Why Chromebook keyboards have lowercase letters

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    Why Chromebook keyboards have lowercase letters

    Why Chromebook keyboards have lowercase letters


    Posted: 21 Feb 2024

     Google Blog:

    You’ll probably notice that all the keys on a Chromebook keyboard are lowercase. And they've been that way since the first Chromebook prototype, the CR-48, was launched in 2010.


    Lowercase keys as far as the eye can see…

    “Early on, we realized it would be great if the keyboard was really approachable,” says Alexander Kuscher, a senior director on the ChromeOS team who was involved with early Chromebook designs. “So we asked ourselves, ‘What can we take away? What is the minimum number of keys that we have to have? How can we make this a great experience?’”

    That’s when the lowercase lightbulb went off.

    “We're so used to the keyboard being capitalized, but if you're going to a text field to start a document and you start typing on a traditional keyboard, the keys don't match what shows up on the screen, right? You press a capitalized ‘D,’ but a lowercase ‘d’ appears,” says Donny Reynolds, a senior product manager on the Chromebook team. “So we decided Chromebooks would be different: If you press a key, then that’s what you’ll get.”


    Android kicked off the lowercase keyboard revolution back when the original G1 launched in 2008.

    At that time, many phones and tablets already had simplified modern keyboards — Android phones launched with a lowercase setup when they debuted in 2008 — but most laptops and desktops could still date their keyboard design back to the first commercially successful typewriter, 1874’s Remington No. 1, which could only type in uppercase characters. “If you look at many modern PCs or laptops, their keyboards still carry a lot of legacy from those early computing days: all-caps keyboards, insert keys, home, page up and down, caps lock,” Donny says.

    The team’s goal was to come up with a more modern, less confusing keyboard that addressed a number of these legacy features. For example, Chromebooks don’t have "Sys Req" keys, and that concerning “Break” key is nowhere to be seen. And there are just a pair of repeated keys — control and alt — on each side of the keyboard instead of a confusing array of function and platform-specific keys.

    But there is one key that the team added: the Everything Button. Located on the left side of the keyboard (where you’ll usually traditionally find the Caps Lock key), the Everything Button started out as a search key, complete with a magnifying glass icon, before shifting to its modern iteration: a solid circle surrounded by a ring.


    Chrome’s Everything Key — the circle on the middle left-hand side of the keyboard — is another Chromebook innovation that sets our keyboards apart.

    “We believed at the time that the future of computing was going to be more search and less shouting at people with caps locK — which turned out to be mostly true,” Donny says. “And now the Everything Button has expanded to all these different purposes: searching the web, finding apps, files, Drive and more.”

    We work with manufacturing partners on making sure these things come to all Chromebooks and Chromebook users. Our guidelines include requirements for performance, speed and battery life, but also things like how wide the keys can be, what the pitch of the keyboard is to ensure a good ergonomic experience, and — of course — that the keys are lowercase.

    “When we started building Chromebooks, we asked, ‘How can computers be different, and without any of the baggage that they’ve had for decades?’” says Donny. “Appearing friendlier and less intimidating to use is a big part of our computer design, and I think the lowercase keyboard really has become almost its own kind of iconic branding to help achieve that goal.”


     Source:

    Google designers explain why Chromebook keyboards have lowercase letters
    Brink's Avatar Posted By: Brink
    21 Feb 2024


  1. Posts : 15,502
    Windows10
       #1

    Just about every keyboard since the dawn of manual typewriters has the letters in upper case.

    Why Chromebook keyboards have lowercase letters-kb.png

    Actually for people with poorer vision, upper case letters are larger and probably easier to read. I reckon it would be easier to confuse lowercase letters e.g. i, j and l (as opposed to I, J, L).

    All that verbal nonsense about the number of keys - there are 26 letters whether in lower or upper case!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 7,919
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit
       #2

    This is because young software engineers don't write using capital letters and rarely use vowels
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 282
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    Just more marketing crap and this need to "change" where change is not necessary and can (and will) create nothing but cumbersomeness.

    A lot of companies chose to use lower case, particularly in their brand names and I find it VERY low IQ bipedal chimp. It doesn't surprise me Google would do this as well.


    It also doesn't surprise me on how the new generation names their kid's the most asinine crap of all names based on most letters from the right side of the keyboard either...

    Chimps...


    Lucy's Story | Institute of Human Origins
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  4. Posts : 7,919
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    F22 Simpilot said:
    Just more marketing crap and this need to "change" where change is not necessary and can (and will) create nothing but cumbersomeness.

    A lot of companies chose to use lower case, particularly in their brand names and I find it VERY low IQ bipedal chimp. It doesn't surprise me Google would do this as well.


    It also doesn't surprise me on how the new generation names their kid's the most asinine crap of all names based on most letters from the right side of the keyboard either...

    Chimps...


    Lucy's Story | Institute of Human Origins
    Don't be unkind to chimps often cleverer than some humans
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  5. Posts : 15,502
    Windows10
       #5

    Steve C said:
    Don't be unkind to chimps often cleverer than some humans
    IMO - most humans, especially "products" of dumbed down education.


    Douglas Adams - HHGTTG

    Man thinks they are cleverer than dolphins because they work and build things whereas dolphins just muck around playing in the sea.

    Dolphins think they are cleverer than man for precisely the same reasons.

    I've got to side with the Dolphins on this one LOL.
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  6. Posts : 7,919
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit
       #6

    cereberus said:
    IMO - most humans, especially "products" of dumbed down education.


    Douglas Adams - HHGTTG

    Man thinks they are cleverer than dolphins because they work and build things whereas dolphins just muck around playing in the sea.

    Dolphins think they are cleverer than man for precisely the same reasons.

    I've got to side with the Dolphins on this one LOL.
    Regarding HHGTTG, your profile message 6*9 does equal 42 needs to be qualified with which number base you are using (message from intelligent chimp)
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  7. Posts : 282
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    cereberus said:
    IMO - most humans, especially "products" of dumbed down education.


    Douglas Adams - HHGTTG

    Man thinks they are cleverer than dolphins because they work and build things whereas dolphins just muck around playing in the sea.

    Dolphins think they are cleverer than man for precisely the same reasons.

    I've got to side with the Dolphins on this one LOL.
    :) Different paradigms... i'm lovin it.

    If dolphins advanced, created elections, rules, laws and whatnot, eventually they'll create keyboards with lowercase letters. LOL


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  8. Posts : 7,919
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit
       #8

    Newsflash - Google announces new Chromebook keyboard for Australia:

    ɐ q ɔ p ǝ ɟ ƃ ɥ ᴉ ɾ ʞ l ɯ u o d b ɹ s ʇ n ʌ ʍ x ʎ z
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  9. Posts : 1,252
    Windows 10
       #9

    Well the caps lock key is useless, i can agree with that. The numpad is pretty useless today too its still functional for certain things but the whole right side of the keyboard is pretty obsolete we don't use those function anywhere near 90% of the left side.

    the casing is eh neither here or there. Logically it makes sense.
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