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  1.    #1  
    Forbes: The Key(board) to Google-Apple Competition

    Here’s a tech battlefield you weren’t expecting: The keyboard. It has an angle that won’t surprise you at all — Apple stands alone – and one that will – there may be a whole new kind of security coming, based on the way you type.

    With an explosion of small portable computers like smartphones and tablets, entering text is a pain. Device makers try to speed things up by anticipating what we are trying to write and offering solutions, often with vexing or comical results (obscene examples abound at Damn You, Autocorrect). People do it on their own with shortcuts like “imho” or “lol.”

    One of the most intriguing alternatives is Swiftkey an intelligent text prediction product from a small British company called Touchtype.

    Swiftkey starts with a keyboard, but puts word choices above it. I may be up to six words, but people seem to like three. You select one of those instead of typing anything, or type if none of the words offered works. Like Google’s autocomplete or Apple’s autocorrect, there is software trying to guess what you want to say, so you don’t have to type it out. The big difference is that Swiftkey first spends time trying to understand you...
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    So far, keyboards like egaudet's On-Screen (virtual) Keyboard - Bugs, Functionality, Enhancements have not been allowed by Palm either. This technology is exploding with keyboards like Swype and SwiftKey (Beta).
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/28/2011 at 09:45 AM.
  2. #2  
    I tried to like SwiftKey, twice. I failed, twice. Oh well.
  3.    #3  
    Someone had raised the question about whether a discussion about a Forbes article comparing iOS and Android should be in the Cross Platform Chat. This is exactly the right place for an article comparing platforms. The fact that Forbes Magazine would take such a stand is unprecedented. The importance for webOS is huge.

    My personal hope is that Palm will allow egaudet and others to publish their keyboards. There is no other app you use so often as your keyboard. Similarly, we have heard that Palm may be close to allowing apps like DanPLC's Music Player (Remix) 2.0 Beta. Maybe Shazam, Voice Actions, Barcode Scanner, calendars, email, messaging, browsers, and other top apps will be possible as well.

    In the past, you either used a virtual keyboard or a physical keyboard. SwiftKey is optimized to work on a phone with a physical keyboard with just the predictions on screen. As SwiftKey learns you, you find yourself tapping the predicted words so often that you use the keyboard just to give it a nudge in your direction. The strange part about SwiftKey is that it is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) app. Sometimes it suggests a better word or direction than you were thinking. It's spooky.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/28/2011 at 10:22 AM.
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by taharka View Post
    I tried to like SwiftKey, twice. I failed, twice. Oh well.
    The free Beta is still open. The next generation being tested is amazing.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    The free Beta is still open. The next generation being tested is amazing.
    Yeah, the two times I tried were two different betas. It wasn't buggy or anything, it just didn't work for me. Loved the concept though and I'm not saying I won't try it again. :-)
  6. #6  
    Same with me and swift key...i never gravitated to it like a few of my friends. Swift key i liked better but i'm just using the Gingerbread keyboard right now.
  7. #7  
    I am interested to see what blindtype will become. Been silent since google bought it.
  8. #8  
    Does SwiftKey support webOS?
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by taharka View Post
    Yeah, the two times I tried were two different betas. It wasn't buggy or anything, it just didn't work for me. Loved the concept though and I'm not saying I won't try it again. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain Mantis View Post
    Same with me and swift key...i never gravitated to it like a few of my friends. Swift key i liked better but i'm just using the Gingerbread keyboard right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by IcerC View Post
    I am interested to see what blindtype will become. Been silent since google bought it.
    I hope that this is the take-away for Palm. Different users will want different keyboards.

    The new tablets will have on-screen keyboards. I hope that Palm does not go the Apple way of, "It's our way or the highway."

    There are at least 20 great keyboards right now. Each has it's own rabid supporters. They often cannot comprehend how someone could like a different keyboard than theirs.

    Keyboards (and phones) are like shoes. The one that fits me perfectly may feel awful to you. Choice, and competition, about such a person decision is healthy.

    I have to believe that Palm will eventually let users choose what feels best to them. As Forbes points out, it is key.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/28/2011 at 10:58 AM.
  10. #10  
    It seems to me the reason there are so many keyboard options for Android is the stock keyboard is not very good. iOS has been known for its best in breed keyboards from the beginning. It is not just the autocorrect, but the responsiveness of the touchscreens on iDevices. That cannot be reproduced with software.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain Mantis View Post
    Same with me and swift key...i never gravitated to it like a few of my friends. Swift key i liked better but i'm just using the Gingerbread keyboard right now.
    Love the Gingerbread keyboard and use it in combination with Swype. I use the Gingerbread one more because I'm usually typing in two languages. It's a simple swipe on the spacebar to change languages. Priceless for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    I hope that this is the take-away for Palm. Keyboards (and phones) are like shoes. The one that fits me perfectly may feel awful to you. Choice, and competition, about such a person decision is healthy.
    Gotta love HTC's marketing message on this one: "YOU!" So simple; so right.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    It seems to me the reason there are so many keyboard options for Android is the stock keyboard is not very good. iOS has been known for its best in breed keyboards from the beginning. It is not just the autocorrect, but the responsiveness of the touchscreens on iDevices. That cannot be reproduced with software.
    You're wrong on this one. I like the stock keyboard on my EVO for example (and I have no responsiveness issues whatsoever), but I "prefer" Swype and the Gingerbread keyboard. I also like the stock browser but prefer using Dolphin MINI. Android has always been about choice. The point is to allow people to innovate on top of it. Having a choice does not mean the original is bad.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    Does SwiftKey support webOS?
    So far Palm has not allowed any other keyboards.

