Would a QWERTY ‘other half’ really float your boat? All In favour say ‘Aye’!

A common topic we seem to run into virtually on a daily basis here at Jollatides, is that of the elusive QWERTY other half, or at least the potential for it making an appearance as an add-on for the new Jolla handset.

There are people it would seem – perhaps maybe a vocal minority – who have not pre-ordered the new Jolla handset purely based on the fact that there is still no solid information available yet as to whether we might see such an add-on in future.  These are the folk that will accept no compromise – it’s either QWERTY or go home.

But there is also indeed the folk (like me) who while don’t see a physical QWERTY as the ‘be all and end all’ to prevent me from purchasing the Jolla handset, would certainly buy into it as a peripheral if the option existed – these folk probably represent a far larger passive majority group.

Without a doubt, what does seem clear however from reading around the blogosphere, is that there are generally a lot of disenchanted QWERTY fans out there that since the seeming death of these devices (especially in Europe), are crying out for a handset that continues on from the likes of the Nokia N900, N950, E7 ie. landscape QWERTY.

Nokia N950: The MeeGo Handset That Never Was

Nokia N950: The MeeGo Handset That Never Was…

The question still remains though is there a big enough demand for such an add-on in the form of ‘the other half’, and if so, would it be something that Jolla would be open to offering us?  This question will no doubt rest on how the pre-order sales went for Jolla.

From previous tweets, I get the distinct impression that Jolla are still going with the mantra ‘anything’s possible’, but not yet ready to fully commit or at least talk about it openly – certainly not at least until the new Jolla handset starts gathering some momentum upon its full public release later this year/early 2014.

Of course there is also the possible option that some 3rd party hardware developer could work alongside Jolla to bring the QWERTY other half to market, if indeed, Jolla weren’t going to pursue it as an option themselves.

To all the QWERTY fans out there, I’d like to get your feedback right here:  is a physical QWERTY option something that you absolutely cannot live without or is it just a feature that is desirable without being an absolute necessity ?

I for one think, as I have posted many times before, that a QWERTY other half option for the new Jolla handset would truly set it apart from all the rest.  If Jolla want to create a USP, this is what I think they should go for as early as possible to project their ‘transformable’ handset into the mindshare of the many potential Sailors out there.  A handset which is adaptable to situation and running the unique Sailfish OS would give Jolla an even greater chance to set themselves apart from the competition.

In fact, furthermore I think that if they are planning on implementing such a concept, they should start shouting about it now, because if they get in the mindshare department early on before anyone else, they will have the attention of many people long after the time it takes another manufacturer to jump on the ‘adaptable QWERTY’ * band wagon: ‘I am the first’.

It is frustrating that we don’t get more in the way of updates or progress reports lately, but this is generally for a very good reason, after all plagiarism is rife in the mobile handset space.

So for now, in lieu of any finer details direct from the horses mouth, all those in favour of a QWERTY other half concept, say ‘Aye’ – let’s have our voices heard right now or forever hold your peace!  :-)

Sail On….

* For those who don’t follow this blog regularly, the dream for many here is to have a Jolla handset that can attach a QWERTY keyboard if for example you require some more muscle in the typing dept. or just want full view of the screen while you type without the onscreen keyboard distorting your view.  Of course the QWERTY add-on (other half) could be removed and replaced with a standard back plate other half if you just require the handset in ‘phone’ only mode.



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  1. Aye, Aye, Aye!!!
    have (already) two N900 (in working order knock knock), a white N9, a black N8 and 808…
    why would i get a Jolla device without QWERTY other ½?

  2. Aye! It is the main reason i dumped my n9 and pulled my n900 out of mothball…. Forget iphone we done want iphone clone, we want n900 reloaded!

  3. As a someone who has pre-ordered the Jolla, the idea of a QWERTY other half makes me want to scream “Take my money! Take it all!”

    • The whole country variant QWERTY thing I always forget… that’s probably enough to make any manufacturer shy away from the physical QWERTY route given that country variant software for an onscreen keyboard is sooo much easier to implement. Out of interest does anyone know if Nokia used to offer country variants for their QWERTY phones ?

      • Yes, but apparently they were physically identical (at least on N900). Some keys were just labeled differently, and the actual mapping was handled by the OS, so it shouldn’t be an issue, especially when the keyboard half is separate.

        • Yes, exactly. With some tricks and good knowledge of languages, it is possible to keep the material and logistic expenses low enough. One way is to make some language-specific keymats suitable for more than one langages. For an example of such a multilingual keyboard variant, please see my long comment below. It applies the “same mechanics with language-specific keymats” method that is ( … or :( was) applied by Nokia and several other Physical-Qwerty-concious complanies).

      • Yes, Nokia had azerty variants for the N97, but the layout was just a sticker, the keys weren’t separated like on the xperia pro for example.

        As for the hwkb, that’s a dealbreaker for me. Hell, I’ve got a bloody QWERTZU right now because the N97 was really getting unworkable. I don’t care about country layout, though, QWERTY suits me fine, but physical access to ‘shell characters’ (pipe, various brackets etc.) would be a major plus. On the xperia pro there’s a ‘Sym’ key that loads a character selection popup; that’s good enough.

  4. Aye! Can’t live without a proper Linux shell in my pocket. I used to piss off iPhone fanboys by quickly coding PyGTK apps on N900 in a bar. Impossible without a keyboard.

    • For you, and for any keyboard user, the Ctrl key is a must! Also on smartphones, the copy/cut/past and undo/redo, and select-all operations can be done 474,06 % more efficiently with Ctrl+c, x, v, z, y, a than with the pop-up buttons of touchscreens and with the desperate select-by-dragging method with your thick index finger on 8-pt text.

  5. ‘Aye’ for HW keyboard TOH! I will buy Jolla anyway, but this is what really I miss on my N9 in comparisson with N900. And it being removable option is perfect.

    • … and naturally as country/language variants (achieved with different language-specific keymats). Some languages can be combined to use the same keymat. For example, a special Scandinavian keymat can be made and used for the Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian and Icelandic languages. For that purpose, at least three keys would have double or triple letters (printed on the keymat with different colors): there would be an Å/Ü key (for Swedish+Norwegian+Danish / Estonian languages (and the “Estonian” Ü label could be used for German texts), an Ö/Ø/Æ and an Ä/Æ/Ø key for Finnish+Swedish+Estonian / Norwegian / Danish (please note that on Danish Qwerty the places of the Æ of Ø keys are swapped from what they are on Norwegian keyboards). Estonian customers need to be able to enter Õ (perhaps with an extra key (or with the Ö/Ø/Æ key, in which case the less common Ö need to be entered with a special shortcut combination, such as Sym + O). Similar solution can be implemented for the Icelandic Þ and Ð letters.
      The total of 20 … 30 different keymats would be needed to provide the text entry in the mother tong of perhaps 97 % of the purchasers of the “Jolla Qwerty other half”. To simplify logistic operations and expenses, it might be practical to make the swapping of the keymat possible with a tool (a screwdriver, for example), by the end user. Naturally for all the supported languages, 30 … 40 downloadable of preinstalled keyboard driver files should be provided (their number is higher, because some keymats would be used for more than one language, like the Scandinavian keymat which would be suitable for 6 …8 languages). To start, as few as 12 different keymats and about 20 keyboard drivers might be enough, to cover the needs of about 90% of the users of the “Jolla Qwerty other half” – these percentages are rought estimates.

      • … and please forget the “half-sized Qwerty” keyboards like those of Blackbird and some Nokia Asha models. If built on a “candybar phone” as a fixed keyboard, they consume too much of thei real estate, and their keys tend to be too small :( for serious text entry.

  6. Aye! I asked about qwerty from Jolla customer service. They did not confirm, but though, I got somehow so certain feeling, that I made pre-order. Hopes are high…

  7. aye, me hearties! – hardware keyboard would be an absolute key feature.
    captain of jolla didn’t confirm it yet – i didn’t preorder yet.
    hurts my heart if i have to stay a landlubber, once the jolla ship launches.

  8. AYE!
    Though not a necessity, I’ll be very disappointed if there is no HWQwerty as “anything’s possible” it’s really going to be that HW-addons that’ll set Jolla apart in the minds of non-OS enthusiasts

  9. Aye, aye and aye again. A QWERTY other half is THE deciding factor on whether I buy a Jolla handset to replace my venerable E7. Same for my daughter who, instead of upgrading her C6 to an E7 got seduced by a Galaxy S2, can’t wait to get out of the Android world and back to a QWERTY where she feels that she controls her handset rather than the other way round.

