BlackBerry posted a closer look at the touch-enabled keyboard on the upcoming BlackBerry Passport a few weeks back but shortly after pulled it back down. An updated version has now returned. As it did with its last post looking at the Passport’s 4.5-inch square display, BlackBerry once again focuses on the productivity enhancements that its new keyboard offers.
The elongated three-row keyboard can detect and interpret gestures such as finger brushes. These can be used for actions that would typically require interaction with a touchscreen, keeping your fingers on the keyboard and leaving the display unobstructed.
BlackBerry highlights the following features:
- Faster scrolling: As noted above, you can use the keyboard to swipe up and down to scroll on long lists in a document or on a browser page, keeping your fingers off the screen and focused on what’s happening.
- More intuitive cursor control and text selection: This is a classic BlackBerry productivity enhancement reinvented for the Passport. Double-tap the keyboard, then drag your finger across the keyboard to drop the cursor at precisely the right point. Or select the text just as you would on an older BlackBerry: hold the SHIFT key while dragging your finger across the keyboard to extend a selection.
- Smart, contextual virtual keys: The Passport’s QWERTY 3-row keyboard creates a clean-looking, right-sized layout. There is also a virtual 4th row on-screen that smartly shifts depending on context. So if you’re typing a password on-screen, the 4th row would automatically include numbers and symbols commonly used in passwords. If you’re typing an e-mail, the ‘@’ symbol will be displayed, and when surfing the Web, the colon and backslash characters needed to type in a URL will be displayed. Like I said, smart! With a little practice, most Passport users should find themselves typing faster than ever before.
- Flick to type: Stuck on a word? BlackBerry 10’s next word suggestion feature learns from you to give you smart, personalized choice of words you’re likely to type. You then just flick up to complete the word.
- Easier delete: Made a mistake? No problem, just swipe back (left) to Delete the last word, just like on our virtual keyboard!
- Entering an accented character? Hold the letter key down, and then lightly tap on the key to add the appropriate accent!
The BlackBerry Passport is expected to launch in September. Specific availability and pricing details have not been announced yet.
Source : Inside BlackBerry Blog