Spurred on by the launch of 8pen and informed by over 60 suggestions on Twitter and Facebook, I rounded up my five favorite alternate Android touch keyboards with demo videos and pros and cons of each on FastCompany.com. Right now I’m using SlideIT, but any day now, I might switch over to SwiftKey. Which is your favorite?
I have been using Ultra Keyboard. I bought SlideIT but was not happy with the lack of long press keys. Having to space before ‘a’ and ‘I’ also bugged me.
I still love ShapeWriter but I would like to see some updates to it but that doesn’t seem likely now that they have been bought out. ShapeWriter had the best prediction algorithm of all the swiping keyboards I used.
I think I will always use a swiping type keyboard. It is just much more efficient for me.
I downloaded the demo of SlideIT based upon your recommendation, Gina. I love the swiping action, but two things keep it from completely replacing SwiftKey:
1. SlideIT is not very attractive. The layout is oftentimes confusing and jumbled together.
2. The predictive ability of SwiftKey is often so good that it takes as little time as SlideIT’s swiping mechanism.
I’m still on the fence – although I’m not sure how it’d be done, it’d be great if they could somehow be combined.
As a long, long time Palm PDA user, I’ve been happy with Graffiti for Android. Granted, given my condition as a recovering Palm addict, there was no learning curve.
I did turn off all the “special” features, like predictive text. But, then, I seem to always turn off predictive text, as it’s more “in the way” than helpful. On my little Aria, they also added lag and only served to obscure what I was entering.
I find many of the “gesture keyboards” to be difficult to use. The absence of physical indication of where the keys are is something I was never able to overcome.
Granted, I’ve got an Aria… so my screen space is limited.
I mostly use Swiftkey. I occupationally switch to Swype beta and in some circumstances (e.g. whilst walking) I find it better, but I also find it more frustrating to enter words that aren’t already in it’s dictionary.
I tried 8pen and think it’s a novel idea, but I really don’t have the patience to learn a new input method.
Hm. occupationally = occasionally in previous post. I’d like to blame auto-correction, except I don’t have it on this PC. 😮
I’ve used Swiftkey. With capable of learning how I tend to use words together, a lot of times it pretty much has everything I wanted as suggested text. Once in a while it will choose an odd correction but it is so far my favorite keyboard for Android.
One bummer though, you can’t really use the haptic feedback. I tend to type really quickly and with it turned on, it lags badly.