    • You hit on a really good point actually which I hadn’t realised before…. you’re right, with a physical keyboard you feel like you really own your handset by being in control – more of symbiotic relationship…. with an onscreen keyboard it’s more hit and miss – becomes a love/hate relationship at times.

      I also really really can’t stand filling out forms with onscreen keyboards that drives me completely nuts!

  10. Our Voices were already heard on this site back before the Information about the “Other Half” got released. There was a poll and a majority voted for landscape QUERTY. Jolla didn’t care… they went for iPhone/SGS massmarket instead of getting the fixed and loyal customer base that Nokia irritated with the drop of Meego.

    Well then Jolla, I hope your 0815-Phone gets successful with 0815-people, otherwise it is the first phone as well as the last phone you produce.

    To answer the questions of the topic: Aye! QUERTY is non-optional!

    • Jolla haven’t ignored pleas just yet otherwise there would be no ‘other half’ which definitely has the potential to offer this feature given enough demand.

      First and foremost, there’s got to be some pretty strong demand for the handset in the preorder – after that, they would have to consider development and moulding costs and figure out whether it was if at all financially viable. All fingers crossed here…

      • I can’t see why all that could still come at this moment would be more than a half measure. The OS is clearly designed for portrait-mode-only use, so landscape mode, if possible at all, would at best be very poorly integrated.

        Also I fail to see how a user changable other-half would be in any way sturdy enough for prolonged use as a slider device. The only way I can think of would be very similar to aftermarket keyboard slider cases that are available right now. Also the weight and balance of the complete device would be completely off in such a solution because the actual (heavy) hardware is in the top part and the keyboard has only negligible weight.

        I just can’t see how its ever going to handle as well as say a N900, Motorola Droid or similar Devices, when it is not developed for that purpose from the start, or at least with that purpose in mind, which was clearly not the case here.

        • You pointed out an important factor: the balance when entering text with your thumbs while keeping the 2 halves between your palm bottoms. That really is the standard way of keeping Qwerty phones. N900 is a good example of a well balanced Qwerty phone. It is actually the lightweight display panel which slides up from the phone. The Qwerty hardware should be on the phone itself (like on Nokia N900 and E7), if you expect good balance. But if you insist on adding the Qwerty hardware on the ” other half” which slides from below the phone, the relatively heavy weight of the “phone half” causes the poor balance.:( And, like you point out, it may be difficult to achieve good durability; there should be some kind of fixing plate above or between the sliding mechanish of the Qwerty half. All these facts lead to problems which are difficult to solve with the “other half”. Moreover:
          :( The balance would be even worse, if the Qwerty half slides from a portraid-oriented phone (like the coming Jolla phone), and then the Qwerty should be a half-sized Blackbird/Asha-type Qwerty. Besides, it would look horrible and would be too difficult to sell
          – The balance could be improved by making the horizontally oriented Qwerty half heavier than the phone. For example, by adding a 5000 mAh battery, as well as extra memory HW and connectors to the Qwerty half. But then the total weight of the two halves would be around 300 … 500 grams. :( Who would buy such a monster?
          – Also other accessories might be needed below the Qwerty half. That would mean too thick and heavy “one and a half” Qwerty phones. Well, the balance might be good, but then there would be “more mechanism than electronics” on the device :(
          – Considering that the coming Jolla phone uses portrait orientation, my conclusion is that the physical Qwerty will hardly be found on the “other half”.
          But, once Jolla has got its accounts balanced, it might be possible to get an upgraded model, the display panel of which slides up and makes the physical Qwerty visible on top of the phone, below which can be added an “other half”, if you wish :)

          • How about a half that just docks to a heavier keyboard unit with extra hardware? “The third half” :D
            A QWERTY is usually not needed all the time, so this could be a good compromise. The keyboard unit could also communicate with the phone wirelessly.
            Ubuntu is doing something something similar, turning the handset into a full-blown PC when connected to a keyboard and a monitor.

            • That would also be nice Martinique, but is a separate idea really. The beauty of a small form factor qwerty handset is having a powerful portable pocketable partner for on the road coding/emailing/document editing etc functions.

          • @ Egon: I see your point regarding the balance issue. I just remembered that when I held the Jolla prototype, I was struck by how lightweight it felt in the hand, perhaps making the balance problem less of an issue here.

            For example, if the keyboard is the same weight as the main phone (which definitely felt possible given how light the phone was in the hand especially if there is an added battery combined in the keyboard half), I doubt it would feel unnecessarily heavy. ;-)

            • I’m pleased to hear that. Perhaps the balance can be made acceptable also with the “Qwerty other half”. After all, a lot depends also on the anti-slippery surface (with surface texture, for example), and the dimensions and shape of the the left and right-hand ends of the Qwerty and phone halves. I guess that E7 got the elevated ends of the keyboard for this reason.
              But I’m still in favor of an integrated HW-Qwerty-phone, which can be made more light-weight (less mechanics, single battery, better integration of text-input SW and UI, perhaps better control of landscape/portrait orientation). So, perhaps first a “Qwerty other half”, and in the second generation an integrated HW Qwerty Pro model.

  11. I love qwerty, I love my N900, and I don’t like Android. I would have paid in full for the handset on day one if it basically was the N950.

    But instead they chose to be very very very very vague about it, saying it’s all about choice and third-party addons and all that. I think it wasn’t the nicest of moves. They knew what people were looking for, and deliberately did not make themselves clear on this matter.

    In addition, as other people pointed out, if the os is designed entirely for portrait and no keyboard, adding a qwerty as an afterthought will never be as great as on the N900. Android suffers from this too, apps are poorly thought-out for the hw keyboard.

    Sigh… My qwerty smartphone history is N900 > Xperia Pro > Captivate Glide. I don’t want it to end here!

    • On page http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/21/samsung-captivate-glide-review/
      I can read “… In our time with the Captivate Glide, we found typing on the keypad to be a mixture of fluid and frustrating — the fault of which lies with the flat layout. Too often, our fingers would slip and depress the wrong key or even no key at all. If Samsung had only added a bit of a curve to the physical keys, the experience would be that much smoother”.
      So, Jolla designers, please make the keys outbowing enough, if you ever make physical Qwerty phones.

      And, although the Qwerty layout looks more or less acceptable for English texts, it would be too difficult to modify it for other European languages, such as German, French, and Scandinavian languages (unless the arrow keys are moved from the keys which are usually used for the Å or Ü and Ö, Ä letters in Northern Europe).

      • Yeah the keys are flat, but you do get used to it after a while. Could be better? Yeah, but using it daily for almost 3 months now and I think it does the job perfectly. (And you can get it on amazon.com unlocked for a very cheap price; I had a friend pick mine up while on a trip overseas).

        As for asking for regional layouts… I must say I bought my N900 over the internet so I would have the english layout instead of the portuguese one. My Xperia Pro was qwertz and I got used too. So At least for me layouts don’t really matter that much.

  12. Aye aye aye aye aye..!!!!!!
    But what i’d like to add is that it’s more of a Want v/s Need thing for me. I would WANT a HWKB if available (doesn’t matter if it’s through a 3rd party developer) but i don’t really NEED it. As long as they keep the virtual KB good enough to work on and as you’ll commented above, shouldn’t really interfere with the content on the screen.

    And as for the copy/paste options, why not have an other half exclusively for document editing? Say half of the other half has buttons like ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Shift’ and stuff while the remaining real estate can be used as a writing pad where you type stuff and the phone detects it as you ‘write’ a reply. So in that way your screen’s being utilized just for viewing while you also get a feel that you’re actually writing! :D

    As for the other half, i’d like to say that till now Jolla have shown that the other halves are detachable, meaning you can snap them on and off. Not really slide them as we’ve been expecting a HWKB to be. Anyway, did some snooping around and found this. Maybe we, as users and fans, can submit our ideas to these people, who in turn will make the actual other halves which Jolla doesn’t provide by default. What say people?


    As they say, United we stand, divided we fall. Jolla FTW!
    Sail On..!! :D

  13. Hmm… No, it isn’t a must, but I might buy one if available.

    But then, would it be wise for Jolla to do hwkb other half? No, I don’t think it is right now, they don’t even know if their phone will be succesfull enough and doing extra stuff for the phone that might not even interest enough people seems trying to reach too far too fast. It could end up being a huge moneysink, and startup companies can’t afford that.

    I don’t think the availability of hwkb will attract enough people to change their mobile OS and phone to be economically viable. First they need to prove themselves in the market as a viable choice of mobile OS (and maybe even PC OS Ubuntu Edge style… would be cool!) and then start thinking of hardware extensions in Other Halves.

