“It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button. ”
― John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar
Advancements in technology have allowed the QWERTY keyboard to weasel onto just about every electronic (and non-electronic) device possible these days since texting has gone from novelty to preferred communication method. There was a time when a 12-key telephone keypad served as both a dialer and a keyboard. Stick with me kids, because I'm about to blow your One Direction addled mind back to the mid-90's when you were born.
Let's say you wanted to tell your friend how you felt. To do so, you would need to tap the number key the numerical amount of times to get to the letter in sequence. This example shows how many times you would have to hit the specific number to get to the desired letter:
3-3-F, 8-U, 2-2-C, 5-K, _ , 9-9-Y, 6-6-O, 8-U
Then along came something called T9. Sheer brilliance for its time because you would only need to tap the number key once for a letter in that grouping and it would figure out the word for you! For instance: 3825 (FUCK) _ 908 (YOU). Look at how much time we just saved!
Yes, there's a point to all this. Whenever my wife or I drop off our daughter at daycare the dropper informs the other one that our daughter has arrived safely at school. This all started because over 40 children died from being left in a hot car this past year. OVER 40 CHILDREN! Sleep tight, everyone! Just think of it like the buddy system from summer camp, except creepier because if not executed properly you can literally kill an infant. Since giving up my smartphone, I've had to enlist the help of a Samsung t139 prepaid cellphone (specs below) to use in emergency situations and in order to inform my wife that we'll still be changing diapers later that day.
Upon immediately confirming that my daughter was safe and sound in her classroom after I dropped her off yesterday, I whipped out the phone without blinking an eye and stared at it. Long and hard. Thinking, "Where's the keyboard?", "Can this piece of shit even text?", "Voice commands? No?". Then suddenly, "Oh yeah, T9!" But of course it doesn't default to T9. Not right away. So when I tried to type thinking I was using T9 this is what I got: "JTPT DPMQE GDP ME." For those keeping score at home that was supposed to be "Just dropped her off." Imagine my confusion when I erased everything and the same sequence of keys gave me the same results. I did this four times. There was no quit in me. I was not going to acquiesce and use a primitive form of typing as long as I was certain THIS PHONE had THE OPTION of using T9. Minutes passed while I navigated through the menus, found keypad settings, and switched to a more useful mode of character input.
I've experience less thumb fatigue participating in Halo marathons than I experienced yesterday morning during the ten minute spectacle to write a sentence. Take it from me, learn to type on all phones.
Now get ready to laugh. Here's a side-by-side comparison of my HTC One that I gave up and the Samsung t139 I'll be carrying this month.
|Screen Size||4.7 inches, 1080p||1.4 inches, 65k colors|
|Camera||2.1 MP||0.6 MP|
|Battery||500 Hours standby, 18 Hours talk time||300 Hours standby, 7 Hours talk time|
|Storage||16 GB (Gigabytes)||10 MB (Megabytes)|
|Processor||1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
S4 Plus MSM8260A dual-core