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 CEO of redesign | mobile. Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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