Some trends are awesome, and some are not so much. This one counts as the former. Android manufacturers have increasingly turned to the Play Store for distributing updates to their core Android apps. Sony's been doing this for a while now, and the Xperia Keyboard is its latest upload.
Like it or not, TV-based operating systems aren't going away. Google TV, Samsung Smart TV, and others have all done their part to beef up your TV's IQ, and while each has found varying levels of success, none has quite gotten the situation right. One immediate problem with most options is the tool you're provided with out-of-the-box for controlling things. Typing in movie titles with anything that looks like a traditional remote is nothing short of a complete pain.
Certainly, third party keyboards are a real testament to how customizable Android can be out of the box. Since KitKat's rollout, however, people have noticed that the default input method reverts to the default keyboard when updating a paid keyboard app. Worse still, the keyboard you updated actually ends up disabled.
What's interesting about this bug is that it seems to only affect the paid flavor of these apps. Free versions should go unaffected.
Just because a company files a patent for something, it doesn't mean that idea will eventually see the light of day. In this case, the patent filing in question doesn't just concern an unannounced but rumored product, it deals with a particular aspect. As it turns out, Samsung may one day want us to walk around interacting with our not-yet-confirmed-but-totally-expected Galaxy Glasses while typing on our palms.
The glasses presumably use a camera to project an augmented reality keyboard onto your fingers.
Adaptxt 3.0 isn't ready for the big league yet, but a beta is available that's introducing some rather intriguing functionality. Most interesting, it gives users the option to have the keyboard's built-in dictionary auto-populate itself with nearby street names, relevant addresses, and nearby landmarks. Of course, this somewhat creepy feature is optional, and typists who don't trust it can choose to manually save addresses instead.
— Swype (@Swype) February 7, 2014
Wink It Keyboard may not yet be the most obnoxious Android keyboard, but give it time, it's still in beta. This product comes from the developers of Adaptxt Keyboard, which made a name for itself by being feature-rich and customizable. Wink It's approach is decidedly less useful. Its goal is not to improve your typing. Oh no, it wants to change the way you use emoticons. It sticks various images in the suggestion bar as you type, encouraging you to stick them into your messages more often.
Using a virtual keyboard may not feel as natural as a physical one, but it's only the worst way to input text with a touchscreen except for all of the other ones. Swype has had the most success in revolutionizing how we enter text, as all of the major Android keyboards have since introduced gesture-based typing in subsequent upgrades, but it's far from perfect. That brings us to FlickKey Keyboard. It's a sliding keyboard that, by grouping letters into square groups of nine, aims to reduce how far across the screen our fingers need to slide.
Most current smartwatches, such as the Pebble and the Galaxy Gear, serve as notification hubs for whatever smartphone is paired to them, but this limitation is something several Kickstarter projects have sought to change by effectively turning smartwatches into phones themselves. This approach doesn't address how ludicrous it is to peck out words on such a tiny screen, but Minuum, the Android keyboard that fits the entire alphabet into a single row, could just be the ideal solution.
Swype pioneered the use of gestures to enter words into our mobile devices, a feature that competitors have since picked up, including the keyboard that now ships pre-installed on Google's Nexus devices. Yet while Swype remains a champ at forming words out of our illegible squiggles, it hasn't been the fastest option for manually typing out words the old fashioned way. Now the app has received an update that the team promises significantly improves tap input.