Time for a little history lesson. Way back in the summer of 2010, when smartphone screen sizes were still reasonable and people were still complaining about how hard it was to type on them, a little company called Swype Inc. thought it had the problem of touchscreen input licked. Android users went crazy trying to get into the beta for their gesture-based software keyboard, and tech blogs threw around words like "innovation" and "miracle" like rice at a wedding.
When we first laid eyes on Minuum back in mid-March, it was love at first sight (for me, anyway). A touchscreen keyboard that only takes up one row sounds like an absolute godsend. Personally, I instantly threw money at the screen so I could get early access to this little gem – that was the first day of the company's Indiegogo campaign. During that day, it blasted past its original $10,000 goal, proving that my desire for this fantastic-looking piece of software to come to fruition was shared by many.
When it comes to aftermarket keyboards, we're big fans of SwiftKey. The prediction engine is second to none, Flow's gesture typing is full-on awesome, and you can customize it to look however you want. Honestly, what more could you want from a keyboard? It's things like this that have made SK a hit with users around the world.
Given that sort of global success, the folks at Swiftkey compiled a blog post with some fun facts about how users in different regions use the keyboard.
We generally have a rule at Android Police HQ: we don't post about Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects at least until they've been funded. Too often things turn into vaporware and people's money ends up wrapped up in things like Diaspora that never take off. Today, we're making a rare exception to talk about Minuum, because this video starts off as "Oh, that's kinda cool," and quickly shifts to "Holy crap, that's amazeballs!"
As you can see in the beginning of the video, the concept is fairly simple.
Being a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts (I have most of Gmail's keys memorized and use them exclusively for maximum productivity every day), I jumped at the opportunity to add similar functionality to AndroidPolice.com itself.
On various pages of the site that contain multiple posts, like the homepage, category, author, and tag pages, you can now:
press "j" to jump to the next article in the list
press "k" to jump to the previous article in the list
press "o" or "Enter" to go to the article that's closest to the top of the visible browser area
(new) press "O" to do the same as above, except in a new browser tab/window
(new) press "c" or "C" on a post page to zoom to the comments box
Furthermore, if you're at the end of a list, pressing "j" will advance to the next page.
It's not Jelly Bean yet. Well, I mean it is. It's the older Jelly Bean. Not the newer Jelly Bean. I'm sure this isn't confusing. However, Verizon is getting ready to roll out an update to the Galaxy S III that will bump the phone from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2. Unfortunately this isn't the 4.2 upgrade most users were likely hoping for. Among the listed improvements are a better keyboard and the ability to take pictures while on a call.
We've featured this particular Motorola keyboard in our deals section before, but the price has never dropped quite so low: the 89451N model Bluetooth keyboard is now a paltry twenty bones on NewEgg's store, with the application of promo code EMCXWVS225. It's also got free shipping. If you want to take advantage of this deal, get a move on - it's only valid until January 30th (next Wednesday). Sorry, international readers, this one's US-only.
Move over SwiftKey. A challenger has appeared and it's aiming to bring even better predictions than we've seen before. This one, named Fleksy, touts predictions that are so accurate, you can type without looking at the screen. In fact, the company says that even if you get every single letter wrong, it can still tell what it is you meant to type. This is pretty impressive. Of course that means the developers need to take it one step further...
Google has really gotten the stock Android keyboard spruced up in recent versions of the OS. Of course, it's still a limited experience lacking in the bells and whistles of some third-party solutions. Speaking of bells and whistles, the new Kii Keyboard has more tweaks and settings than you'll believe.
Kii takes some of the most popular features from the established keyboards. It has swipe input like the Swype keyboard, word prediction like SwitfKey, and a split layout for tablets like you get in several other apps.
Developers, repeat after me: invisible keyboards never work. Do you understand? Good. I hope we're clear on this. Because after trying to use the ridiculous "invisible" SnapKeys Si, which blocks more on-screen crap than any other input software I've ever seen, I'm ready to throw my beloved Nexus 7 through the next wall to look at me funny.
Here's the basic idea behind how SnapKeys Si works: Instead of being given a full QWERTY keyboard, you get a selection of twelve letters, divided among four colored blocks.