    Just my opinion, though.

    PS: It might work if Jolla was aiming to be a business phone all along, I think hwkb might meet more demand in there… But a lot more is also needed to be succesfull in that market.

    • the Maemo devices (@ least N900, N810 disclassified itself due to the lack of GSM) can be seen as successor of the Communicators and thus Jolla might might aim at this market.
      after all, the market is filled with bluetooth QWERTY add-ons which are certainly no better then a well designed other half
      question is: in how far will companies trust Jolla de deliver the same quality as NOKIA did (and still does, hardware wise)?

  14. Does anyone know the grand total sales figures for the N900 ? I mean that there would be evidence of sorts for whether there is enough demand assuming that the same kind of people who bought into the N900 would also invest in a QWERTY based other half for the Jolla handset.

    I seem to remember it being around the +/-100,000 mark after only 5 months – even those kind of figures would surely be enough to warrant Jolla to pursue the qwerty other half given they’ve publicly stated in the past that they don’t need to sell vast quantities of handsets in order to survive as a company.

    • I think that the sales figures of N900 and N9 are quite irrelevant, for these reasons:
      – The Internet tablets (from the days of Nokia 770 till N810) as well as N900 and N9 were not ever properly marketed (except N9 for a couple of months, but only in a few countries, e.g. not in USA nor Britain). Perhaps the management of Nokia concentrated on acquiring NAVTEQ and the rest of the Symbian company, and did not have any understanding of Linux-oriented people and Linux-based phone platforms. In other words they thought that Maemo etc are mainly for the limited market of nerds. And, in an iPanic they had to bring their Symbian smartphones quickly on the market (remember the unfortunate N97 ?), still believing that the success of Nokia is achieved with Symbian.
      – The physical Qwerty keyboard is not the only factor that attracts or repells the potential customers of N900 and the Internet tablets of Nokia.

      Actually, the real sales figures of N900 and N9 were never published. Perhaps the management was ashamed of their own decisions of not supporting them. So there are only rumors of the sales figures of N9. I’ve heard “something between half and one million units”. Not a bad result in less than one year on a limited market, and most of that time it was already known that the Meego business of Nokia will be stopped. Personally I estimate that the sales would have doubled quickly if N950 were launched on the market, and if Nokia had advertised N9 and N950 properly. In those days there was another product of Nokia which was advertised with low profile, but for other reasons: its poor quality and support. It was the “Nokia Booklet 3G” netbook, with the elementary Windows Starter OS. Hm, somehow I associate it with the latest rumors of Nokia launching a Windows RT tablet :(

      • facts, sources, pls!
        “management never supported Maemo / MeeGo sales”
        those devices ALWAYS (even the N9) were development devices, not destined to be mass-marketed. in spring 2011 there was a video of an interview w/ Rich Green, then CTO of NOKIA clearly stating that the N9 was a “test” / development device (test especially for MeeGo) and that NOKIA would consider the feedback to decide the future of Maemo / MeeGo
        nota bene, this was after the burning platform hara-kiri and after the moronic decision to pair w/ m@ke$$h!t.

        i can still order factory new N9s (all 16GB models and black 64GB) from “local” online shops and on eBay, world wide
        check your facts, pls

        • Sorry, I cannot list any sources except innumberable news articles, blogs and forums where Internet tablets, Maemo and Meego devices were discussed. So, like in all information from net, some part of it may not be based on facts but personal opinions.

          “Internet tablets, N900 and N9 were a test” explains a lot of the low profile Nokia then had with the sales and advertising. But Nokia has a legendary reputation of testing, testing and testing, forever. They also tested with a couple of touch-screen phone models, years before iPhone. So, they had some understanding about testing, but not about making money with products which have future. Instead of Nokia, it was Apple people who started making money by copying the concept and many features of Nokia N800, but naturally they copied also from other products, and used also their own head. Nokia and Samsung were lucky in the meaning that Apple did not copy the concept of N810, a kind of pioneer tablet with a physical Qwerty keyboard.

  15. Also, do any companies hold patents for qwerty systems – that could be another deal breaker?

    I believe (but might be wrong) that Nokia could hold a patent for the slider system as seen in the E7. I actually prefer the slide system on the N900 – found it much nicer to use than the supposedly more ergonomic, angled E7 system.

    MS might have a patent for their surface style snap on keyboard… Jolla’s other half system seems to be unique though so lets hope they can engineer something clever into it and patent the proverbials out of it. :-)

  16. Another common thing people are saying here is: oh but sailfish is designed for portrait mode so wouldn’t work on a landscape qwerty.

    I don’t get this POV – it’s only a orientation software tweak afterall – once you flip the phone to landscape, what’s on the screen can flip too no? Look at the N9, N900 – they both had software tweaks to adjust the orientation when you flipped the handset.

    • You’re right, but to be honest I have my doubts as well.
      What if a half of the apps don’t support the landscape mode. This would be a negative experience. Also, the gestures that make the Sailfish OS so beautiful, because they’re a perfect replacement for tactile feedback, are not designed for landscape mode.

      Nevertheless, I absolutely need a other half hardware keyboard (with a d-pad on it).

    • In fact, some of the UI elements of the Sailfish desktop would work better in landscape mode imo. Whenever I’ve seen a video demo of someone interacting with the application covers like pause/playing the media player with a side-swipe, I thought “this looks awfully fumbly”. A side-swiping gesture across the short side of this little rectangle has to be carefully aimed, which I thought is exactly what Jolla wanted to avoid, giving more space for generous gestures (of course, we adapt over time: hitting the tiny little red crosses in Maemo task switcher to close an app used to be a challenge at first). long story short, a side swiping gesture is easier aim on a landscape-oriented (small, as in tumb-sized) rectangle, a vertical one is easier to perform on a portrait one. Did I mention that I have bad aim? Lots of typos, always. Please Jolla, make it easy on me!

  17. Aye! A QWERTY other half would be the reason to dump my N9 instantly, to get back the feeling like in the good old N900 days. CTRL and arrow keys for the win! I hate it when I mistype something and then I have to navigate back with my thick fingers on the touchscreen, and the magnifier doesn’t always work like it should, and it feels so bad to write with a touchscreen, even a simple google search line.. all I want is my keyboard back!

  18. Oh about the landscape/portrait question, if you look back at the ‘Acer Iconia…..’ post, in the video the guy had shown all orientations. So both the modes are supported, that’s out of question. If i can recall correctly, the only issue it had then was that the orientations were upside down or something. But as far as the orientations go, i’m pretty much sure both are supported.

    • well there are different levels of things being “supported”. the task manager/cover view never is seen in landscape mode in this vid on the Acer Iconia, he mostly flips it when going back to it from an application. Also, apps never rotate, they either start in landscape or portrait and remain that way throughout. So, while there is obviously the possibility to make things rotate, much work is to be done if they want to be consequent about it like e.g. in Symbian, where *all* apps do both landscape and portrait, which imo is they only REAL way to support landscape mode. I venture that it’s just a matter of policy: Symbian completely implements both orientations in all screen you might encounter, which is why all third-party-apps do as well.
      Sailfish doesn’t have this consequent pattern: if important elements of the OS user experience are strictly tailored to portrait-only, then that’s how most third party developers will do it and just not bother with landscape…

    • Hahahaha thanks! :D
      Anyway, Mr. JT (JollaTides! That’s what i cann you cz i have no idea of your name, sorry) how about writing to the quirky guys? They develop add-ons for the iPhone from user submitted designs. How about we doing our part for Jolla? Just start a new post, everyone who’s interested, vote in, give your names. The longer the list, the better it is!

  19. A QWERTY keyboard is the main reason why I’m waiting for this phone..

    And looking at the Jolla Handset Poll I think there are many people just waiting for a physical keyboard as well.

      • just had a look @ the pool result, indeed, looking for the total number of voices (14’803). two things:
        1. the majority (47.52 %) voted for a N900 like device with integrated QWERTY;
        only 15.26% voted for the “other half”
        how many of the 47.52% will be satisfied with the “other half” solution (desperate enough for a QWERTY to accept an other half solution)? i would be, but…
        2. seems that i could vote again… in how far is the 14’803 votes reliable?

  20. Aye! A hardware keyboard is an absolute necessity for me. As is an operating system where I’m in control. The N900 had it both, but sadly mine has the infamous SIM error bug, so I’m in desperate need of a new phone. I’m still carrying the N900 around though for wifi webbrowsing, note-taking and other non-GSM stuff. I’m not going to buy a Jolla if it has no hardware keyboard. But I have so far refrained from looking deeper into Mozilla and Ubuntu phones because Jolla looks more promising.

