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.
Here's the problem with mobile keyboards - they take up too much space, but they're too functional to do away with. They're the worst way to input text, with the exception of all of the alternatives. Now that more phones either come with Swype or a default keyboard that replicates its innovation, there's even less of a reason to try out the many other options that are out there. Some third-party keyboards simply feel half-baked, but there are a few that pique our interest.
Minuum Keyboard launched an IndieGoGo campaign back in March, and by the time it was over in April, the developers had raised almost $90,000. That's 873% of the goal. It was a big vote of confidence from Android users, but Minuum promised something unique – a keyboard that takes up only a tiny strip of screen real estate, yet still provides all the functionality you need. It sounds crazy on the face of it, but what if it's not just smoke and mirrors?
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.
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.