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BlackBerry Passport Touch Enabled Keyboard Gestured Explained!

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BlackBerry has gone ahead and revealed a bit more about the capabilities they have put into the BlackBerry Passport keyboard. This is an innovative physical keyboard that can also be controlled using touch and touch gestures. The best one I have heard so far is using the keyboard as a trackpad to scroll websites or emails in the browser.

BlackBerry has posed up an interesting description of how these gestures will work on the keyboard without even touching the touchscreen. Here are the gestures:

  • Scrolling: As noted above, you can use the keyboard to swipe up and down to scroll on long lists or in the browser. Keeping your fingers off the screen and focused on what’s happening.
  • 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.
  • Contextual virtual keys: In addition to the Passport’s very clean physical QWERTY keyboard, we have added a dynamic virtual row on-screen that smartly shifts depending on context. So if you’re typing a password on-screen, numbers and symbols commonly used in passwords will automatically pop up. Or if you’re typing an e-mail address, the [email protected] symbol will be displayed. Or if you’re surfing the Web, the colon and backslash characters needed to type in a URL will be displayed. And if you need access to any special symbol or character, just swipe down on the keyboard to see all of them at once. Like I said, smart!
  • Flick: 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. No more Darn Auto-Corrects, as you type faster and more accurately over all.
  • 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!

What do you think of these innovations? It sort of reminds me of the tactile touchscreen that BlackBerry patented back in the day but with practical ramifications.

11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I love it, can’t stress enough how amazing this is. Its an idea I always had and wanted them to do and they have made me complete. I’m all BlackBerry baby! Catch me on my Passport coming soon to an airport near you!

  2. I’m pretty excited. The uses are endless

  3. The days of being clumsy with a keyboard and hovering over it with your thumb for fun may be numbered…
    Sounds innovative, lets hope it’s aas good as the trackball not the storm touch screen…

  4. You say “hold the shift key down “…where’s the shift key?

  5. This is true, I didn’t see a shift key, will there be a key to substitute in place of the shift key or will there be one on the actual device?

  6. I was truly hoping the characters would shift on key, meaning each key would dynamically change to show upper case and characters. I hope for this with the next version. Similar to the way Lenovo has on their new computer on the top row.

  7. Amazing technology -if Apple would have patented this before Blackberry you would have seen on all Billboards that is the best thing after sliced bread. But, been Blackberry it will go unnoticed in the big scheme of things. Same with Storm in the past. I was under the impression that the Storm clicking touch screen was a brilliant idea and as hardware the devices was way much better then the iphone. But because of buggy software and marketing mishaps -it wasn’t a commercial success. How many in the tech press did even noticed? Great engineering company coupled with a short sided / bureaucratic management. Thanks god, things are improving – Chen is the best CEO this company had in a while and so far he did no major mistakes. Looking forward to get more details on Passport.

    • I had both a Storm and a Storm 2. The clicking screen concept was brilliant in my opinion, just very poorly executed on the hardware side with the original. Storm 2 fixed the hardware side, but as you say buggy software and marketing mishaps (along with bad baggage Storm 2 carried over from Storm) doomed the concept.

  8. All this wasted effort and resources just to coax physical keyboard lovers to learn something new. How is this any different from using a full touch device?? You can SEE physical keys?

  9. OK, so I said I wasn’t sold on the Passport because it lacked the tool belt of the Classic. Hearing this though makes me much more excited about the Passport, as it sounds like a huge chunk of that functionality will be coming without taking up the physical space a tool belt would have added to the device. Kudo’s BlackBerry, but having been burned by buying into new concepts from BlackBerry in the past I’ll be waiting to see how it works in the “real world”.

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