24
Jun
2014-06-24 09_57_18-Minuum Is Developing A Keyboard For Circular Smart Watches Like The Moto 360 For

Do you even wrist-type, bro? You totally could with Minuum... I mean, not that you'd necessarily want to, but you'll have the option. The maker of the compact Android keyboard has announced it's working on a version of Minuum for round Android Wear devices like the Moto 360. There's even a GIF demo.

MOTO360

Minuum works by crunching all three rows of the standard QWERTY down to one line (an arc along the bottom here). You just tap in the general vicinity of the right letters, and Minuum figures it out. The Android app is, admittedly, pretty neat. The autocorrect can be a little bit spooky as it translates your sloppy taps into real words. It's not perfect, though. This idea makes more sense on a small screen than other keyboards, but is it really something you want to use?

The developers have worked on porting Minuum to other wearables like the Gear, but it's not even clear at this point how Android Wear will work. Certainly voice input will be big, but will apps like Minuum work the way we envision? Doesn't matter – prepare for wrist typing in some form.

[Minuum Blog]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.ubuntouch-fr.org/ Arnaud Ober

    I like the gif concept. But I'm not sure it will be very practical in daily use... I think a smart watch needs to be vocal commanded, for messages too, it's the most practical way.

    • Ryan

      I don't want to speak my messages out in public. google needs to roll out thought-to-text already

  • Cory S

    What if there was an app that used your phone as a keyboard for your watch! That be the app to have.

    • David McClellan

      Would defeat the purpose of the watch

    • dmn

      i see no point. Why don't you use your phone without the watch?
      It's like using a tablet to control a computer that is just in front of you.
      I like the idea of smartwatches to have some functions handy, without the need to get your phone...but not to replace it or use the phone as a complement

    • Tomáš Petrík

      Why wouldn't you just use your phone then?
      I mean, the watch already is an extension of your phone.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      If you're being serious I might have to reevaluate humanity right now.

    • tymalo

      Well the Moto 360 will have bluetooth so you could totally use a bluetooth keyboard. Much more efficient.

    • James Murphy

      You just got everyone here..

    • Derik Taylor

      Or...what if there was an app that used your watch as a keyboard for your phone!

    • vgergo

      Howabout pairing a bluetooth keyboard to the watch? I see no other way, as they seem to have forgotten to put a USB port on this watch.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Then what's the point if you already have your phone pulled out? For being a show-off?

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    I'm absolutely sure people will be doing SSH admin stuff on this watch.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Nah, that's for noobs. They'll write apps this way.

      • Davis Hernandez

        agree, totally will be developing for unreal engine on my new moto360 ---> [[[[[(^-^)]]]]]

  • Kevin

    The whole concept of Android Wear is for glances and short interactions only. If it takes longer than, say, five seconds to complete a task, then it's probably simpler to pull out your phone.

    • MyLeftNut

      Five seconds is too short but I definitely agree with the rest.

  • http://www.failuretodream.com/ lostboardmayhem

    Wouldn't some of the letters like B and V be missing because the screen has a black bar at the bottom on the Moto 360 in all of the pictures?

    • Leif Sikorski

      I was about to say the same. It looks like they haven't spend much attention on the Moto 360 because then they would have noticed that the display isn't round at the bottom.

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        It's not? Then why does every single render of a watchface have it filling the entire screen? I believe it's just the primary Android Wear interface itself that cuts off the bottom, which I'm pretty sure doesn't have to be the case on a per-app basis.

        • Leif Sikorski

          I can't remember any single official render or video of the Moto 360 where it had a 360° screen. From day one there was a black bar at the bottom.
          You can also see it on the latest moto 360 watch faces and in the videos of the 360
          https://plus.google.com/113884566566424587799/posts/THZH3kKTrWC
          The only thing which doesn't shows the black bar is the Android Wear emulator. So Android wear will support a full 360 display, but the Moto 360 watch won't have one. Maybe it's just not possible to make one yet, or maybe they use it for sensors. We'll see tomorrow.

          • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

            Yes, I think that was part of my confusion, and also the fact that Motorola seems to have made no effort to tell their contest submissions about this limitation. So a massive amount of renders that we've seen have filled the screen.

          • Leif Sikorski

            Yes, we've seen many mockups that didn't noticed or simply ignored the black bar. Here are some screenshots from the Moto360 promo videos
            https://www.dropbox.com/s/j8ppi3h9cb8ryzz/moto360.jpg

            Maybe it's a sensor to turn the display off when it's covered by a sleeve? We'll see

        • http://youtube.com/jedijens Jens Törnblad

          The psd for the contest has a layer with the black bar named "no content here". So they were pretty clear in the contest as well.

    • RyanWhitwam

      This is a good point.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      All of the pictures? What about every single watchface picture? Those all fill the screen.

      • http://www.failuretodream.com/ lostboardmayhem

        It was in the rules for the contest to have the black bar there, I guess they just decided to let it pass for the entries so more people would be entered. I am guessing that like most renders that are posted for advertising, they are not all accurate. I could be wrong, but I think even if that black bar is some sort of nav bar or something they probably will not allow a keyboard to go over top if a watch face can not though.

    • raj

      Minuum have announced it is only for conceptual use and they are aware of the missing black bar at the bottom.

