Which soft keyboard is the way to go?

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Swiftkey just announced a new app optimized for Android’s new Honeycomb OS.  The soft keyboard takes a drastically different approach to the current crop of on screen keyboards out there by splitting it in half for thumb optimization.  Something that has always been annoying in the current crop of tablets was the on screen keyboard.  Manufacturers basically forgot that we weren’t using a 3.5″ phone anymore, and instead using a 7-10″ tablet.  I am not sure about you, but the hunt and peck method with outstretched fingers and thumbs doesn’t lend to a good typing experience.   How does this compare to the iPad and Galaxy Tab keyboards?

One of Apple’s hottest sellers in the iPad accessory department is the bluetooth keyboard.  There are plenty to choose from.  One of the big reasons behind this is the inefficiency presented when using the on screen keyboard.   While Apple has done an excellent job with the pad, this was something they strangely have not worked on or even changed much from the iPhone.

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So even with Swiftkey keyboard being an app, what is your take on the on screen tablet keyboard situation?  Do you like what Swiftkey has done here?  Is there just an easy preference for the normal standard qwerty on screen keyboard?  Obviously we won’t know until we have some hands on, but it is far different from what we have seen so far, which might be a good thing.

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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17 thoughts on “Which soft keyboard is the way to go?

  • I wonder if this thumb-oriented method makes sense for tablets above 7″. It could get weird, no?

    Seems like a neat enough concept. Although one must wonder if it isn’t one of those reinventing the wheel situations.

  • Also, am I the only one who dislikes all this auto-completion and suggesting of words? I don’t know, I never got it.

    • It’s wrong a lot, indeed… but at least it corrects capital letters etc. You can turn it off anyways

  • I never really liked the iPad’s keyboard at all. The Honeycomb one looks a little better, but the different approach to SwiftKey seems very promising.

  • Avatar of vixducis

    Having used swiftkey on my wildfire, it has great word prediction but the buttons were just too damn small. This tablet version looks very promising however. I also had great experiences with iOS keyboards, except for typing special characters.

  • Avatar of Barto

    I’d be interested to try this. I really find it a tough adjustment trying to ‘type’ on the native onscreen keyboards. Sure, you can get proficient at thumbing in letters words and numbers, but its only a fraction of true typing speed and accuracy.

  • Avatar of CaptainFalco311

    SwiftKey FTW!!!

  • Avatar of Calvin

    I’ve used Swype on a Galaxy Tab, and wasn’t too impressed. But, I have yet to determine the optimal solution – the Tab is too small to type on normally, but too big to type on with two thumbs (or at least for me, it is). I’m hopeful for Swiftkey, because it looks pretty handy.

  • Avatar of Matthew B.

    The design of the keyboard looks very nice, the only problem for me however would be the fact that i’m right handed- I press many more keys with my right hand than with my left hand (even when typing on a regular keyboard). Thus with this division of keyboard I would be forced to use left hand for keys I usually use right hand..

    • It’s interesting because, being a software keyboard, it would be easier for them to try out all sorts of alternate layouts to cater to all sorts of needs. Not that tackling the mighty QWERTY isn’t pretty difficult. I have no idea what those would be, but at least they have this “advantage” over physical keyboards.

  • I like Swype a lot for messaging and whatnot but I doubt it translates well to larger devices seeing as you can only really use one finger. Haven’t got a tablet but if and when there’s an on-screen keyboard that can reasonably approximate a physical keyboard in terms of speed and accuracy I’m sold.

  • Avatar of seroson

    Swipe is the way to go for me. I hate having nothing to “Gratify” me while I am typing, like a keyboard would.

  • Avatar of McGyyver

    I actually like the idea of a 3*4 keyboard on a smartphone like on normal (old) mobilephones. But to tthe topic: I actually hate the style of apple, so anything is an improvement for me, but this really seems to be nice. Just wondering how long it takes to get the software of word guessing for other languages ;)

  • This keyboard makes so much sense its amazing that the tablet developers hadnt come up with something like this sooner

  • on the Epic, i’ve tried a few softkeyboards. (both free and paying)
    i liked the layout of the Thumb Keyboard, and swype makes texting fun. Smart Keyboard was nice, too, but eventually, i settled down with Swift.
    the learning process of Swift is so awesome, it now learned when i want to put two exclamation marks!!
    anyhow, this looks like a combination of Thumb Keyboard and Swift. i will not hesitate to throw a few bucks for it.

  • Avatar of Advaith

    I’ve tried out Swype on my friend’s Galaxy Tab and it’s really nice and easy to type on. I wish Apple would put this feature into their iPhone….

  • Avatar of wathouse

    Some keyboards do too much and is irritating..the ones that allow you to have control while helping is the best..allowing for different styles of writing..for example, words for email aren’t the same for other formal writing..would be good.


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