For those of you that have been using mobile devices for quite some time, this should be a treat! Graffiti, the text-input method for Palm OS devices, is now available for Android!
You’ve got to remember, way back then we didn’t have 1GHz processors and a gazillion meg of RAM on our phones. Most of them weren’t even phones at all, they were just a “PDA” — a Personal Digital Assistant. They were our digital address book, calendar, to-do list, and if we docked them to our desktop computer we could even get and send email!
The devices just weren’t all that powerful, and getting text into them was frustrating. Windows CE (what would eventually become Windows Mobile) used an on-screen keyboard that you’d “peck” at with your stylus (that’s right, you had to use a stick to poke at your screen, not fingers). Palm used a more novel approach called Graffiti that was almost like writing on the screen, albeit one “letter” at a time.
I say that in quotation marks because Graffiti used a special set of single-stroke characters that were somewhat analogous to the letters they represented. Some were uppercase, some were lowercase, and some looked more like Greek symbols. I never could get the hang of Graffiti, so I went with Newton instead. (Newton had a more powerful processor and could recognize written words — most of the time.)
Graffiti was improved and today the symbols closely mimic “real” letters. Combine that with the power of modern processors and slap it into the Android OS and you’ve got not only a cool retro-throwback, but a very fast, and very functional way to input text — and it’s now finger-friendly!
Graffiti is available free in the Market.
Original Graffiti Gestures
Graffiti 2 Gestures