  21. Hahahaha thanks! :D
    Anyway, Mr. JT (JollaTides! That’s what i call you cz i have no idea of your name, sorry) how about writing to the quirky guys? They develop add-ons for the iPhone from user submitted designs. How about we doing our part for Jolla? Just start a new post, everyone who’s interested, vote in, give your names. The longer the list, the better it is!

  22. Aye.

    Ex N900 user (broken) and holding up with a Sony dumphone, waiting for Jolla handset.

    I don’t mind if they launch only English layout keyboards (I’m Spanish), because Sailfish is a true GNU/Linux OS and making your own layout is a trivial task: just create a /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/mylayout file and run setxkbmap -layout mylayout at boot.

    Anyway, my guess is: Jolla is not going to develop HWKB by their own. A third party probably will, but we’ll have to wait to mid 2014.

    • M* Angry Tomato, I appreciate your perseverance of using a Qwerty with a layout which does not match with that of your mother tong. Actually I’m writing this text on a surplus keyboard which has English layout, but uses the Swedish keyboard driver, meaning that what you get does not match with the labels printed on the keys. And the trouble is not limited to the Å Ö Ä letters, and only to texts in my mother tongue, because now, writing in English, also most symbols like & * / ( ) + ? ‘ ^ must be entered by hitting a key which has a “wrong” label.

      But most potential customers of a “Jolla phone with physical Qwerty” are not like us. They expext to get a Qwerty which has the correct key layout, with the correct labels on more or less all keys. This means that for the customers which use the Latin alphabet, a quite high number of different language-specific keyboards must be available. Perhaps 20. And some more for the Cyrillic alphabet, and for the many Asian languages, most of which do not use the Latin nor Cyrillic alphabet. Even though only a single part (the keymat) need to be modified, matching the keyboard variants with the customer’s mother tongue (and sometimes his or her office language), is quite a logistic challenge. Companies like Samsung and Nokia have been able cope with that challenge, but many companies insist on supplying only the virtual Qwerty keyboard on the touch screen. This is why I understand also the decision of Jolla Ltd of providing now only the virtual Qwerty. Let’s hope that their 1st phone is a great success, after that we can wish for a phone with a physical Qwerty keyboard (integrated to the phone, or on a “Qwerty keyboard half”).

      The localizing and logistics of language-modified Qwerty keyboards is a big challenge to small companies, including those who make Qwerty keyboard accessories. Many of them provide only the American English layout, and the product mix of most othet companies are limited to English Qwerty, French Azerty, German Qwertz, Spanish Qwerty, and perhaps one of the Chinese layouts. That choice may cover about 50 per cent of the customers’ languages (and perhaps 90% of the needs of people who do a lot of English correspondence and SW programming). Still, even for that 50%, the physical Qwerty keyboards from 3rd-party manufactures do not work optimally, because the specifying of text entry features and other correspondence tend to become very too complex between 2 or 3 companies. And we must consider also the difficulties with the screen orientation (landscape/portrait), different methods of adding accents, different writing directions (of Arabic, Hebrew, etc). Designing and localizing a good physical Qwerty is a completely different thing than designing and localizing a full-size keyboard with more than 100 keys, for a Linux / Mac / Windows laptop or desktop computer. These are among the reasons why I wish that on the sunny day when Jolla starts planning a 2nd-generation smartphone with a physical Qwerty keyboard, they don’t order the keyboard from an “Accessory-Qwerty company”, nor ask the users of the Jolla phone to order the keyboard from another company.

      • You’re right. But I was just talking about me.

        By the way, my previous hint about changing the keyboard layout is stupid when dealing with Sailfish, because there’s no X11 but Wayland. Anyway, I guess changing KB layouts into Wayland config files will be easy too.

  23. Aye!

    My N9 is still up and running, so no need to buy another phone running an experimental OS.
    There is no way I’ll be spending another couple of hundred dollars on a device that might (hopefully will not!) be abandoned by developers like MeeGo due to lack of market adoption…
    …Unless it is has a hardware keyboard.

  24. Although N9 is lovely otherwise and the touch keyboard isn’t horrible, simply said a hardware QWERTY like on my old N900 had is far superior. Too bad My N900 died the same way as most of them…

    But that said I have already ordered a Jolla although there isn’t any certainty that we will get a QWERTY “Other Half”.

  25. Updated Nokia E7 with modern OS, removable battery/ SD card, better camera would be my perfect device. Am still holding breath but am turning blue. Please hurry. One incidental bonus of E7 qwerty is its great for viewing video/ images on as the screen pops up to a perfect viewing angle so you don’t have to hold or prop device.

  26. Aye!
    I write a lot of mails, notes and so on. I really like keyboard shortcuts and use it a lot. So a qwerty keyboard is a must.
    I use my N900 today and looking for a serious replacement.

    • Clarification: Hardware keyboard is the important thing.
      4 rows minimum, 6 rows would be ideal.
      QWERTY layout sucks, Dvorak is great. Svorak in Scandinavia would be ideal.

  27. QWERTY keyboard or nothing. Sorry.

    I think maybe is possible to Jolla make 2 devices: a keyboard less and a “pro” version without all these addon hardware…

    • the other way around, maybe; professionals need to be “in contact” which includes writing e-mails (mostly) but possibly also discussing business issues over (company) messenger; keyboard is a must. that was the reason of the success of the NOKIA Communicator

      • anyway, their are already a concrete project from Jolla to release a more affordable consumer device in 2014; no “PRO” device. anyway, the idea behind the other ½ is to be able to target different consumer groups with (basically) the same device, adding different functionality as useful / needed
        e.g., the casual office worker who shuttles to work, sits behind the desk most of the day & shuttles home can have the device charging / charged most of the day thus a normal battery is enough whereas ppl on the road, e-mailing all along, possibly navigating (GPS + 3G net), look up informations (3G) usually use up the battery long before the end of the day; an other ½ with extra (large) battery (& QWERTY kbd) is a life saver

  28. I’m in for a qwerty. I love the feel of E7, but the os is sluggish and keeps crashing (both apps and itself). For me, qwerty is much more important than eg. the camera on the device. Sure, the non-AF camera in E7 is pretty much worthless now especially because QR-codes are everywhere, but with NFC technology becoming more common, maybe even that wouldn’t be a problem.

  29. I have tried several without QWERTY, but have always changed back to E7 – all because of QWERTY. So, please, I beg Jolla – make the other half with QWERTY.

  30. yep. I use python, terminal, leafpad, xournal and gnumeric all the time on the n900, saved my ass a few times (like filing, signing & returning pdf docs in a hurry… or crunching the numbers for quotes – on the spot).
    Its painful to use just the terminal on the n9 with only half a screen and limited keyboard, forget about doing anything productive.
    If Jolla phone is just another consumer device, it will fail vs Android and the wait for a proper n###-series successor will continue for a few more years.

  31. Nothing beats a physical QWERTY key board. It’s less error prone and allows to type without looking at the phone. Can we have one in a form factor of less than 10 mm thinkness? I yes,, it would be WOW.

    Add on keyboard…I would not add a keyboard to type a message.

    Smart designers out there… think about it…

  32. If the Jolla handset supports Swype, I don’t care about a keyboard Other Half.

    If not, then yeah I’m interested, but only if it’s really well made and integrates seamlessly with the apps; otherwise I’d rather just do without the added bulk and mechanical complexity.

    It’s not a showstopper in any case.

    • You’re right Petteri, if it’s badly implemented, there is no point… I’ve used a 3rd party bluetooth snap on keyboard with a handset before and I ended up just leaving it because the implementation was not seemless with all the different apps etc making it more trouble than it was worth.

      If a HW keyboard is to be considered, it really needs to be baked into every aspect of the UI/apps etc and done properly.

  33. Don’t care about physical keyboard as soon as the virtual one is efficient.
    If the other half could be an additional battery with QI charging enabled, it would be awesome for me. Dream of a smartpone that could last more than 1,5 days…

  34. Nah. I hated my N900. It was just too big to carry compared to my C7 (at the time) and my N9 and the keyboard ate into battery space. For the few times I needed a physical keyboard over a virtual one, it was just extra bulk and the N900’s keyboard was pretty awful. The Jolla is already quite a sizeable device if the prototype is anything to go on and I’d think twice about carrying something so big.

