by Taylor Martin | October 17, 2013 6:35 PM
SwiftKey is, undoubtedly, one of the best third-party keyboards for Android around. It's all of the great features you could ask for in a soft keyboard, packed into a single keyboard – gesture typing, word prediction, cloud sync, themes, etc. Today, the company released the SwiftKey 4.3 public beta, called the Layouts for living update. As the nickname suggests, this SwiftKey update comes with various, user-definable layouts, as well as several other helpful features. Watch the video below to see the 4.3 beta in action. And if you'd like to try it out yourself, check out SwiftKey's blog.
by Taylor Martin | June 20, 2013 7:01 AM
Despite how far technology has advanced and all the new devices that have come to be in the past century, we're still using virtually the same exact method to input text – the QWERTY, Dvorak, or some similar key layout. Who's to say those are the most efficient layouts for entering text via mobile? Why would a key layout made specifically for a typewriter also be the best layout for pocket-sized devices that didn't exist until well over 100 years after the invention of the typewriter? More and more people are beginning to rethink the keyboard, specifically for mobile use, and Minuum is a ...
by Michael Fisher | June 17, 2013 12:42 PM
The war between the virtual and the concrete has been over for some time, and there's no real dispute that the former won. Software keyboards now dominate the smartphone space in no uncertain terms. But the conflict was long and protracted, with manufacturers like BlackBerry and Motorola fiercely holding on for years, fighting the good fight like those infamous WWII Japanese holdouts - even after it became clear that virtual keyboards were the wave of the future. That's not to say that physical keypads are entirely obsolete; "losing the war" in this context just means they're no longer the ...
by Taylor Martin | May 31, 2013 2:08 PM
I got my start in the tech industry with BlackBerry. I was a fiend. I've owned dozens of different models, and I knew my way around the software like the back of my hand. I made my own themes in my free time, and was constantly flashing unofficial software and on the prowl for new apps and games. Above all, when BlackBerry failed to innovate and change direction with the rest of the smartphone market, there was one feature that I found unbelievably difficult to give up: the physical keyboards. BlackBerry was – and still is, for that matter – renowned for its second-to-none keyboards. ...
by Taylor Martin | April 2, 2013 7:02 PM
No matter what generation you're from, what year you were born, we all learned to type practically the same way – on some variant of the keyboard that stemmed from the original, spaced keys of the typewriter. Ever since, that original layout has been twisted, turned and conformed but never truly lost. It's the design that inspires the key layout on the software keyboards on practically every smartphone in the world. Modern software keyboards are practically flattened versions of their hardware peripheral counterparts, with the same QWERTY and regional-specific key layouts, give or take a ...
by Taylor Martin | March 20, 2013 7:43 PM
Typing on small touchscreens, while it has improved over the years, still isn't the best experience. That's to proprietary interfaces from manufacturers like HTC, Samsung and Motorola, many stock keyboards lack useful, innovative features. Fortunately, one of the many advantages of Android is the ability to switch out the stock applications and services with alternatives. The stock launcher, for instance, can be hidden away an never used again simply by downloading a third-party launcher from Play and set the new one to default. Switching out the stock keyboard is just as simple. Download ...
by Stephen Schenck | March 19, 2013 11:06 AM
Virtual on-screen keyboard software has come a tremendous way over the past several years, getting smarter about predictive text and offering new ways to input text, like via swipe gestures. Is there still room for improvement? One start-up thinks so, and wants to minimize the screen real estate eaten up by traditional keyboard software, while also offering some new ways to interact. Minuum is essentially a linear keyboard – all the keys live in one row. While it usually lives along the bottom of the screen, the keyboard can be resized and repositioned at your whim. With so many keys so ...
by Michael Fisher | December 12, 2012 2:53 PM
The Galaxy S III's barely old enough to warrant an After The Buzz episode, but we're already talking about the Galaxy S IV. In any other venue, that would be a sign of jumping the shark; on the Pocketnow Weekly, it's just business as usual. Tune in for our best speculation on what Samsung might include in its next sensational superphone, from unbreakable screens to bone conduction. Then keep on listening for an extended debate about the merits of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 versus iOS, drilling down into their UIs and design philosophy. Finally, after some extended talk about how useful ...
by Joe Levi | August 31, 2012 12:05 PM
As far back as I can remember I've had a fascination with Soft Input Panels (SIPs) or Input Method Editors (IMEs) -- the user-replaceable, on-screen keyboards that we use on our smartphones and tablets. I remember trying all kinds of different "keyboards" for PocketPC that ranged from regular-looking keyboards, to graffti-like "chicken-scratch" areas, and even a handwriting recognition panel. Android-powered devices give us the same functionality by letting us simply install and configure an app to replace our stock keyboard. Today we're looking at SwiftKey 3. SwiftKey has been around for ...
by Michael Fisher | August 22, 2012 12:36 PM
A few months back, I penned a Brutally Honest Question Corner in which I asked, Are Physical Keyboards Dead? That article came -as all good ones do- as a result of a barroom conversation. I was with a handful of BlackBerry-toting friends who bemoaned their antiquated software situation, but steadfastly maintained that they could never give up their stodgy Canadian hardware for one important reason: RIM's world-class physical keyboard. I went on to make the case that touchscreen keyboards were the future, and I still believe that's true. Touch input is faster, it allows for sleeker ...