Poll: iPhone Screen, BlackBerry Storm Screen, or Both?

Do you prefer the singular, solid piece of glass that is currently the iPhone screen, the big honking button/piezo electric multi-clicker that powers the BlackBerry Storm and its upcoming second edition, or do you yearn for the ability to customize haptics on your touch screen?

That's the question our sibling site, CrackBerry.com asked yesterday and the one we're repeating today. Since you're reading TiPb, we expect you're already super-elite when it comes to using the iPhone multitouch screen, so no explanation needed here.

For the first edition BlackBerry Storm, RIM floated a similar screen over a giant button that you had to press down every time you wanted to do something. It allowed separate navigation and execution, but arguably each at the expense of the other. With Storm 2 -- well, nobody knows what they're doing for sure (you can read CrackBerry Kevin's guesses) but it appears you can click on multiple locations simultaneously, mitigating the linear process of the older model.

Since the BlackBerry Storm 2 has no "clickability" when off, Kevin wonders if users will be able to control how much "clickability" it has when on as well, potentially allowing it to be turn on, turned down, or turned up.

Given each of these options, are you happy with the iPhone screen input method as-is, or does the Storm's way interest you?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Poll: iPhone Screen, BlackBerry Storm Screen, or Both?

35 Comments
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There's absolutely ZERO need or purpose for screens to move, click, or be felt. The iPhone has proven that. Period. End of story.

the storm 1 was terrible, but i'm curious to see what rim does with the storm 2. doesn't mean i'm going to switch though. in fact i'll be upgrading from the 3g to the 3gs in december.

Very useful poll considering nobody really has any idea how the Storm 2's screen is really going to work out.... A video showing a sponge with plastic wrap over it doesn't exactly let people know how well it will work in real world usage.
I tend to agree with fastlane and Mark. If it moves, it's more likely to break and currently I see no reason to need the movement. People like physical keyboards because they can feel the space between buttons without looking, not because the buttons 'give' when pressed. That said, maybe once people are actually able to give the Storm 2 a try, it will prove to actually be a good thing.

I don't think we know enough about the Storm 2 to make a call here. You really would have to get one in your hands to make the call.

Id personally much rather the Storm 2s new screen and i love that you have to actually click for conformation, since accidental presses are way too common on the iphone/ipod.
The idea for conformation is gold, its just the execution (i have an OG Storm) was sloppy the first time around.

I haateedddd (and still do) the current storms screen. I dont want to have too high of hopes for the new piezo screen...i mean it SOUNDS like it should be nice and work, but so did the first storm. Then played with it and realized i couldnt text. at ALL. the iphone is great but im also keeping my fingers crossed for this new storm

I like the idea of the storm 2 but with the ability to tone it done or all the way off. But don't get me wrong love me my iPhone 3GS!!!

I very much dislike the moving screen of the Storm. I was originally afraid of touchscreen but I find the the clicking sound of the iPhone to mentally give me that feedback I need over the actual movement on the Storm.

I don't quite get the Storm 2 or it's sponge thing, seems even stranger than the clicking screen from Storm 1. I could not work the Storm at all after using the iPhone.
I think the iPhone's touch screen is the best I have ever used. The glass just feels awesome for touching and is so easy to move your fingers around. It is also extremely accurate and "just works".
After using the iPhone I will never use a resistitive touch screen again. The Storm is just plain weird to me. RIM should just flat out copy the iPhone's screen. If people want clicks there are a dozen other BBs with keyboards.

Anyone wanting their iPhone screen to feel like a sponge should do some mushrooms... because Apple isn't going to make garbage like that.

That sponge guy in the video really had no idea what he was talking about. Who cares if the screen is rigid when it is off? Really, he was talking about buttons that weren't there and completely missed the boat on that one. Sponge my a$$. That made no sense.

First of all, it needs to be clear that the "sponge" video that guy made was really misleading. I work for a company that makes piezo material and actuators and piezo material does not become spongy when you apply voltage to it. It expands. Perhaps the phone applies a low displacement, high frequency voltage to the material so that is gives the user the illusion that it feels spongy. It is the only explanation that is feasible to me.
The guy in that video might be an expert in some things, but he was clueless about piezo material. I'm not saying his perception of what the phone is doing is wrong as far as how it feels, but the technical explanation certainly is...

Lol cmon storm1 screen not that bad. I have both and what makes texting a pleasure on iphone is its incredible autocorrection. Not sure why rim can't or refuses to implement something like iphones. That being said storm does have advantages to which some of u iphone users who do not have storm might not agree. The ability to highlight anything on screen and NOT activate it. I find this very useful when scrolling thru menus and apps. Like I said I have both phones and I certainly appreciate iphones beautiful and near flawless screen which btw scratches VEry easily. Storm screen does not scratch. Not sure how many if u guys know that. And storm is vERy durable. Always scared to drop iphone. Not sure if it would survive a drop but u don't get that feeling with storm even with its moving parts

Touch technology still needs a breakthrough. Some way of feeling which key you are on is needed.
The iPhone keyboard is mostly made usable by the auto-correction. When you must get random things right (eg. Passwords, numbers, etc.) it is a challenge.
Even having a physical keyboard doesn't help if it is poorly designed like the blackberry curve or the htc android phone.
The best ever keyboard design was the trëo 6xx. When a synthetic keyboard can match that we will have reached Nervana.

Yeah, even some people I know who were really excited about the arrival of the Storm 1 were left feeling a little out in the cold when they saw what RIM sent to the world. I do hope that the Storm 2 is better... But I'm not holding my breath. I personally tried a Storm 1 and found the whole experience very distracting and unnatural -- partly also why I will hold out with my MBP until Apple does something different with the new trackpads. Surfaces you're supposed to touch, drag, and tap that also flop around aren't very friendly IMO.
The UI improvements I would like to see in iPhone have nothing to do with hardware. Apple, take advantage of the soft interface and make the multiple-app/springboard navigation more friendly and intuitive. I beg you!

