1284: Improved Keyboard
Title text: I'm always installing tons of weird experimental keyboards because it serves as a good reminder that nothing I was going to type was really worth the trouble.
Modern smartphones and tablets have touchscreen LCD displays which completely cover the device's surface; for this reason they rely on software keyboards to input text such as text messages. The simplest software keyboards simply display a standard QWERTY keyboard and allow the user to tap on the letters they wish to enter, but this is slow. More sophisticated software keyboards such as SwiftKey facilitate faster text entry through gestures supported by language models. Because this space is still under development, new software keyboards promising better text entry continue to appear.
Black Hat is annoyed about Cueball's text messages, so he sends Cueball a "better" keyboard that actually doesn't work — with the desired result that Cueball is not able to text him at all. His statement that the app is better than SwiftKey "in some ways" is literally true — it's better for him, not for Cueball.
According to the title text, Randall does often try out new keyboard apps, only to be reminded each time that he ends up wasting more time learning the new gestures than he saves in typing more quickly.
- [Cueball walks on screen, holding a phone, and starts talking to Black Hat.]
- Cueball: Did you get my texts?
- Black Hat: You should install this keyboard I found.
- Cueball: What? Why? Is it better than SwiftKey?
- Black Hat: In some ways.
- [Black Hat begins to walk off-panel.]
- Cueball: Ok, installing...
- Cueball: It's not working. The key area is blank—I can't type anything.
- [Black Hat has left. Cueball stares at his phone.]
- [Beat frame. Cueball lets his hands fall to their side.]
- Cueball: ... Hey.
- more improved analytic investigations on keyboards are done by Randall here: What-If - Phone Keypad