Text fields

If users need to type in your application, you can include text input fields. You can place the cursor in an editable text field. Users can reposition the cursor by tapping another text field.

Keyboards

A virtual keyboard appears on the screen when users tap a text field. Users can hide the keyboard by touching the screen outside the text field or by tapping the Hide Keyboard icon on the keyboard.

You can display a specific type of virtual keyboard, depending on the type of input that is required. In addition to the default keyboard, you can choose from a selection of keyboards, such as a keyboard designed for typing in an email or a keyboard designed for typing in a browser. For example, if users need to type an address for a website, you can display the URL keyboard, which includes a .com button that lets users type the URL for a website more quickly. For each text field in your application, make sure that the most appropriate keyboard appears when users touch the field.

In a form, users can press the Enter key to move the cursor to the next text field or UI component (for example, a Submit button). This approach makes it easier for users to complete the form. In specific instances, you might consider changing the label of the Enter key. For example, at the end of a form, you could change the label from Enter to Submit.

The virtual keyboard uses technology that is designed to predict words as users type them. Users can tap a suggested word or press the Space key to choose a word from the list.

Best practices

  • Try to minimize the amount of text that users need to type. Typing on a virtual keyboard can be slower and more difficult than typing on a physical keyboard. Allow users to choose items from pickers where possible. In addition, try to store and display information that users enter so that they don't have to enter the same information again and again.
  • If the primary task on a screen is to type text (for example, replying to a message or adding a new contact), then display the virtual keyboard when the screen opens.
  • If the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is connected to a physical keyboard, do not open the virtual keyboard automatically when users need to type text.
  • Suppress word prediction in text fields that will probably include text that is not likely to be in the dictionary (for example in password, phone number, URL, email, and name fields). When users are typing, they might be annoyed if the keyboard tries to predict words for these types of fields.
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