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There must be better virtual keyboards


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  1. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well, I continue to search for the optimum virtual keyboard (I have a Droid).

    I've used:

    Default Keyboard - Not bad but far too basic lacking even some of the simplest features.

    Better Keyboard - A good effort but I hate it's secondary key feature. Instead of a brief hold it's a brief hold AND a select.

    HTC Touch Keyboard - Very good keyboard but not for the Droid. Low resolution, doesn't size right and lacks any AI to deal with situations like making "dont" show up as "don't".

    Swype/Shapewriter - Both were interesting for about a week and then the novelty wore off.
     

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  2. DarthSkirata

    DarthSkirata Member

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    I've heard that Swype and Shapewriter are the best ones. Some people on another forum were saying Better Keyboard was good.
     
  3. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I simply can't agree. They're okay but I'm much better using two fingers than dragging around. It's great when it works but both are WAY too prone to errors. You spend half the time correcting its misunderstanding of what you've pointed at.

    Frankly if the Droid had a decent real keyboard this wouldn't be an issue but it's that bad that I prefer not to use it.
     
  4. wmm

    wmm Well-Known Member

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    YMMV, of course, but it's taken me most of two weeks and maybe 5000 words using ShapeWriter for me to develop any real proficiency with the keyboard. Now that I have, though, my error rate is way down and entering text this way has become very efficient. ShapeWriter is easy to get started with, but it does require practice -- if for no other reason than that you can't see the keys you're tracing to a lot of the time because your finger is in the way! After some thousands of words, the exact geometry of the keyboard becomes embedded and you stop fractionally missing the keys, which is what causes the errors.

    Whether it's worth it or not to spend the time to become proficient is a judgment call, of course. For me it was, if for no other reason than that I like to write while lying on my back in bed before going to sleep, and I can't use the traditional two-thumbs grip in that position without dropping the phone on my head! :)
     
  5. fireshaper

    fireshaper Well-Known Member

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    I rather like Swype for short typing, but when it comes down to it I generally use the hardware keyboard for my typing. I haven't had any problems with either of them and only a few times I've had to fix errors from Swype which I would expect as the dictionary can't have every word that I want to use in it.
     
  6. mkhopper

    mkhopper Well-Known Member

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    Keep an eye out for TouchPal. It was in beta back in November for a while and then was removed from the market. They're supposed to be re-releasing it soon in Q1 or Q2 of this year.

    In my opinion, it is much better than any other soft-keyboard out there at the moment.
     
  7. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I actually found a beta of TouchPal and gave it a quick try. It was pretty darned impressive but buggy and clearly not ready for use yet including graphics glitches and such.
     
  8. Mercutio

    Mercutio Well-Known Member

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    I bought Better Keyboard and gave Swype a decent chance. I've owned Blackberries from the Curve series for some time as well as various LG and Samsung hard keyboards.

    I can type rather quickly with all Droid keyboards, but prefer using the stock soft portrait keyboard. I am sufficiently fast with it that I'd like to have multitouch enabled so that I can use both thumbs.

    Better Keyboard is decent, but no better than stock. I haven't seen any Swype video demos where the user is even remotely near my input speed.

    SmartKeyboard is new and in beta. It's promising, in that it enables multitouch, but last I checked the dev was still adding a few key features. He was updating it daily though, so it's worth a look if you think multitouch would be beneficial to you.
     
  9. Agrajag

    Agrajag Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks Mercutio.

    I just re-added Better Keyboard yesterday and again feel it's just not great. I too like the stock keyboard but want the option of dual-purpose keys (hold a key to get its secondary function).

    SmartKeyboard sounds interesting. I'll give that a look. Multitouch seems obvious and beneficial. Curious that few see that.
     
  10. patchez

    patchez Member

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    Swype gets my Vote!
    give her a try again, it's actually quite efficient and accurate

    ps. no point in using two hands for a phone... ie. how else are you supposed to text and drive at the same time? JK
    (PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE AND TEXT)
     
  11. trekgraham

    trekgraham Well-Known Member

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    just downloaded and installed smartkeyboard, aside from word correction and suggestions, types super fast and full mt!! man im loving this, this polished up and couple things added and this will make droid perfection.
     
  12. google123

    google123 Well-Known Member

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    Now, see this is why they need to hurry with that 2.0/2.1 update so I can try out TouchPal and SmartKeyboard!!! :D
     
  13. gizbug

    gizbug Well-Known Member

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    Why is SWYPE not listed on the market?
     
  14. shrink57

    shrink57 Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read it is not officially out yet - legend has it that it is a leaked beta.
     
  15. wmm

    wmm Well-Known Member

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    That's not a legend; it's true. Swype's business model, as it currently stands, is to market their keyboard to device manufacturers who incorporate it into the built-in software for a given handset and then pay Swype a royalty for every device sold. There's a lot of additional overhead required for selling to and supporting individual consumers, and they don't have that yet. They are obviously looking at that as an possibility (hence the existence of the installable Android version, which was distributed to a small group of testers), but at least officially they don't want any direct-to-consumer distribution yet, and the version currently floating around was leaked in violation of a nondisclosure agreement. (At least that's what I read in a forum posting from someone claiming to represent the company.)
     

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