing in Spain will be from 99 to 199 Euros, depending on contract. UK will be one of the first markets to receive the Magic in April, then Spain, Germany, France and Italy, the phone will be a timed exclusive with Vodafone.

So here’s a quick summary of the HTC Magic’s main specifications:

  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201a, 528MHz.
  • Memory: 512MB ROM, 192MB RAM.
  • Dimensions: 4.45 x 2.17 x 0.45-inches.
  • Weight: 4.18 ounces with battery.
  • Network: HSPA/WCDMA 900 / 2100MHz (no love for the States) with 2Mbps up, 7.2Mbps down; quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz.
  • Display: 3.2-inch TFT-LCD HVGA 480×320
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, mini USB, and GPS
  • Input: Trackball with Enter button, Capacitive touchscreen with on-screen keyboard (both portrait and landscape)

More images in the gallery below…

[via MobileCrunch]

Related links of interest: Help Centre | Google Phone | Mobile Phone

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What you see below are the alleged images of what could be the next gen T-Mobile Android phone. What you can see is that compared to the T-Mobile G1 its got no QWERTY keyboard which would be abit of worry for me even though the Google Android platform now supports on screen keyboard.

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While we were lazying our way through the Christmas break, it seems the U.S. Patent Office were doing quite the opposite. They revealed this interesting new patent application from Apple called Swipe Gestures for Touch Screen Keyboards. Apple suggests the use of swipe gestures to be used on top of the iPhone’s on screen keyboard in order to provide the user with quick access to common keys.

Here’s a quoted example of how this new patent will be used practically…

For example, erasing and basic punctuation insertion, directional swipes (also referred to herein as “swipe gestures”) over the alphabetic keys can be used as an alternative to striking certain keys. Because the Space and Backspace keys are quite frequently used, they are logical candidates for the rightward and leftward swipes, respectively. Leftward and rightward swipes intuitively match the cursor travel caused by these symbols. Following this cursor movement analogy, the Enter/Return may be invoked by a downward swipe, and a Shift/Caps may be invoked by an upward swipe. Alternatively, as the Enter and Shift functions may be less frequently invoked, these may be substituted for other functions as well. One alternative mapping for the upward swipe, for example, could be to activate an alternative numeric and punctuation keypad or a particular punctuation symbol like an apostrophe or period.

While no actual realistic product has actually come up, you will probably be able to imagine that it’s much like Apple’s latest multi touch enabled MacBooks but I would say it sounds more suited for the advanced users and also those who will appreciate quick access shortcuts. Let’s face it, you’re not going to find an old granny that will remember precisely which combination of strokes to go for to launch certain application.

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This isn’t something that myself as an iPhone user is particularly excited about, but it seems a new update for the T-Mobile G1 will soon give its users the ability to type texts (possibly emails and more?) on its screen instead of having to spring out the full keyboard from underneath just to type ‘Hi’.

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