The BlackBerry Virtual Keyboard – Simply Genius


Let’s rewind ourselves to the dawn of time. That was, of course, when there was a big fanfare and the Z10 and Q10 were unveiled! There was Thorsten, kind of awkwardly doing the big reveal thing, then loads of people clapped a phone (awkward!!) and THEN they started to bring out some of the details of what the Z10, particularly, had to offer.

One of the BIG things was the keyboard.

I remember they then presented the detail. That this keyboard was new for a touch device. Not only had BlackBerry put the letters and numbers in sensible places, they’d also make it ‘learn’ what you typed. It had floating words that appeared between the frets (that was a bit baffling at first) and, get this, it actually MAPPED HOW YOU TYPED to minimise typing erorrrrsss.

Oh, PLUS, there was an auto correct in the space bar (which actually works!) and, if you wanted to change the characters on the screen, you simply swiped down. Once you learned to do that instead of pressing the 123 button, it was a joy.

Then, of course, you swiped once from right to left to delete a word. Very handy! And don’t forget the fact that if it detected a full stop it put the capital letter and EVEN THE SPACE AFTER IT in for you. In fact, even though it still did the ‘capital letter if you hold it down thing’ it became pretty much unnecessary.

Back to those floaty fret word thingys. When you worked out that they were suggested words based on your typing history and that the letter you had to swipe up on the ‘throw’ the word into the sentence was the first letter of the suggested word you were away. It really became very simple. The trick with the Z10 (and later the Z30) was to just bla(1?)ze away. Let you fingers do the walking, you BlackBerry will make sure you do the talking, with spelling, punctuation and grammar corrected as you go along.

All of which made me, at least, look a damn sight smarter than I actually am. In fact, the reason I fel comfortable moving back to physical keys in the Passport was that the main uses I needed (the swipes) were STILL available! On a physical keyboard!! Not like that cobbled together strap on concoction….

Meanwhile, Androidian detractors took one look at the BlackBerry VKB and screamed ‘it’s just Swype!! In fact Swype is better!!’ Er…



And over in the land of the terminally bewildered they are STILL dealing with this:


Al least it screams when you press it too long. Before breaking, obviously.

No, my friends, it’s fair to say that the original BlackBerry virtual keyboard, now available to make Androidians efficient and BlackBerrians thankful when they use such a thing, is an absolute work of genius.

Not iGenius, obviously.

That would rob the internet of over 2 Billion misspelled memes.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.

  • Anthony

    On the iPhone keyboard if you hold the “K” (Kaboom) key long enough the phone will catch fire.

    On the Samsung Note 7 you hold down the “S”, S = Smoke show