A number of interesting upgrades for the Google Assistant were announced during the I/O developer conference last week, including the option to use the keyboard as the default input method instead of voice. Now that people have had a chance to play with the new setting it's become apparent that Assistant offers its own next-word suggestions, seemingly related to current events. Read More
SwiftKey is one of the top choices for Android keyboards out there. It is my go-to and I strongly prefer it over Gboard for a variety of reasons. Regardless of where you stand, the best options offer a lot of language choices for either non-English speaking and/or multilingual users. Read More
We've known for a while that typing in Google Assistant was coming, but it was officially announced yesterday at I/O. And now the feature is starting to show up for some users when they launch Assistant on their phones. Read More
Google debuted Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O last year with a number of great new features, not least of which was a clever spin on the handwriting keyboard. Oddly, the handwriting keyboard was left buried in a hard to find location and had to be activated just to use it. Now that the official Wear 2.0 release is rolling out (kinda), users have reported that this keyboard didn't even come preinstalled, nor could it be found on the Play Store – at least, not until yesterday. The Handwriting Keyboard is now available. Read More
A new version of Gboard hit the stage late Wednesday night, and this one is absolutely packed with great improvements. The toolbar is now configurable, making space for an entirely new tool for editing text and navigating the cursor. One-handed mode now allows for resizing and positioning the keyboard. There's also a stack of newly supported languages from Assamese to Waray. The teardown isn't empty either, as there are signs Google may be planning to merge in the Handwriting keyboard and introduce an Incognito Mode. Read More
If you've ever used a keyboard with Android, you'll know that the operating system and apps weren't exactly designed around arrow keys or tabbing. And, honestly, there wasn't much in the way of motivation for Google to fix this, historically: Android devices with keyboards are few and far between these days, so why care?
Then Android apps on Chromebooks happened, and suddenly, a lot more people are using their keyboards in apps that traditionally only ever saw touch-based interaction. In recognition of this, Google is promising that Android O will offer considerable improvements in the consistency of the experience of navigating your keyboard-equipped (or connected) device by providing more standard behaviors for the arrow and tab keys, in particular. Read More
One of the reasons I don't swipe on my smartphone's keyboard very often is that I can never be too sure what the prediction engine will insert especially when the word is too short or the letters and swipe motion are very similar to another word. "To" and "too," "art" and "at," "deal" and "desk," are some of many examples where moving your finger a few millimeters and pausing on a letter for a few milliseconds can make all the difference between a quick message and lost seconds spent tapping backspace and retrying to type the correct word. Read More
Ever since Google Keyboard was renamed to Gboard with several new features in tow, the keyboard has continued to receive new functionality. The Play Store beta program for Gboard was just made public, and the first beta version (6.1) has a few major changes. Read More
SwiftKey is celebrating a milestone by reaching support for 150 languages. Think that's too many? The Ethnologue says there are more than 7000 languages spoken in the world today, so 150 will seem like a teeny number by comparison, except that it should cover a huge portion of the Earth's population because many of the other languages have less than 1000 native speakers.
For a bit of comparison, Google's GBoard seems to be around the same number on my phone, offering a choice of 149 languages and dialects. There are a few differences here and there between which languages each of the two keyboards include, but they both have multi-lingual support now, letting you type in several languages at the same time to avoid often switching keyboards. Read More