Aug 2, 2011
Tablets are big devices, big enough to where typing is often extremely difficult when holding the tablet in two hands. The full-sized keyboard is just awkward to type on unless there is something propping up the rest of the device. However, what some developers have come up with are keyboards designed to be used while holding the tablet, enabling normal typing with just the thumbs. Thumb Keyboard is one such option, and another comes from SwiftKey, with SwiftKey Tablet X. This keyboard combines the normal SwiftKey predictive text system, where suggestions for what SwiftKey thinks is what is being typed are displayed, with a keyboard that offers access to QWERTY keys from both thumbs.
This is a gamechanger for Android tablets. The prediction engine works very well, and it can look up the user’s Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to improve the predictions off the bat. The settings track the number of keystrokes saved, and it definitely feels like my typing has become more accurate as I use the keyboard and predictions more. The thumb-friendly keyboard also makes using the keyboard in two hands a possibility. Web browsing, tweeting, and even typing all feel more natural, as less shifting of the tablet in my hands is necessary in order to type. This is what using a tablet should feel like. The option exists for shifting to a full-sized keyboard as well, for those who may dislike thumb keyboards, or when the tablet is propped up on a desk or table. Theming options exist, as well as access to the speech to text service.
The ability to adjust key size would be welcome; sometimes some of the keys require more stretching of the thumbs than what feels comfortable. Options for spacing with punctuation keys like the semicolon are needed, as when used with predictions, it often requires backspacing in order to put the symbol right after a word. For example, I want commas and semicolon entry to complete the autocorrect’s word, and then put that punctuation mark in with no space beforehand. These options do not exist at this time, though.
This keyboard is fantastic, and has made using my tablet a dream. For owners of Android 3.x tablets, this is a must-have.