MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2010

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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CLOSER LOOK TEXTING GOT YOU DOWN? 4ITHUMBS HAS YOU COVERED WORDS BY JONE DEVLIN Many people who are first-time users of the iPhone initially find the flat screen keyboard frustrating. One of these individuals was Jerry Rosengarten, 4iThumbs managing director, restaurateur and longtime Apple fan (and customer). But Rosengarten, (unlike most first time iPhone users) turned his frustration around, and came up with 4iThumbs, an application that makes learning to type on a flat screen as easy as Q-W-E-R-T-Y. MacDirectorycaught up with Rosengarten recently and he elaborated on both his 4iThumbs software and his long history with Apple products. “I have been using Apple products since the first MacIntosh. In fact my whole office is Apple and it is a company I have relished doing business with.” This love of Apple products meant that he was one of the first in his crowd to have an iPhone; and, like most users, he adored it, but found the flat screen keypad a little unwieldy. Rosengarten, who described himself as “someone who, in his lifetime, has had to go from a traditional typewriter, to a keyboard, to a standard phone keypad,” continued, “I agree with Steve Jobs that a flat screen is a better form of typing, unfortunately, its harder to do. So, like with everything else, we had that initial learning curve, but once we got used to (the newer technology) we loved it.” 4iThumbs, therefore, was and is designed specifically to flatten that initial learning curve. The way the product works is by adding “bumps” to the screen so that the user can actually feel the keypad. According to 4iThumbs Web site, users will type faster and more accurately within minutes, and will even be able to type without looking. Custom designed for the iPhone, 4iThumbs is also a screen protector and glare reducer. It is fully detachable, adds no weight or dimension to the iPhone, and can be stored right on the back of your phone when not in use, meaning that those of us who are famous for losing phone attachments are in the clear. Meanwhile, when on the phone, the user can see the full screen, thanks to 4iThumbs. It also comes in portrait and landscape modes (or both if you like to switch up). The product, said Rosengarten, has been doing well, and was just introduced at MacWorld, where, “It had an exceptional response.” He elaborated, “Our application is concave, rather than convex, which means you don’t hit the button, you hit in between the buttons. So people would come up to our booth and try it by hitting the buttons, and they’d say “Hey this doesn’t work!” and they’d walk away. And I’d go after them and say “What seems to be the trouble” and they’d tell me and I’d take them back to the booth and demonstrate the product and explain it to them. They’d try again and the next thing you know, they were sold.” Rosengarten also talked about an unintended outcome of his product, one that has left him both pleased and humbled. “A lot of older and disabled people have said this product has helped them, by allowing them to know where they are on the iPhone.” Currently, 4iThumbs is looking for distributors while trying to get the word out about their product. As a result of MacWorld, online orders have jumped, and Rosengarten confessed that he would love, more than anything, to be able to someday see his product in Apple stores. Meanwhile, he continues to work on other iPhone applications as well as keeping up with his restaurant business and, of course, enjoying his upgraded texting abilities on his iPhone. 4iThumbs is available at . The product cost is $14.95 for Portrait Mode, $16.95 for Landscape mode, and $19.95 for both Portrait and Landscape. 116 MacDirectory

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