I've discovered an incredible tech that I've sorta overlooked before. If you think that entering information on your mobile phone is slow and painful, you obviously haven't tried the T9 predictive text technology. It's incredible.

I can enter full sentences into my Nokia 7650 faster than any other handheld device I've ever used. It's faster than writing on my Palm and it's easily as fast as a little keyboard, maybe faster since there's less little keys to search for. It's incredible.

There's a whole website dedicated to the technology: T9.com. Here's a link to the how it works page, but I'll explain it here in case you've never heard of it: every key on your phone has several letters, and normally if you want to choose "c" on the "abc" key, you have to click it 3 times. But with predictive text, you just go on typing the next letter in the word, and the phone looks in its dictionary for the word that matches the keys you're pressing. It works really, really well. If you're still confused, check out the web site - there's flash demos on the side that show exactly how it works.

As always I feel I'm behind the curve. I've heard of and tried T9 before on some old phones, but it took me a week to try it on my Nokia. It's incredible. First, the speed of the phone makes it very responsive, unlike my mobiles in the past that would delay a bit after you clicked or miss a letter if you typed too quickly. Also, the user interface makes it easy to go back and choose a word that may have been selected badly (for example, the word "cup" could also be "bus", so you have to choose). Thirdly - and this is only important to someone like me I would imagine - the Nokia allows me to change dictionaries on the fly, so I can write an SMS to my wife in Spanish and Jim in English without any major hassle. Very cool.

I'm very excited about this because it'll make moblogging possible and easy to do. It's amazing how fast you can start going once you get into it! I mean, it's just one click per letter just like any other device. Before you send, you take 5 seconds to review what you wrote for mismatches and poof - you're done. Very cool. One caveat is that if you were trying to do something technical like telnetting into your unix server, it wouldn't help all that much, but for most things like To Dos, Calendar and blogging, it wouldn't be that much of problem at all.

I cannot WAIT to get the damn internet working on my phone. This is a learning lesson to me as well - people aren't going to be able to just get up and running moblogging immediately without some hassle getting their phones up and running online.


< Previous         Next >