    • Andrei

      "FUCK!" - Minuum

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

    Whose fingers are small enough for these shenanigans!?

    • Guest

      he'll finally feel good about his hands ... ;(

    • Alfuh

      he'll finally feel good about his hands

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Don't worry, Pamela, it'll find its audience... I hope....probably

  • Cesar

    Minuum
    What r u doin?
    Minuum
    Stahp

  • Matthew DiGiacomo

    What's with all the sarcastic as shit headlines lately AP?

    • gladgura

      What's with the profanity?

      • Matthew DiGiacomo

        Sorry mom?

        • aoaleman

          It's okay, dear.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Because they can

    • jesuguru

      Agreed, sarcasm has no place on the internet.

    • bicx

      Because there aren't even places to enter text on the Wear yet, at least from what we've seen

  • Kyle Gospodnetich

    Did Fleksy buy Minuum or something? Total design rip-off, right down to the button icons.

  • Steve Freeman

    Ugh... Every time I see something like "Do you even , bro?" I just want to hit that douche. I know Ryan was using it in a sarcastic way, but still.

  • http://www.thepixelpuse.com/ Aj Meadows

    lol wat.

  • FrankJL

    I alugh at this keyboard companies lol. Because you know. I just have to type a text message on my watch. Too much to reach my pocket to get the phone out.

    • Andrew

      If I have something on my wrist.. why should I need to pull out my big clunky phone? Short replies to messages on the go without breaking stride.. that's what I want Android Wear for.

      • FrillArtist

        That lazy, huh?

      • Joris Griffioen

        Yes, but you *will* break your stride because typing on a watch is dumb and hard to do.

  • Johannes

    this is ridiculous

  • Raven Blood

    Sending predefined messages from a smart-watch might be a better idea.

    • Jens Knutson

      Yeah, some kind of canned "quick reply" feature for messages/missed calls would be great. I don't want to have to speak everything aloud into my watch. :-/

      • Raven Blood

        Totally agree. The smart watch's functionality needs to be centered around short and simple tasks. The longer and more arduous task the less likely I am to use my wrist computer.

        Off topic but I hope the battery lasts long on these wearables. I already have a phone, laptop, and a surface ( don't judge me I thought it was cool) and can't imagine having another device which needs to be charged daily.

  • WitnessG

    Who has fingers small enough to type on that? I'd easily hit 3-4 keys every time.

    • Mike

      That's the point of Minuum....

  • Andrew

    This is awesome. Hope Fleksy comes to the Gear watches as well.

  • duke69111

    That's actually pretty cool. I'm not sure how useful, but cool none the less.

  • miri

    Sounds great as long as you don't need any of the keys towards the center

  • MarkWatson

    Dick Tracy never used a keyboard. Voice and video only. Texting is so old school.

  • raj

    On the picture shown they have not blanked out the bit at the bottom of the screen

  • walmyrcarvalho

    People are getting Android Wear so wrong.

    • Andrew

      This is exactly what I want Android Wear for.

      • walmyrcarvalho

        Do what your phone already does?

        Wear was created for fast interactions and voice commands, not to mimic a smartphone. Just imagine you using your free hand to type on a watch, using your thumb/index finger. I don't think that it will work.

        But maybe it's just me.

        • Andrew

          Having extensively used Fleksy and Minuum, I feel they're both appropriate for single or double finger typing.. Minuum probably adapts better to the tiny screen than does Fleksy.

          I still think single tapping out a message is going to yield better/more accurate results than voice-to-text in the majority of places I would text on the go.

          • walmyrcarvalho

            Agree. Ignoring the usefulness of the project, the problem with this concept is the work area of an smartwatch, it's not big as the whole screen.

            http://android-developers.blogspot.com.br/2014/06/an-android-wear-design-story.html

            But let's see what they're going to show tomorrow, maybe I'm wrong.

          • Joris Griffioen

            You are missing his (and Android Wear's) point.

            The idea of Wear is not that you are going to do actions like typing responses or mails on it. That's for the phone. Wear will be where you check the time, get info about your trip or calendar or any kind of other bite-sized info and the small interactions that go along with it.

            The 90 times a day you take your phone out of your pocket to check something: Wear.

            The 10 times that you end up actually doing something that takes a minute on your phone: still the phone.

  • Stanley C.

    Dont worry people. Moto 360 will come with a needle for it...

  • Daniel Collins

    Mind now blown. This looks awesome!

  • Matthew Fry

    I don't think the curved keyboard is going to go so well. If it were me I'd have scrunched it up and used it as the separator between the message being typed and the message history. Maybe they needed that extra surface area to do worthwhile autocorrect though.

  • MeCampbell30

    If I'm gonna type something, I'm gonna do it on my phone.

  • FrillArtist

    Stop with the sarcastic intro paragraphs. They're not funny...

  • black

    barf

  • matt

    Why's android police always hating on this keyboard

  • Q

    Yes, I could use this tiny, curvy "keyboard" OR I could pull out this magic device I keep in my pocket and do the exact same thing quicker and more comfortably.

  • Mohammad Rashid

    theres a massive black bar at the bottom where the drivers and circuit board for the screen are meaning this keyboard is useless xD