    I wonder if the people coming from an N900 have used a modern virtual keyboard for any amount of time? There’s some great ones out there including the N9’s keyboard. I hope Jolla have continued development on the Maliit keyboard software to the point where this argument becomes a bit silly.

    That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy a physical QWERTY other half. They’re great things to have in your bag. If I’m out and about for a while, I’ve usually got a Freedom iConnex bluetooth keyboard in my bag for use with a tablet. Not having a keyboard covering half your screen when you’ve a bit of admin/hacking to so is quite useful.

    • The N9’s keyboard was not as good as the best android/ios/wp/bb10 virtual keyboards and the Symbian Belle virtual keyboard was even worse IMO.

      I agree, if implemented well a virtual keyboard is definitely fine for light text use but for me the main benefit of a HW keyboard is like you say, not using up half the screen real estate every time you type.

      Sending emails/long messages/typing blog posts on the road is again so much more of a breeze with a HW keyboard especially when you need to go through and edit the document, which is a frustrating experience with only half the screen estate.

      • I disagree. I really like the N9’s keyboard. It has very good haptic feedback and the keys are the right size. I also liked that you could have predictive text coming up but the default was to ignore it. I’ve also got a Nexus 7 and had a Lumia 800. The Nexus 7 keyboard is quite good but the haptics are rubbish and the prediction almost always guesses ‘the’ incorrectly for me inserting ‘TTY’. Switching between keyboards on Android is a pain in the backside too – click on notifications, select keyboard, change settings, switch back. On the N9 you just swiped the keyboard out the way.

        The WP7 keyboard was quicker to type on but no haptics and the keys are so large it covers most of the screen making it next to unusable for editing large pieces of text.

        Maliit on the N9 just needed better prediction and it would have been perfect IMHO.

        I’m not disagreeing about Symbian’s keyboard though. Whoever ‘designed’ that needs to be fired (oh, they probably have).

  35. Aye!

    physical keyboard! the n900 where almost there. i could activate the taskswitcher by pressing Sym + ←. The possibility to switch tasks just by pressing the something like ALT + TAB on the desktop would be super sweet.
    And another note, I don’t like it if the keyboard eats 50% of the screen and messes with the layout of an website.

  36. Aye! I like Swype on the N9 but while very usable for short messages etc it just cannot compete with a real QWERTZ (say yes to localized layouts) keyboard when it comes to real work. My E7 was much better at that. So an optional other half with a high quality keyboard would be a BIG pro in my book.

  37. QWERTY kbd please!!!

    it killed me going from my N900 to the N9… sure i got used to using a vitrual keyboard.. but i find a physical keyboard is far more intuitive and speedy for me to use
    but then again, swype keyboard IS pretty amazing and fast as well

    i really enjoyed the keyboard shortcuts on the N900 (ctrl s would actually save docusments etc) where as this isnt available with a virtual keyboard

    and even when having a physical keyboard, the user is still able to use a virtual keyboard if desired. so its always nice having both options available. and having the other half it really allows the user to define their device to their own personality and preference.

  38. Aye!
    typing on a touchscreen even a text message is so painful. Let alone an email.

    If is not too expensive (I’d say 50-60€) I would buy one straight away once the Jolla on my 100€ preorder ships.
    I would consider buying if under 100€ shipped, but I’d think a bit before buying

    I would buy one more Jolla phone for my wife only if there is a version with qwerty other half.

    Jolla: sail on on it! :)

  39. Aye ! Aye ! Aye ! Aye !

    I own a N950 for now and I don’t want to lose the KBD feature when acquiering my Jolla :-)

      • For those that didn’t read the original post, we suggested this very feature – a detachable, yet integrated, modular keyboard:

        “Killer feature: Modular removable qwerty keyboard (can be sold separately) offers the best of both worlds. Lightweight when you need it to be without keyboard or attach the fully integrated keyboard for a full powerhouse experience (ie. connects direct to mobile so power source is shared and keyboard functionality is integrated (not Bluetooth)). This modular keyboard design will open markets to both consumer and business markets this way, but benefiting Jolla by only having to release one device. Editors note: Business users are also consumers at the end of the day and like to be able to use a sexy device sans keyboard on their days off! Also this ties in with Jolla’s strategy to release both a consumer phone and developer phone. Consumer phone can be locked on release but with the ability for developers to unlock (like with Nokia N9) and of course add keyboard.”

  40. Judging by the overwhelming response we always seem to receive on this topic, I really hope Jolla can find a way to make it happen. Thanks guys and keep it coming! :-)

    • I suppose that you wrote QWERTZ to point out the importance of language-localized variants. I agree: there must be the German Qwertz, Englsih Qwerty, and many other localized Qwerty variants. Actually, the Qwertz HW can be made the same thing as Qwerty HW: by making double labels on the Y and Z keys. In the top row of letter keys: YZ (the two letters printed in different colors) and in the bottom row of letter keys: ZY (the two letters printed in different colors). Such double labels on two letter keys won’t slow down your writing – this has been proved by the double labels on the Ö and Ä keys of Scandinavian Qwerty HWKB. In the same way also some other languages can be added to use the same “English-German keymat”; see my long comment of August 16.

  41. If you watched any of the Akademy presentations posted to links on JollaHQ twitter handle a few weeks back (I did), Jolla’s Vessi-Matti Hartikainen reveals that the Jolla phone will include a hardware interface (connector) capable of data transfer for their Other-Halfs and explicitly mentions a QWERTY-enabled other half as a possible result. This alone shot my level of excitement for the phone beyond acceptable levels.

  42. Aye * Infinity! HWKB is the only way for me! As quoted earlier “QWERTY or go home”! The polls clearly said they wanted a HWKB. What gives?! On the other hand, it is disturbing that the OS support may be lacking, if that is the case, I’m sure it can be overcome. Jolla please, please, please develop a device with HWKB and proper OS support. I don’t know how much longer my N900 can hold out!

  43. AYE! because a pirate needs good equipment when entering.. ;-)

    I am a nearly happy owner of a n900. (The only drawback is the bad calendar application, the small amount of apps and that its relatively slow compared to newer smartphones ).
    I – as I think so many others – am looking for an UPGRADE of my n900. A smartphone without HWKB would clearly be a downgrade, and so I wont buy it.

    For me there are two reasons why the HWKB is better than a virtual one:
    1) you are so much quicker in writing (at least I am)
    2) you can take full advantage of your screen, seeing it completely instead of only one line.
    And I do write a lot on my phone.

    I really can’t understand the politics of jolla- which customer do they have in mind?
    I think that very! roughly there are four groups of customers in the “high end” smartphone market:
    1) people who buy an iphone, because they feel the can do nothing wrong, and besides its kind of a status symbol. Why should they buy a jolla handset?
    2) people who buy the Samsung galaxy, because they are a bit more price sensitiv. Why should they buy a jolla handset? We may assume that the galaxy will be cheaper..
    3) people who will buy their first “real” smartphone. But why should they buy a jolla handset, when other phones are cheaper and tested by the market for a long time???
    4) and then there are people like me, who look desperately for a replacement/ upgrade of their n900.
    People, who don’t get what they want from Samsung or apple.
    People who care about privacy.
    People who care about openness of the system.
    And people who WANT a HWKB, because they found out about the benefits.
    I think these are the people who would buy the jolla handset.
    You can see at jollatides, that there are so many people just waiting to jump in when it comes to the topic of HWKB

    So please, dear Jolla guys: do some good hard thinking. Go fishing and come back ashore with a HWKB.
    Don’t spoil the launch of your great phone because you dont reach the people who would buy it..

    I do need you to have success.

    Sail on..

  44. I fully agree agree with giraffe, especially to 4)
    I am a “Nerd” since the 80es and I had my first mobile phone in the early 90es. I had 2 Nokia communicators when the word “smartphone” had not been invented and now have the N900.
    For me the freedom to configure my phone the way I want is important and I also do not want to be exposed that easily to tracking, tracing and hacking. I love the idea to have a solid mobile phone with an Open source Linux OS and the latest and best possible connectivity features.
    I need my phone for business, not for social networking etc.
    I desperately wait for an adequate N900 replacement WITH QWERTZ.
    QWERTZ is a MUST HAVE.I can type much faster than on a virtual keyboard and nearly w/o looking at the text. Did anyone try to type fast a SMS on a virtual mobile phone keyboard in portait mode? It is a challenge…

    • Too right!!!

      My favourite Communicator was the original 9000 running GEOS. IMHO, Nokia jumped the shark when they switched to Symbian OS for the 9210 onwards, but I continued to buy them as they had a physical keyboard and no other device was as, well awesome, I guess.

