Lillian from Milwaukee isn’t quite sure what the deal is with mobile tech. She wasn’t sure how it works or why it was necessary and just what the heck is up with touch screens.  In part 1 of this series, we explained what wireless is and how it works and in part 2, we looked at what mobile devices do and why you might want one.

In part 3, let’s talk about touchscreen devices. I’ve had numerous questions about why anyone would want one and lots of you want to know why so many devices use the touchscreen interface.

If you’d like to learn more about the mechanics of touchscreens, click this link. In this article, I’m going to focus on why they’re becoming more popular.

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This had a lot to do with devices become smaller and more mobile. Toting around a keyboard and a mouse would pretty much kill the portability function of tablets and smartphones. You wouldn’t be able to open and use and app without making sure you have plenty of table space for your keyboard and mouse.  Small mobile devices were possible, but not practical until the introduction of reliable touchscreens.

With a touchscreen, you just touch where you want to go on the screen instead of moving a mouse pointer. Instead of clicking, you tap or double tap.

Successful business woman with a tablet computer

A touchscreen also lets you bring up a digital keyboard and type when you need to, then the keyboard is out of sight when you aren’t using it. A digital keyboard can be a tricky thing for a touch typist like myself to get used to.

I have a detachable keyboard for my 10 inch tablet, but find them impractical for smaller devices like my smartphone. I purchased a touchscreen tablet for my 76-year-old aunt who has no previous experience with touchscreens. She was concerned about the lack of a mouse at first, but within a few hours she was easily playing her favorite games, answering e-mail and surfing the Internet with just a tap on the screen.

Touchscreen devices can be easier to use for those with limited mobility and the majority of them will also take voice commands as well.

The push towards touchscreens has everything to do with easy mobility and portability. And why you may not actually need any of these devices, I do think you would enjoy them if you tried them out. Like every other new piece of technology like the phone, radio, TV, automobile and home computer – people got along just fine without them for a long darn time.  But once you get one, you like having it.

Around 30 years ago, my high school class went on a tour of IBM in Lexington Kentucky. The gentleman giving the tour showed up prototype touchscreens and also touch-activated keyboards without keys. He said that they had the technology, but found that people weren’t ready for it yet. The didn’t move efficiently on the touchscreen or type quickly on the virtual keyboard. He said that he hoped to see these products in use in the future. Well, the future is now!

~ Cynthia