One thing i find a bit annoying with the iPhone/iPod Touch is the never upgraded on-screen keyboard. I propose a new app for iPhone OS4 that gives a robust collection of functionality.
A new feature of iPhone OS4 will be multitasking. And so this app could be running concurrent with other apps and
the user can just flip back/forth to it and type stuff on this new keyboard, have the contents copied to the clipboard automatically while flipping back to the other app where one can begin pasting the results immediately.
Here are some important features of this new on-screen keyboard:
o Adjustable key sizes. The user can customize the size of the entire keyboard to as large as s/he wants. Useful for those with fat fingers or prefer to use their thumbs. Because keys can be very large there will be methods to see/hear what you type (explained later).
o Morse code hand gestures for each key e.g. tap/slide to represent each letter. Makes it easier to type keys without looking.
o User can scroll around the keyboard if the keyboard is larger than the display. They do this by flicking the finger across the area. It shows a translucent overlay of the current word you are typing if the canvas writing area is off-screen.
o Adjustable Transparency keys overlay. So the user can see more of the contents underneath the keyboard as they type. One thing i find annoying with the iPhone keyboard is that it tends to obscure the canvas area almost entirely while typing..this would help resolve that.
o While placing your finger on the screen just scroll/slide across the letters to form a word and the app smartly selects the word you are trying to type AFTER you lift your finger. No need to keep tapping each character to form a word.
o User selects the type of keyboard they want to use (under categories). For example, a custom keyboard designed for URL input (includes ".com", ".net", ftp, smart url picking, etc), numerical formulaic input, regular expression keyboarding, etc. They can also make their own custom keyboard. The type of keyboard selected determines the extended features made available e.g. if Email Keyboard then a button for "Attachment" and Emoticons appears.
o Supports auto-completing as you type (depending on the specific keyboard type you are using -- e.g. reg ex keyboard would bring up diff auto-complete results than say a word processor keyboard which brings up words from a dictionary).
o Save your input into memory banks for future use. Think of it like a multi-storage clipboard.
o Voice feedback on the key you are pressing. As you type you hear a voice say the letter. You can also verbally say the letter instead of typing.
o Haptic feedback via iPhone's vibration -- customize the vibration style for each key so when you type a key without looking you know which it is based on your custom vibration response.
o Set special gestures to represent common phrases to type (e.g. circle motion gesture will immediately write some stored text you saved on-screen or tap a letter multiple times will display something you saved)
o Color coated key stamps. For those who want to mark common keys with color for better visibility.