      I really loved typing on the 9000. Although I abbreviated my IRC usage on PCs I never had reason for SMS on the mighty Communicator, managing to clock up 150 GBP in international text fees in a single month @ 0.19 per 160 char text, before promptly switching to IM for free, so more typing! :)

      If anyone manages to get a kickstarter project to fund this other half I’ll be first to pledge. Something tells me it won’t take long to reach goal funding either….

  45. Aye!
    I find a psychical keyboard absolutely necessary for my optimal use of a smartphone.
    I can type and trust, without having to check on my screen.
    I can use my smartphone as a mini computer, with easy access to email, web, IM and so on without having a virtual keyboard taking off half the space of the screen :)

  46. I’ve been looking for a replacement for my N900 for many years now and a keyboard is a HUGE plus. I had olmost given up having a QWERTY-smartphone when the Jolla keyboard first got mentioned.

    Please make one!

  47. Even when on mobile, I usually type up to several paragraphs long of text depending on the context, and I don’t really use “SMS short forms.”

    Virtual keyboards have done nothing but slow me down and I am frustrated by them.

    The N950 looked good but when I found out it was a developers-only device, somehow I was angered to no end.

    I still have my N900 and I already delegated my Asha 311 as an external battery charger for my N900’s batteries (they can fit somehow, but you cannot close the Asha’s battery slot with the cover when you do).

  48. Aye! I like to have lot of “old programs” and sometimes I use the terminal on my N900. The keyboard is mandatory to use these.

  49. I left a comment here a few days ago, but it’s gone now. It showed up immediately after I hit “Post Comment” though. What’s going on?

    Anyways: My must-haves for a phone are: An operating system where I am in charge and a hardware keyboard. Layout doesn’t matter that much. I’m not going to buy a Jolla if it doesn’t have a HWKB.

    • Try clicking on the ‘older comments’ at the top left or bottom left of the comments roll. I found your post: “mkl on August 18, 2013 at 01:14 said:”

      This topic has gathered such a strong response we are now on 2 pages. ;-)

  50. Here is an interesting reference about the need of Qwerty for tablets: http://www.zdnet.com/a-boost-for-microsoft-surface-workers-demand-keyboards-with-their-tablets-7000019490/
    Naturally it’s not 1:1 applicable to smartphones. And the title of the article is a bit misleading – in the long run the new trend might boost more Jolla than Microsoft, if they make correct choices at Jolla Ltd. I believe that the new trend may first affect what people expect of 5″ … 6″ phablets, and may later start asking for HWKB on other smartphones.

  51. i have no real heritage with phones, with a hardware qwerty keyboard, apart from buying bluetooth ones for certain handsets, i can see the attraction of a slide out, like the gorgeous n950, i pre-ordered the jolla unit, to continue the elegant GUI experience of my beloved n9, and whilst it makes no odds to me whether there is a qwerty option available, i would buy any add on that enabled this feature.

    • I think there are a lot of people like us Quaddy who while it didn’t prevent us from pre-ordering, we would snap up a qwerty other half given the chance as a bonus added extra feature. :-)

  52. Even though I would highly appreciate having physical keyboard I don’t thing its lack at the time of the device release would be a show stopper. The whole concept of TheOtherHalf gives an opprotunity to add that feature anytime later.
    So initially I would get a touch only device equipped with the best mobile OS I have seen so far and with a good chance that it could be “upgraded” to a qwerty device anytime either with original Jolla’s other half or even a third party one.
    This is a unique approach no other manufacturer is able to provide yet.

  53. Pingback: Vesa Matti: Qwerty Is Technically A Possibility | Latest Jolla Sailfish News

  54. Came here from the other post about jolla’s tweet in response to your question. Just raising my hand here to say Aye …tho’ judging by the response in the other post, I am not holding my breath. My theory is that since most handsets are designed by ‘designer’-types who are so used to a point and click interface, they don’t really understand the absolute need that most of us who use keyboards have. I detest using a soft keyboard since it forces me to write/express myself less intelligently — IOW, do not like writing like a retard but with soft keyboards the choice is between that or taking 10 mins. to painfully type and edit stuff which ideally should be a 30 sec. job.

    • You raise a good point about the design angle Steve, and I think perhaps that fact combined with the extra cost/hassle/resources required for manufacturers to add a hwkb (especially if being released in many different countries with different alphabets etc) makes it a less than attractive proposition.

      That and the fact many customers are demanding slimmer and slimmer handsets means it’s a no brainer for most manufacturers these days…. let’s hope Jolla can be UNLIKE the rest in this regard!

  55. I would almost certainly buy a Jolla phone with a QWERTY keyboard. I will almost certaily not buy a touchscreen Jolla phone. A QWERTY Jolla phone would be almost unique in the market. A touchscreen Jolla phone just disappears into the background noise of a million and one other touchscreen phones. A hardware keypad is a highly desirable feature to me.

    • I read all the posts here again and my perception is that there is a need for QWERTZ(Y).

      However: the initial question for me is -same as in giraffe’s comment already- who are the intended and focused target Jolla customers? What are their needs and requirements?

      For me these would be all those who are currently left outside alone in the dark in terms of a RELIABLE, effective and efficient business mobile phone. So the target group should be large enough!
      This was what Nokia always had in their portfolio for decades. For me the latest blackberry is no alternative and neither a Lumia.

      Reliability requires at least some more invest in hardware and software and the necessary quality management. Efficiency and effectiveness would mean to prioritize function over form.

      So I currently end up with using my aging N900 further, browsing the Nokia website for more than a year and hoping I could find a solid replacement, having the latest technology and innovative functionality, but as another blogger here already said: I do want to upgrade rather than to downgrade.

      I have a selection of new Android based phones, but I only use them for development testing purposes but the N900 was and is my reliable and faithful mate wherever I go. It proved its reliability in very rough environments and it traveled with me around the globe. The glass has no significant scratches and until now it had never seen any repair or maintenance shop from inside.

      I only hope that the Jolla team may read all these posts and remember and reflect their “roots” which enabled them with their great expertise in the past to create high quality and very intuitive mobile phones, according to my personal experience.

      • it is even so bad that i want qwerty .. yhay i bought the e7 .. after i bought the n8 .. the n8 is the better phone with better camera and speaker .. everething is better on the n8 .. but because it lacks a qwerty bord .. im using the e7 … so +1 .. we want qwerty .. as add on or as part of teh phone like the e7 .. stil is the best format for an phone .. a slider i also got the n900 .. the fallen king …

    • I am waiting for Jolla to realese a HWKB. When they do I will buy that Jolla phone, if it has a Nokia E-series approach. Today I use my E7 and I have a E90 as a backup phone. I only use my 808 pureview to take photos and make films.

      I quote Tomi T. Ahonen (http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/08/ballmer-aftermath-part-2-impact-to-nokia-especially-lumia-running-windows-phone.html)

      ”There has not to this date been a QWERTY variant to the Lumia series even as more than a third of Nokia smartphone buyers in 2010 bought a QWERTY version such as most of the E-Series, and various youth smarpthones”.

      So there is a big market for physical QWERTY.

      I would like to se a phone that is a combination of E90, E7 and 808 pureview.

      E90: 2 screen. One small for phone calls and reading sms and one big for texting. Keyboard with dedicated keys for figures. Ctrl and Shift keys, arrow keys to navigate the cursor (so you can editing text the same way you do on a computer). Dedicated keys for contact, messaging, calendar etc. MicroSD, user-replaceable battery. Angel the big screen to a comfortable angel.

      E7: The size and forms of the keys on the keyboard.

      808 Pureview: The camera and the rich recording. FM-transmitter, HDMI.

      And a case so I can wear my phone in the belt instead of in my pocket.

  56. Aye!!! It reallybe the thing that would make me buy a Jolla handset. Although interesting in every other way too, a QWERTY ‘other half’ would truly be a gamechanger for me.

  57. Aye to the hwkb!

    This is a little like the difference between the N9 (a beautiful work of art, but not usable for me on a daily basis) and, believe it or not, the HTC Vision which I do still use on a daily basis (now running Andromadus).

    Interestingly, have tried a few newer hwkb devices, most recently the SGH-T699, and their kbs just don’t measure up to the Vision’s. Lack of tactile feel and responsiveness mostly, though layout is sometimes an issue too.

    If Jolla can get this right, I think the comments on this thread show they’ll have a market (assuming that the posters here only represent some fraction of all hwkb devotees).