@Rick
I have had all three generations of iPhone, used all of them heavily and NOT ONCE did I get a scratch. I have no screen protector and keep the phone in my pockets with change and keys.
My wife now has my old 3G and she is MUCH more abusive with the phone, than I ever was. She has no protector and she keeps it in her purse that has everything under the sun in it. STILL NO SCRATCHES ON THE SCREEN. I'm just not believing your "they scratch VERY easy" comment.

@Fastlane:

There’s absolutely ZERO need or purpose for screens to move, click, or be felt. The iPhone has proven that. Period. End of story.

I disagree.
The iPhone has proven how horrible typing is on a non tactile feedback keyboard. Its the slowest most error prone full keyboard.
This is SO Blatantly Obvious that Apple ran out and patented a hepatic touch keyboard which will let you feel where keys are and perhaps when they are pressed.
They don't need to move. They don't need to click. But no real speed or accuracy is possible without some touch feedback.
Rene posted a story today about Apple moving to voice to text. IMHO, this is the first sign of Apple giving up on the keyboard as the principal means of text entry. A move that is long overdue in small devices if you ask me.

I can type much faster and far more accurately on the iPhone than on any computer keyboard or phone. I don't need to capitalize, type periods, use apostrophes, etc, etc. The problem is that people still try to push... and they concentrate too much on hitting the correct keys. Typing as fast as possible, then going back and spending a few seconds making a few corrections is way faster than typing on any other keyboard (with correct spelling, punctuation, etc).
It's not the iPhone's fault people "can't type on glass." it's their own fault. The need for tactile feedback is imaginary and a crutch, IMHO.
People need to lose the training wheels because, like it or not, the hard keyboards are going out with the horse and buggy and powdered wigs.
If Apple implements voice to text, are people going to whine about not hearing their own voice repeated back to them as they speak?

@ghop that's good that you and your wife have no scratches but I have only had my iphone for 3 mos and have 2 light scratches. That's why I wrote that I felt iphones were maybe on the fragile side

@icebike
I'm continually surprised by the amount of drivel you dribble on this site. What's blatantly obvious is that you haven't a freaking clue most of the time.
"Haptic feedback", and "Tactile feedback" are just meaningless buzzwords which stupid people use to pretend they have some kind of scientific authority. In reality, icebike, you have none.

I had a storm for 6mths with verizon I actually like the clicking screen the problem I had was the rest of the phone suked. I now have a 3GS and love the phone, the only thing is I don't like where they put the speaker cause when I type I cover the speaker and can't hear the clicking. I like to have some type of feed back when typing but over all love the phone

Icebike, who stuck a c0ck up your a$$? All you do is b!tch. I think it's time for you to change your tampon again.

@fastlane
I think it's partly a personality thing... to me, it's ridiculous to go fast and dirty and then go back and find and correct all the mistakes and then say "ah, but that's faster than trying to be accurate." That might suit me better if I didn't care and let the mistakes stand, but that's not me. Something is wrong with the input method if you can't get it right the first time. The worst hardware keyboard in the world is better than the best software keyboard. I ought to know -- I have an iphone (best soft keyboard in the world) and a Palm Pre (second-worst hard keyboard in the world), and I'm faster after a month on the Pre than after a year on the iPhone.
@brian -- you say "People like physical keyboards because they can feel the space between buttons without looking, not because the buttons ‘give’ when pressed." I say you're half right -- they do like the give as well. For instance, the TMobile G1's keyboard isn't very satisfying because the buttons don't give very much, even though it's big and nicely spaced.
Clearly though, the Storm 1 was a complete freaking dud, keyboard-wise. I tried typing on it and wanted to throw it through the plate glass window of the Verizon store.
How come none of these expensive-ass phones can do a keyboard half as good as a cheap LG enV?

Personally I've used both phones and like them both for
different reasons. I usually make mistakes on
The iphone but they are corecy by the software.
On the storm I don't make as many mistakes but when I
Do they usually are not corrected. I do like the storms
Surepress screen for navagation thru the browser it makes
Selecting a link or picture more accurate as I have big fingers
And tend to touch the wrong icon on the iphone. I guess it all
Sums up to what are you using the phone for I myself prefer the
Storm I am use to the screen and use it for light text and web browsing.

Personally I've used both phones and like them both for
different reasons. I usually make mistakes on
The iphone but they are corecy by the software.
On the storm I don't make as many mistakes but when I
Do they usually are not corrected. I do like the storms
Surepress screen for navagation thru the browser it makes
Selecting a link or picture more accurate as I have big fingers
And tend to touch the wrong icon on the iphone. I guess it all
Sums up to what are you using the phone for I myself prefer the
Storm I am use to the screen and use it for light text of course the
Push email(which RIM is known for) and web browsing.

I was a blackberry user for over two years and was absolutely convinced that I wouldn't adapt to using the iPHone. I do a huge amount of emailing and my biggest worry was how much slower (and less accurate) my typing would become on the iPhone. My old generation blackberry with it's tactile buttons made quick and accurate typing a breeze.
I was ready to hate the iPhone. I didn't want to like it at all. What surprised me was how quickly I got use to the iPhone. I quickly became very proficient at typing with it. Another thing that surprised me was that I continue typing in the Landscape mode, when I was convinced I needed to have the Portrait view to type.
The iPhone impressed me, and still does - every day!

I personally use both and can say that I really hope the storm 2 has more of a treo feel...it's a lot easier to play with the screen when I have nails...with both the iphone and the storm 1 with nails it takes longer to scroll and type because the screen won't reconize anything unless it's my full finger.