Data entry on mobile phones

There’s no question that data entry on mobile phones with the standard 12-key keypad is tedious. Technologies like Tegic’s T9, which is available on many phones makes this a lot easier. The technology predicts what word you are trying to enter by comparing the possible combinations against a dictionary.

On a standard phone, if you wanted to type the word “pizza” you have to enter 7-4-4-4-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-2. With T9, you enter 7-4-9-9-2. That’s a savings of 8 key presses, less than half the number of keys.

Yet many applications make you do all the hard work. On my Samsung A900’s address book, to get to Doris, I have to enter 3-6-6-6-7-7-7… until the phone’s typedown feature gets me to Dor.

Likewise with Gmail’s mobile application. I can’t search against the address book by simply entering 36747.

This despite the fact that Google has very smartly purchased


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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