    Also for my part, with a usable hwkb I’ll likely write the apps necessary to make the phone work for me, but with no hwkb it will just be another interesting curiousity to occasionally play with.

  58. In this day and age ?.. Nah, no longer required.. It’s those pesky moving parts that are the most vulnerable to being damaged. I would like to keep the phone with me for some time.

    • but thats the whole point, its a user replaceable ‘other half’ which if it got damaged is replaceable with your jolla phone still intact, or vice versa

  59. I want a HWKB, it’s essential to keep good screen real-estate and write whatever you want without always having to correct what you just wrote, and finding it hard to put the cursor where you want it!

    With that being said. I really hope it’s not on the other half, but on the phone itself, otherwise, it will probably get bulky, you wont be able to comfortably hold the phone by the keyboard, and you wont be able to attach other, more usefull halfs.

  60. My N900 suffers from the infamous SIM error bug, so I’m in desparate need for a new phone. The two must-haves are an operating system where I’m in charge and a hardware keyboard. I haven’t yet looked at Mozilla and Ubuntu in detail because Jolla sounds more promising. But without a HWKB, no deal.

  61. Would buy one immediately but in a slider style like palm pre offert or without slide like blackberry. I need a qwerty even in the touchscreen century because I email a lot. I don’t like landscape sliders like showed in the picture above. My partner uses a Sony experia with landscape qwerty. That’s not good because screen is to small then. Palm or bb torch style would be perfect.

  62. Aye, but my same ol’ caveat still applies: the phone is too big for my taste.
    So if it’s merely an “other half” on the already-existing big chunk of a phone, then Nay…

  63. Pingback: All Those In Favour Of A Different Other Half: #WeDon’tWantQwerty | Latest Jolla Sailfish News

  64. One main use of my phones is: working with a text terminal (80 columns is a minimum), using a shell (either local or remote via SSH). The Nokia N900, thanks to its QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode, was OK for that. As the screen of my N900 is dead, I currently use a Samsung Galaxy Note II; it doesn’t have a hardware keyboard, but in portrait mode, it is OK with Hacker’s Keyboard because the screen is large enough (720 pixel / 8 cm wide) and there is a stylus (really needed with Hacker’s Keyboard). The advantages over the N900: the remaining space on the screen is significantly higher (number of text lines of the terminal), despite the on-screen keyboard, and Hacker’s Keyboard has more keys (+ several layouts that can be chosen depending on the context) than a hardware keyboard. The drawbacks: Hacker’s Keyboard is far from being as accurate as a hardware keyboard, in particular in transportation, and one needs a stylus with it.
    For such a use, the screen of the current Jolla phone is too small for Hacker’s Keyboard-like on-screen keyboard. A QWERTY “other half” would be a must for me (with the possibility to configure it for special characters, but that’s software). And as I often need to do accurate text selection, a stylus would also be a must.
    Alternatively I think that Jolla on third-party phones like Samsung Galaxy Note II would be great.

  65. Yes, the N900 was great and when I use it sometimes still today I get the feeling, it was a device, that never has had a successor. Leaving everything else aside, it is a concept of having a horizontal full screen and a full keyboard that fits in your hand. Everything after that, with the exception of the E7, seemed to care much more about portrait mode and single handed use, presumably following the trend set by Apple, which got the first bite into smartphones with its legendary fishcan.

    The N9 was a beautiful device, but not designed for horizontal use, with a virtual keyboard, that did not convince me except for swype, which was fun and useful (except when you sit in a bus that bumbs up and down). Using the E7 again was much like the N900. Great! And when I ended up with the 808 just for that camera, I did not want to miss, I discovered, that it had a virtual keybord, that works fine along with the feel of the device in horizontal use, which is what I use it like most of the time, because I use it a lot for writing.

    A device with full screen and off screen full keyboard would be great! Not only for those who enjoyed to use one of those rare devices, but also for those who would love it, but whose preferences are simply ignored by the marked. I imagine the reason, these devices disappeared from the marked is not, because they lacked users, but because the marked lacked companies, who where willing to pay the cost for their production.

    I am living in Switzerland and I remember the months I had to wait for my N900 until Nokia, which still had resources at that time, got the swiss keyboard (a mix of german and french keyboard) done. Jolla got user attention from how many countries? 130 something I believe. To ask Jolla for a hardware keyboard to me sounds a bit like an invitation to shoot itself in the knee.

    But Jolla might just go beyond the keyboards of the past. The keyboard of that device would have to be a virtual keyboard taken off the screen, one taken a bit further, that combines the advantages of a virtual keyboard (easy switching between languages etc).and a hardware keyboard (short cuts, etc). One other half for all languages and one step further from what virtual keyboards we know today.

    Maybe this is crazy, maybe I just like to write ;-)

    • I still think that it is realistic to provide HW Qwerty keyboards localized for the languages of most customers in the “130 countries”. Not to every language – the virtual Qwerty keyboard on the touch screen may be suitable for many languages spoken in Asian countries, and for the least spoken languages. But by designing multi-lingual HW Qwerty keyboards it is possible to fulfil the needs of most of the customers who speak a language which uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabet. About 40 such languages can be provided so that the number of language-localized HW variants is a lot lower than 40: perhaps less than 10. It would simplify a lot the logistic challenges that the HWKB usually have. How to accomplish this? Please read this comment: http://jollatides.com/2013/08/23/all-those-in-favour-of-a-different-other-half-wedontwantqwerty/comment-page-1/#comment-5708

  66. A HW keyboard ranks quite high in my must have features list, one that prevented me from pre-ordering until the device was sold out. The other one is working with a thin tipped stylus. Besides typing I do like to (re)play classic games on my smartphone. While my N900 is a bit weak on the CPU side I had to notice that even the large Notes are awkward to use and with tiny screen estates left with the needed on screen controls and keyboard opened.

  67. Aye! Using onscreen keyboard is just such pain for me. I think switching from physical qwerty phone to touchscreen has reduced my phone use a lot. I just don’t want to reply any email message with phone anymore and sms messages stays as short as possible.

    No Qwerty Other Half, probably buy Jolla. Qwerty Other Half even as optional accessory, will buy Jolla. Maybe add extra battery to make it chatting travelers friend?

  68. AYE AYE AYE, Could I say it any louder. I have an E7 and an N9. If it wasn’t for the hardware QWERTY on the E7 the N9 would be my only phone.

  69. AYE!

    I have a Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro – with a landscape Qwertz keyboard. I really love it, to have the full Screen for text, plus much, much less typos, even without looking at the keys!

    I preordered and got my shirt. I will buy the Jolla either way. But I really, really hope, it gets a keyboard other half. It would be really nice.

    There are so many N900 Users that just wait for the jolla – also these people surely would love to see a Keyboard other half. If Jolla decides to create a keyboard other half, it would show, that they listened to the community. That is a really strong point for (future) customers – there are enough phone manufacturers that just build THEIR thing – jolla would stand apart as the one, that builds the phone for the user!

  70. As long as the other qualifications are in the neigbourhood of the better touchphones I am very willing to by a Jolla Qwerty. Compared to my E7 it must have a far better camera.

  71. I was expecting jolla to come out with a qwerty keyboard based phone. In fact i was so eagerly waiting for the launch. Without qwerty keyboard, i dont fine much of difference between android or windows phones and jolla phones. Regarding applications, most of the apps are portable from one platform to other. So without qwerty keyboard, everything looks and feels the same. . . just like a delicate glass slab with touch screen.
    There were days when we could tell difference in mobiles based on shape like nokia n-gage. 3230, 6600 etc. Now everything is the same. . just a slab. If jolla is coming out with another slab, i dont see any point in going for it. The little tweaking in ui can be done even on other phones and will be available as themes for android just like the ios theme for android.

    What ever spec they boast of multicore proc or memory or camera or anything for that matter is available in similar phone available in windows 8 or android os.
    If jolla merely wants to differentiate with ui and leave the hardware same then i think it would be a catastrophic decision.

    This was well proven when black berry shifted from their qwerty based phones to the slab based touch phones. Their usp was rugged and reliable phone with qwerty keyboard for business users. Instead of building in that marked they started mimicking iphone and android slabs. The results are clearly visible.

    Another disadvantage would be the app store. For a normal user, if there is no significant difference between slabs of jolla or android or ios, he would definitely choose android because of huge app store with free apps. Why would he invest on a simple dumb slab which does not have enough apps.
    The same was again proven with blackberry app store. So there has to be some drastic differentiation like a qwerty keyboad which will enable users to opt jolla instead of other contenders. Anyways there were long chain of mails requesting jolla for qwerty keyboard and they didnot listen. Lets see what will happen.

