A survey recently conducted (France, Germany and the UK) showed 38% were planning to get a touchscreen on their next mobile phone while only 47% of people who already owned a touchscreen said they would get another one. In other words, less than half of touchscreen owners thought they'd stick with the technology on their next purchase. Apple has a high customer satisfaction rate and since iPhone is the only available device, iPhone users don't really have a choice.
As a designer I can't help but love the idea of one surface that becomes what one needs it to be at the moment. I'm not moving back to a physical keyboard. At least on my phone.
I don't play many games on my iPhone and when I do tactile feedback is not something I miss.
The possibility of tactile feedback was mentioned in the original iPhone patent application and last year Apple filled " Keystroke tactility arrangement on a smooth touch surface” patent. It describes various tactile feedback on a smooth surface keyboard such as:
- Braille-like dot pairs or bars at key centers
- Articulating frame that protrudes at key edges during typing
- Articulating frame that deforms surface cover at key edges during typing
- Rigid frame under key edges with compressible key centers
We may see it implemented in rumoured Apple Tablet Mac that supposedly should surface in next few months. So it looks like touchscreen is going to become smarter and more "user-friendly".