After recently comparing SwiftKey and Swype, I came across another keyboard that has been featuring recently among the top few keyboards available for Android.
The first thing you notice is that the keyboard is actually slightly taller than most keyboards that can be found on Android. As can be seen below, it (left) is taller than both Swype (middle) and SwiftKey (right). This may or may not be bad for you, as it does eat, despite very slightly, into the screen area.
The second thing you notice, is the little arrow down right next to the suggestions. This opens up extra suggestions, which is a different approach to what you see with Swype, where you can slide the suggestions left or right. Hitting the arrow button gives you a grid of 3 by 5 rows, hence giving you an array of extra words. This puts it better than both Swype and SwiftKey.
As far as the keyboard itself goes, it works well. I probably didn’t use it as much as I should to properly let it learn my writing style, but I found that it did predict the next word to some accuracy. However, once you have typed one or two letters, the choices narrow down quite brilliantly and it gives you almost exactly the word you want. Where it excels quite well is when you make a mistake. In this case, it will normally predict the best ‘auto correct’ solution to you, but also allow you to choose the word you want in case you might type something embarrassing.
What sets this keyboard apart is the many features it offers. Some of them are discussed below:
Customization: With an in-app purchase, you can buy the keyboard customization pack. That allows you to create your own themes, change key heights and swap keys, which allows you to change a QWERTY keyboard to something like an AZERTY keyboard.
Language packs: While it gives you many other languages, where it works quite well is giving you language packs that are specific to certain areas, such as Technology, Finance, Business, IT, and such. This means that the words most of your normal dictionaries will reject as mistakes will actually be suggested to you. Once again, this is a premium feature and needs to be bought. However, this is a very useful feature for many professionals out there.
Automatic Text Replacement: Something that I first discovered in MS Word ages ago. You can create custom shortcut words that will turn into something else as you type them. For example, the word eg may automatically be turned into e.g., or if you type colour with the American spellings, it may automatically change it to colour if you set it to.
Clipboard: Much like Swype, this has a clipboard section which gives you arrow keys and clipboard/editing features.
Share button: Allows you to share something directly with Twitter or Facebook mid text.
Private mode: Just in case you don’t want certain words added to your keyboard. This could be in case you wanted to email a password to somebody, store your bank details, or just other information that you want to keep confidential and don’t want the keyboard to suggest it as a prediction.
All these features definitely make this a very good app. I think the only thing this is missing is probably the swipe, flow, or whatever word you might want to associate with the latest in keyboards found on Android. I am sure after a little while they will throw that in too.
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