    If you ask me. . i am tired of these touch phones that seldom work when my hands are dirty or when i wear gloves and i have to struggle so much even to answer a call.(Even the recently launched blackberry qwerty phones dont have answer and cut key).
    I would expect jolla to come out with a qwerty.
    In fact when i got the information that jolla is not coming with a qwerty keyboard and was just launched with another slab form factor, i started searching and now i am zeroing on blackberry bold 9000 series. they have hardware answer and cut keys, and a full functional qwerty keyboard.
    I don’t understand why jolla is clearly missing the point that to top a segment, they have to be the first or the best or the cheapest. They are not the first. and best. . its debatable. I would say its any other touch phone from point of dumb user. Regarding cheapest. . i dont think jolla will fall even close to android phones or as they say in india non branded phones like celkon or micromax or other phones with quad cores and dedicated graphics whose performance is comparable to galaxy s3 or htc one.
    Only time will answer if jolla has made right decision or not. . as for me i am disappointed again and am stuck with my old nokia 6030i which is very reliable when it comes to making calls. . (I was tired and sick of using the touch phones both from apple and android.)

    • Quoting Roshan I can only say: I sincerely agree.

      As ever greater numbers of 1st and 2nd gen mobile users are aging, the poorly justified American fad of sci-fi movie based techno-solutions, that drive real-life product development is proving ever more impractical.

      In everyday life I keep meeting more and more people who look on with envy, as I tap away on my E7. In many cases I’ve heard the iphone described as “useless”. Constant typos and missed links have left many giving up on smartphones entirely.

      Jolla: I almost dare predict, that without qwerty, jollaphones will end up as another sidenote in the colourful history of mankinds technological efforts.

    • Dude i’m from India too. And Jolla is new. Still in its in infancy. Give it time man.
      And about Micromax and Celkon, their primary market’s India, so low prices and customer satusfaction are their primary priorities. While Jolla is a European company and their primary market is Europe and China. Now €399 is pretty cheap for a first time phone bundled with loads of unique features, what with the €100 discount as well.
      So it’d be appreciated if you looked at it from a wider POV than just being a one-country-centric.

    • could use the same solution as on the N900… a virtual kbd that can be invoked with Fn key & showing ” ~ ` ^ aso. as composite character with whatever the region you define for the keyboard allows; or more

  72. A physical keyboard would be a game changer considering only Motorola offers viable options (in the US) for those in need of one. A scandinavic and/or a german option? Yes please :) I think there’s a viable market share in Jolla’s target segment for such add-on devices.

  73. I could live without a QWERTZ keyboard – but I don’t want to. :)
    I’m proudly wearing my jolla t-shirt, hoping that a QWERTZ addon will transform my jolla into a full replacement for my beloved N900.


  74. Cannot live without a physical keyboard. I do type a lot and the virtual keyboards give very bad tactile feedback, is hard to use two-handed and the word-completion is bad for most of the things I write (e.g. I often ssh into remote machines and type on linux command-line).

  75. Being a very satified N900 customer I look for Jolla to keep up with that performance. Except doing better on the shaky mini USB which made me to repace it by an E7 (that one has its battery almost done).
    So looking Forward to a Jolla with better halfs

  76. Sign me up for a qwertz keyboard too, I will take a qwerty one if there is no other option. A large touch keyboard might be enough for texting, but as an admin, I would love to be able to start a quick ssh session from my phone. And finding a pipe or other important chars is a pita with touch keyboards.

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  78. I just need a new E7 because the keys get worn out. Yes, i promise to buy a Jolla with QWERTY. No, i’m not interrested in a touch screen only device.

    Had an N97, which was great because of the tilted screen and the possibillity of changing the battery. Last 2,5 years the E7 did his job well but it gets harder and harder to keep it running the few apps i really use. And the signs on the keys get worn off, which proves i really use them

  79. Jolla announced that Other Half will have NFC, power (in/out) and I2C data interfaces. I’m not expert, but I2C keyboard should be possible to do?

  80. I also thinking about replacing my N900 by the Jolla device. But due to the fact that I am to clumsy to write on a screen a physical Qwerty is a must. FYI: I will not be picky on the design of the keyboard, promise.

  81. I’m really looking forward into getting a decent up-to-date phone with physical qwerty keyboard. My current E7-00 has served my needs well, but it’s getting old and slow. Scandinavian 5-row layout would be ideal for my use.

  82. Aye for GWERTY keyboard

    N900 was the best phone i have ever had!
    Real keyboard is so much better to use
    Pre-ordered jolla . If there come versio with keyboard im going to buy it any cost.

  83. Aye. AYE!

    QWERTY or go home. I’m ready to upgrade from E7, though. I just fear it’ll be a long wait ahead.

    Put up another pre-order list for a QWERTY device and see how many names you get.

  84. Yes!

    Still pending my pre-order because of this. I’m still using E7, as there excists no better option for me…

  85. I am another E7 user (spanish keyboard) that is stil expecting a N950-like phone. I was really hoping Jolla would come out with 2 designs, one full screen iPhone-like handset and a full querty-based model.
    The market forgot about me. I hope Jolla will not.

  86. Not buying Lumia because no Hw keyboard available. The same goes for Jolla. My use case is that I write all the time, anywhere. A keyboardless phone is useless. HW keyboard in a durable phone (N900, E7, E70 and E6 have all suffered serious damage in my use) would be a game changer.

  87. Aye!

    With qwerty-otherhalf, I would preorder both the phone and keyboard without hesitation.

    Else, I might still buy a Jollaphone when my current phone passes away, but not with similar enthusiasm.

  88. Qwerty yes, and preferebly something like E7 layout. But also, this is mayby out of the thread but, a fair manufactured phone!

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    • hehe… my only reason to switch from my N900 to Jolla device is the HW QWERTY keyboard ¦-))))
      and already have a N9, thus if there isn’t one, what’s the point ?!?

  90. Aye! The touch screen in my current QWERTY phone is breaking and I have been unable to buy new one – because there are no qwerty smartphones available on European markets. Neither LG has not brought its Enact on European markets, nor has Motorola brought its Photon Q 4G LTE. Currently there are no qwerty smartphones available in Europe which is the only reason I have not already bought a new one. I will most likely buy the first qwerty smart phone that becomes available. If one does – and I have already contemplated giving up smart phones altogether if one does not..

  91. I don’t yet own a smartphone, but if I’m going to be looking for one (seems very probable now) I fancy that it would have to be sort of a portable PC/notebook which ideally should run a Linux/POSIX (kernel+shell+xorg) stack and could be easily fished out of the pocket to look at a map, type some text (shell/code/mail), surf me some internets. in other words, from what I have read, n9[0|5]0 (we hate you, nokia^Wmicrosoft) all over again. preferably no/minimal hipster stuff.

    so for me the answer is pretty obvious.

  92. Yes, it is a dealbreaker for me. I’m still using the N900, just to emphasize that this is not something I just write here. And yes, it is very likely that I’m part of a vocal minority! :) The good part is that I think this vocal minority (myself included) has a fat enough wallet to pay a large premium percentage for a phone that actually meet our needs.

  93. AYE!

    a Slider keyboard would REALLY set it apart from the other “smartphones”!
    (would be an instant-buy to replace my good-old E7)

  94. As said in above comments:

    “Put up another pre-order list for a QWERTY device and see how many names you get”

    If you guys do that, … write me up!!!!
    I think there’ll be A LOT of interest in such a device!

    AYE 4 the KEYBOARD!

  95. A way for us to get HW-QWERTY is here.

    Let’s Crowsource it, like they already did with this amazing phone.

    We need a way to make a clear deposit for Jolla phone + HW other half, I’m ready to pay 499€ for those combined, but without it I will not buy anything. 6 months, if there’s no combination on the market, the deposit goes back to your bank account.

    Will Jolla be ready for this? Does Jolla want this other half? Could this be the only way to make it possible?

    Another possibility for pre-order people to make statement for buying the qwerty-half, 99€ and going..

    Intrested in idea?

  96. Please please please please – Scandinavian Qwerty as my Nokia E7! I would absolutely buy a Jolla Qwerty.

  97. I jumped on the touch screen bandwagon with an HTC Desire HD. What a disaster. I hate typing on this thing, especially since I often am typing in a non-supported language (so auto-correct is more like auto-incorrect). I won’t buy another phone unless it has a decent keyboard. And I would LOVE for my next phone to be a Jolla.