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When inputting text on the last text field in a form on an iPhone and Android app, the enter key can be highlighted or (on iOS anyway) renamed "done", so that tapping it will submit the form. Therefore a "submit" button is not strictly necessary.

Not including the "submit" button means less visual clutter. On the other hand, perhaps some people sometimes don't tap the enter key after they finish inputting the final text.

Do you think it's good practice to always include a submit button? Do you think it makes a difference whether we're talking about an Android or iPhone app?

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Some browsers might have a strange keyboard implementation or on Android a custom keyboard without a submit button. So you'll need a submit button for those situation. –  Barfieldmv Jan 13 '12 at 14:22
    
@Nicolas: If we've answered your question, you can select the best solution so that if anyone comes across the same problem in the future, they know the course of action. –  dnbrv Feb 7 '12 at 18:36
    
From my experience, iOS apps usually don't have submit buttons and Android apps do. This may be because Android's conventional form UI closely resembles traditional web UI, while iOS doesn't. –  JoJo Feb 15 '12 at 6:10
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3 Answers 3

The presence of a submit button is a large part of what makes a form apparently a form; excluding it on Mobile may confuse users who prefer to touch buttons or are unaware of the Enter key to submit.

The submit button is also a lovely visual indicator of the end of a form; if I saw a form without a submit button on a web page I might assume the page didn't completely load.

It's important to know that while Enter to submit is standard, it's not very discoverable. iOS solves this by changing the enter key to Done and the Kindle Fire's keyboard changes it's name to Go, but not all non-iOS keyboards are guaranteed to do this.

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Thanks for the well thought out response. In the particular scenario I'm thinking of I can't see anyone thinking it wouldn't be a form, but clearly from you've said a button is required for the Android design. –  Coja Jan 13 '12 at 22:48
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The Enter key is located in the bottom right-hand corner on both iOS and Android. When users are entering data, they hold their devices with 2 hands and type with thumbs. Such hand & finger positions block the lower corners from users' eyes. This and the acquired instinct of following forms linearly will result in confused users who miss the visual cue.

Even if there is a significant population of users who know & use the submit functionality of the Enter key, it never hurts to have 2 ways to submit a form (it doesn't "clutter" interface as much as other controls).

Also see questions on Edit, Save, and Cancel buttons in forms (one and two).

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Persuasive answer! Thanks! –  Coja Jan 13 '12 at 22:49
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I personally prefer the 'Done' button to dismiss the keyboard, and a submit button on the view either on the navigation bar on a one screen form. On a multi-screen form I prefer it on the bottom of the view as a nice BIG button.

If the keyboard has a form assistant at the top, where there is a 'Done' button, then I'd expect there to be a different 'Submit' button on the bottom right corner, in that case since a user can dismiss the keyboard, you should have an explicit button as described above.

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Hi Mica, welcome to UX! We usually expect answers to involve facts and references, not personal preferences. That's not to say that every answer must contain hard data, but if you could dive a little deeper and explain why you think that's the best solution, it would improve your answer. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky Feb 15 '12 at 6:27
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