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Keyboard Layout And Text Input

The Windows Phone 7.5 Review, A Month-Long Experience

Keyboard Layout

The size of the virtual keyboard in WP7 depends on the size of your smartphone's display. However, the layout is identical on every hardware platform, since Microsoft doesn't allow vendors to create customized keyboard profiles. Our only nitpick is that Microsoft leaves some horizontal space empty in landscape mode so that the keys stay rectangular.

Text Input

The text input engine features character correction and word prediction. If you need to input a diacritic, such as an umlaut, pressing and holding the original letter provides you with an array of options.

Moving text around is the only process we've found to be tedious. Because you only get the option to copy a word, shifting words around involves copying, deleting, and pasting. A simple cut command could have easily simplified that.

Characters from other languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, can be inserted quickly. Hitting the "Eng" key turns the keyboard into a pad on which you can write the character with your finger. The recognition system isn't perfect, though. For example, WP7 sometimes detects the character incorrectly when the spacing between strokes is too wide or too narrow.

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