    Palm so far has not let Developers consider webOS as a platform for keyboards, music players, calendars, email, messaging, browsers, and other "key" apps.

    Android is at the other extreme of open source. You can take one of their base apps, modify it and release it for sale in Android's own Market. ThickButtons, Better Keyboard, and many others add features to the stock keyboard (and sell them at a nice profit).

    Apple is somewhere in the middle. They will hunt and kill you if you use any of their code and do not allow certain types of apps like keyboards. Apple will allow many other competing apps to their base apps though.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/28/2011 at 10:55 AM.
  14. #14  
    I actually prefer Swype over Swiftkey. I still have a few other keyboards to try out though, so maybe I'll find one I like even more than Swype. I'm still impressed with the fact that I have so many different keyboard options!

    Sent from my HTC HD2 using Tapatalk
    Want to keep up with my exciting new projects? You know where to find me.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    It seems to me the reason there are so many keyboard options for Android is the stock keyboard is not very good...
    No, not at all.

    There are so many keyboard choices because no two people are alike.

    It is like asking what is the right glove size. Pick whatever fits you. An 11 glove may be average but it will only fit an average person.

    Steve Jobs says that there is one right keyboard to use on one right size screen. By definition, it had to be designed for the average user.

    A phone keyboard is a necessary evil. Few can type 40 words per minute on a phone keyboard but the average person speaks 200 words per minute. That's frustrating.

    The base Android keyboard is so much faster than the iOS keyboard because it's predictions save you from typing out words. Most Android users will never try any other keyboard.

    Some say the base HTC keyboard is better. The new Gingerbread keyboard may be even better for some. Both work on any Android. Still you have to type two letters of each word before it will give you predictions. That may sound great but what if you didn't have to type even two letters?

    We all have patterns in our writing as unique to us as our fingerprints. The SwiftKey keyboard reads your old texts, etc. to see how you think and continues to improve.

    I may think I am saying something remarkably witty and new. SwiftKey knows I said almost this same thought just last week and actually I said it better two weeks ago. So it suggests the words that I am most likely to use next in this context. Often it's suggestions are better than what I thought of today.

    What's better than typing?

    Not typing.

    What if you do not wear a size 11 glove? What if you do not want a keyboard designed for the average user.

    East Germany said that they only made the Trabant because that was the one car everyone wanted. Cuba said that everyone wore olive drab because that was the one color everyone there wanted.

    There are people who don't want to have to think through a bunch of choices.

    There are others who like having freedom of choice.

    There are phones for each.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/28/2011 at 07:49 PM.
  16. #16  
    Let me walk back my comment a half a step. I don't mean to say that the keyboard is bad on the latest hardware, in the latest version. The keyboard was slammed pretty hard by reviewers at the beginning. The same with the interface. There was so much room for skins because the interface wasn't really polished. What may be "choice" now, started out as necessity.

    The iPhone experience started out polished and ready for primetime. It, too, has improved over time, as all platforms should.
    Last edited by dandbj13; 01/28/2011 at 02:26 PM. Reason: completing the thought.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    Let me walk back my comment a half a step. I don't mean to say that the keyboard is bad on the latest hardware, in the latest version. The keyboard was slammed pretty hard by reviewers at the beginning. The same with the interface. There was so much room for skins because the interface wasn't really polished. What may be "choice" now, started out as necessity.

    The iPhone experience started out polished and ready for primetime. It, too, has improved over time, as all platforms should.
    I like 3 Android keyboards on my Galaxy Tab better than the stock keyboard on the iPad. I can't believe the conniptions I have to go through to type a "{" or a "[" or even a "=" or a "+". The size of the iPad keyboard (landscape) is nice though, but not nice enough to overcome it's other shortcomings.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    Let me walk back my comment a half a step. I don't mean to say that the keyboard is bad on the latest hardware, in the latest version. The keyboard was slammed pretty hard by reviewers at the beginning. The same with the interface. There was so much room for skins because the interface wasn't really polished. What may be "choice" now, started out as necessity.

    The iPhone experience started out polished and ready for primetime. It, too, has improved over time, as all platforms should.
    I don't disagree that the Iphone keyboard is great or that it has improved. However, there is always the possibility that *gasp* someone might prefer a different keyboard than the one offered by Apple. I prefer Swype to any tapping-required keyboard most of the time. The stock gingerbread keyboard is pretty sweet. Swiftkey's prediction is pretty amazing. The choices Android gives me is what I like about it over IOS and WebOS, which are both more polished in many ways.
  19. #19  
    I really like iOS keyboard alot. Android keyboard isn't bad, however I haven't found any good Korean keyboard. Korean iOS keyboard is just awsome. WebOS, well, I don't like that small keyboard, and doesn't support asian language, so not even on my list to review.
  20. #20  
    I barely used the stock htc keyboard on my Evo before installing Swype and Swiftkey. Although I alternate between the two weekly my keyboard of choice is Swiftkey...I just love Swiftkey's predictions.
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