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Published on March 11th, 2013 | by AnnLouiseWinter

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The BlackBerry Z10 keyboard–predictive text is almost creepy in its accuracy!

I have been using the BlackBerry Z10 for just over a month now.  Prior to that, I used a BlackBerry Bold 9900 with a nice, large QWERTY keyboard.  I was a bit nervous of switching to a full-touchscreen keyboard since my previous experience with one (iPhone 4) was not that pleasant.  Between cursing the autocorrect which inserted words I did not mean to write, to being frustrated with inaccuracies after I turned it off, it was an annoying experience.  I took the plunge and bought the Z10 after others with Dev Alpha prototype devices said that QWERTY lovers can become just as fast or faster on the new Z10 keyboard.  At first, it was frustrating getting used to the touchscreen.  I made many mistakes and started to question my decision.  But after a week of using it, I began to notice something–I was making fewer mistakes and the keyboard was starting to help me along.  As you can see in the image below, the words most likely to be next appear above the letter that would be next–where your eyes would go anyway.  You just flick the word up with your thumb and the whole word appears in the text grid.

BlackBerry Z10 keyboard

The keyboard learns your style in your own language and begins to predict the next word for you.

This ‘above the letter’ default placement is much faster in my opinion than other devices such as some variations of Android.  As you can see in the image below, the Android placement is above the whole keyboard.  This actually is slower as your eyes have to move up and down to select the desired word.  I tried out a friend’s Android-based phone and gave up on the suggestions–just used the touch keyboard alone.  It was faster than looking for the suggested words.

The suggestions in the Android OS appear above the whole keyboard. I found this much slower.

The best thing about this keyboard for global users is that if you write in more than one language, you just set the desired languages (up to 3) and as you write and change languages, it will detect this and the suggestions will now appear in the current language.  See the link below for a video of it in action.

Using the Z10 keyboard in multiple languages

After a while, it even learned what I was likely to write to different people.  For example, since I commonly referred to a particular restaurant to only two people, when I typed in the first two letters of the restaurant the name appeared above the third letter on the keyboard.  However, with other people, if I typed the same two letters the restaurant’s name would not appear!  With some people I am more casual and others (like my parents or employer) more formal.  The keyboard’s suggestions also changed slightly to reflect this–to my friends, “Thanks” would appear but to my parents, “Thank” would appear followed by “you” as soon as I flicked “Thank” up into the screen.

I don’t know how they programmed this but the statistical analysis must be mind-boggling to constantly change and adapt like it does.  Hats off to the programming team at BlackBerry!

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About the Author

I live in Canada and love tech. I've had various smartphones since 2004 and from these experiences (both good and bad) I favour BlackBerry.



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