Touchscreen data-entry is something that is being worked on, since, on the iPhone, it currently sucks less than on other devices and their operating systems, but at least could do and be more than what it currently is. The ideal data-entry method would be geared around graphical buttons with automatically-generated and bare meanings imparted to them.
Importing data from desktop-centric apps
To have such an emphasis upon graphical cues rather than letter-by-letter textual cues for information input means that alot of the data (textual) that is used by the graphical cues will have to be imported inside the touchscreen device and delegated to particular uses prior to being used as the primary data entry method.
On the iPhone OS, the following can be imported inside the touchscreen device from a desktop-centric gateway application (iTunes, web-based services) to be initiated or found and accessed inside the OS natively with graphically-centric, minimal to no text, input:
- Web Bookmarks and Bookmarklets
- Text RSS feeds
- Podcast RSS feeds and files
- Movies/Video/TV Shows
- Social networking data
With a touchscreen data-entry model, the focus is less placed upon entering data letter-by-letter. Instead, greater focus is placed on entering whole ideas, words, definitions, and sentences with one-tap.
For PIM and non-PIM needs
This situation, of course, is ideal for the iPhone OS' PIM capabilities, which are expanded further by the native social networking apps which import more PIM data from the Web. The data entry is minimal at best, with most of the PIM data being imported from an external source and processed on the desktop rather than entered natively and sent from mobile device to server (or desktop).
However, for data entry which falls outside the PIM realm for which the iPhone OS is increasingly ideal, the iPhone OS falls squarely on its face, or GUI if you prefer.
Data entry for non-PIM (wiki editing, command line, document editing, anything else text-centric) apps is not automated to provide a graphical rundown of possible next entries into the form. Even for document viewing, there is a wide visability gap between the iPhone OS viewing capabilities and the layout of a document, such as a web page (unless the web page or document is designed to be accessed on the screen resolution of the iPhone OS).
Turning documents into apps
An idea to turn a wiki page into a browsable touchscreen app is to break the page up into width-spanning, fat-finger-ready buttons by the wikilinks and hyperlinks that are placed into the webpage. The right side of each button could have an arrow that indicates the forward page-loading action that tapping the button would create, "linking" the text to the upcoming page.
This would be helped by the desktop writing and publication of shorter wiki articles.