I’m always watching for any comments on the Textblade from places other than this forum too and over time, those people complaining (which is fine, depending on what they are saying - sometimes they just make stuff up) tend to periodically make statements about how the TB will be too late to the market and technology will have passed it by.
Most of us here know the most common tech “advances” that are supposed to make the TB meaningless - that being voice dictating. So I’ll start with that one.
First, we are not nearly close to that happening. Even if a phone, etc, could handle all the different ways people talk, there are all kinds of errors that pop up in grammar (two, to, too) or (they’re, their, there), not to mention words that are just not typically included for a given place. Just try to dictate some words we use a lot in Hawaii, especially locations, and watch the unrecognizable results! Then we have the human problem. When I type, it is pretty easy to think what I want to say just ahead of what I’m already typing. Trying to dictate, even if it is accurate, requires some training of the person doing the dictation. It feels extremely uncomfortable to me. We don’t usually think about how often we pause, say, “uh”, etc, in normal CONVERSATION, but you sure will notice that awkwardness when dictating! After all, this isn’t like the old days where an executive may dictate to a recording machine which a secretary later types up, removing all the odd stuff.
We are also seeing people acting like the iPad’s new keyboard will kill the TB. Well, I’ve written about that and certainly many people will be happy with it, especially since it includes a track pad. Fine. They may not want a TB. The fact that the magic keyboard costs far more may be justified by that trackpad being included. And that you don’t have to assemble anything to use it. Just open the iPad. Same advantage with the old keyboard covers, but even better. Also heavier. A lot.
OTOH, you can only use that with one ipad. And you also have the question of, when you later upgrade to another ipad, even if similar size, will there be a point where you simply can’t use the same magic keyboard for a new ipad? You certainly can’t go to a different size ipad! So that can be an additional cost, besides the starting price.
Nor can you use it with anything else. But let’s say I really like that ipad keyboard, buy it, and am happy with it. Does that render the TB meaningless? Heck, does it render any decent standard keyboard meaningless?
Nope, not even close. Using my own case as an example, here are some advantages of still having a TB:
I can use it 6 devices (apparently 12 in the new firmware so I’m going to go with that). So I can use a single keyboard with my Mac, my laptop (granted, it’s from 2008 and I don’t normally use it except for a couple things new versions of the OS don’t let you do anymore), my Apple TV, my 9.7 inch ipad pro (the apple keyboard won’t work with this), my ipad mini, my main iphone, an older phone I keep as a backup in case something happens to my main one. Oh, and one connection to a dongle so I can always plug that into any computer. Let’s see, that totals 8 devices from one keyboard. Which means it leaves me 4 more. Well, I may want one or two with a standard qwerty map in case someone wants to try my TB but doesn’t know dvorak, which I use. And I could set some specialty layouts for games or something. Now, just that one item has a ton of advantages for the TB. Moving on:
There is an inherent advantage to only needing to use one kind of keyboard for all typing. No need to adjust when switching from a laptop, to an ipad with magic keyboard, to my desktop, etc.
Then we have the advantage with RSI. I don’t see how any keyboard that makes you reach more for keys can be as good for this as the TB.
Customization. This is a tricky one since I gather there are apps that will let you customize other keyboards even if they do not have that capability built in. Still, this is somewhat of an advantage for the TB.
Some will argue that the extreme portability of the TB doesn’t matter to them. Which is fine. But my TB usage is close to 100% on my desktop where I have no need for portability. The only extensive time I use it with my ipad or iphone is when I fly to the mainland for a couple weeks and take just my ipad instead of the laptop that I used to take. Much easier.
In summary, since regular keyboards will still be with us for years, the TB certainly has not had technology pass it by!
Of course, it still has to actually get to GR, but that is a different discussion.