I seemed to recall a web form bringing up the phone keypad (nice big numbers, for when you only want to input numbers) on my iPhone’s web browser, Safari. I looked into it, and found a apple web dev thread (in reverse order, as it’s an e-mail) saying that if you use name=”phone” in the input field, it will bring up the phone pad. That’s great. Sadly, it apparently breaks in iPhone OS 2.0. (Don’t know about zip, as Ben Nadel found, though).
I was looking at Web Forms 2.0, a part of HTML5/WHATWG, and it seems to make all this unnecessary. There’s the ability to specify what a field is, and hopefully the iPhone will adopt it and act better. But non iPhone users might not understand what I mean here…
On the iPhone, in the address book, clicking in the e-mail field (or clicking in the to field in a new e-mail) will produce the keypad you see advertised, but at the bottom there will be buttons for @, ., and .com. This is because these are things that go in an e-mail address, not a space button. On websites, it’s / . and .com. Again, things that actually go in a website address. This is why the input types of email and url are great. date is great too, because the iphone uses… well, it’s like an odometer with rolling wheels, and you can ‘roll’ to Dec 31, 1955 easily. Much easier than typing it in.
In short, Web Forms 2.0 will enable the iPhone “virtual” keypad, and other virtual select options, to be just so much more awesome.