One of the biggest benefits of Android is, and always has been, the plethora of available software keyboards. Don't like stock? No problem - there's something out there that will make your typing experience suck less. But what works great on phones may not be so hot on a large-screen devices like a tablets, so there's basically a whole subset of keyboards - or at least keyboard layouts - in that arena.
There's an absolute plethora of keyboard options available for Android devices - in today's poll, phones in particular. You can use the Android (AOSP) keyboard, the stock manufacturer keyboard that ships on your phone, or one of the hundreds of third-party options available in the Play Store. And if you go third-party, there are all different styles, from quirky options like 8Pen, to trace-based keyboards like Swype, and traditional predictive tap-based choices such as SwiftKey.
Earlier this week, we posted the slightly unfinished Android 4.2 keyboard with Swype-like gesture typing and pretty blue glow (which we since took down at Google's request). Thanks to the recent Android 4.2 system dump from the Nexus 4, some new goodies are now available for pre-4.2 versions of Android. Namely the release version of the keyboard and the new Clock app that Ron is already in love with.
There are no shortage of keyboard replacements on the market. Between SwiftKey, Swype, and the various manufacturer-skinned versions, you can't help but have three or four options on your phone. Today's latest entrant, iKnowU, still manages to stand out with the ability to predict entire phrases and highlighting of the next letters it thinks you're going to type. Pretty impressive.
What if I told you that you could carry an 80" Android device around in your pocket? What do you think you would say to me? Perhaps you'd say, "Clearly you are talking about a pico projector device and I'm not falling for your shenanigans." Dang, you're really good at this game. What you probably didn't expect, though, is that the Lightplay by PhoneSuit, as it is called, also features a motion controller with a built-in keyboard, a tripod and access to the entire Google Play Store.
One of the nicest options of ASUS' line of tablets is the keyboard dock with a built-in extra battery that can make your device run forever and much easier to type on. The downside? Those docks tend to cost over $100. In the case of the Transformer Pad 300 (TF300), exactly $127, to be precise. Right now, though, Newegg is offering it for free if you buy it with the tablet.
British gadget site Mobile Fun has some fantastic stuff for us to drool over today. After seeing some premium Nexus 7 accessories just a couple days ago, these new leaked photos show us even more Nexus 7 accessories including (brace yourself) a rotating stand case. In case those words don't make sense to your brain when placed together, here's how it works: it's a protective case that can turn into either a landscape or portrait stand.
There's no doubt that Swype is one of the most popular and innovative keyboard replacement apps for Android, albeit for a somewhat niche market. One of the quirks of Swype, though, is that it's basically made for one-handed input, and some users just aren't into that. Enter a new keyboard called Keymonk Keyboard which basically takes the Swype method of text input and modifies it for two-handed input. Check it out:
Swiftkey 3 recently arrived on the Play Store, and not too long afterwards, the company has posted a statement on its blog letting us know that the app is currently the best-selling paid app on the Play Store. Not too bad, SwiftKey! Of course, the biggest challenge is ahead, as Google announced yesterday that, from Jelly Bean onwards, the default Android keyboard will attempt to predict your next word. Which smacks just a little of SwiftKey's pitch.