TouchPal X Review

TouchPal X Review

Jan 13, 2014

Every mobile platform has (or should have) an anchor feature or two… or a dozen. I mean feature that makes it harder for people to switch over to other platforms. Android OS has a few for me, and one major one is the stock ability to install third-party keyboards. No matter what type of entry style, be it peck, swiping or finger writing, there is a keyboard available.

Swiping is my thing. Discovering it made the switch from physical keyboard device to one with a virtual keyboard possible. As it is, I’m always on the lookout for newer takes on swipe entry, and TouchPal X is an opportunity to do just that.

It’s advertised as a swipe keyboard, so, as expected, it is designed to input words that are constructed by continuous tp1dragging the finger across letters. As words are formed, the application’s predictive engine kicks in, and alternative suggestions are displayed at the top the keyboard to help correct words that might formed by errant swipe. In practice, this keyboard works well, with a high level of accuracy and prediction. It’s audio input option, activated by holding down the spacebar, is a pleasant surprise.

It comes with a dark look by default, with light lettering on grey keys and light graphics that highlight wave line. The emoji support is extensive, and the it also keeps speed stats.

Getting the keyboard set up is fairly easy. After installation, setup involves enabling the keyboard and picking it the default. It sports some nice customization options, and it is ready to get lost in these: keypress sounds, length if optional vibration, font of the keyboard, swipe animation and more can be tweaked to make it more aligned with its user. There are other themes as well, but it seems they have to be downloaded. At the risk of sounding like a spoiled fashionista, I do wish said themes become even more easily accessible down the line. Cloud functionality with regards to dictionaries and settings would also be a plus.

It’s a great keyboard to use, with enough options that should keep most Android users happy. Alternatives are always great, and it feels like TouchPal X is well on the way to earning a spot with the greats.

Hovering Controls Review

Hovering Controls Review

Sep 18, 2013

New phones come out all of the time. The problem is, the old phone might still be working great but the new phone could just have a cool feature. Most of the time, this new feature isn’t really worth $200 or more and the signing of a new contract. Hovering Controls is one of those features.

Hovering-Controls-4Currently I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. Even though many people have reception issues or other problems with the S3, mine seems to be working just fine. One of the features I really like on the Samsung Galaxy S4, is the hover controls feature. Basically what the hover feature does is allows the user to control features of the phone by waving a hand in front of the proximity sensor. Luckily, Hovering Controls is a much more inexpensive way to add some of this functionality to my older Samsung.

Hovering Controls gives three different hand gesture options for an extremely low price. The first gesture is holding a hand in front of the proximity sensor for a couple of seconds. This will activate a pre-selected application.

Waving a hand once across the screen will activate another app or there’s an option for was called carousel. The carousel will allow the end user to select several apps to be scrolled through by waving a hand in front of the proximity sensor with a single swipe. So, if there are five applications selected such as Flipbook, Twitter, Facebook, Feedly and Google+, it’s easy to change from one app to the other quickly by swiping a hand in front of the screen.

The third option is activating an application by swiping a hand one way across the proximity sensor and back the other direction.

After using Hovering Controls for a little while, I noticed it’s pretty sensitive. I chose Evernote to activate when hand is held in front of the proximity sensor. I didn’t have troubles activating this at all. The occurred with the single swipe option. I noticed I tended to activate this quite easily. I was constantly changing from one application to another unintentionally.

My recommendation would be to use the double swipe option as well as holding a hand in front of the proximity sensor to activate apps to avoid accidentally changing applications.

Other than the unintentional activation of applications, Hovering Controls seem to work really nice. The settings are very simple and controls are all hovering gestures.

FlexT9 and Dragon Creator Nuance Acquires Swype

FlexT9 and Dragon Creator Nuance Acquires Swype

Oct 7, 2011

Nuance, who are most well-known for their Dragon line of voice recognition products, have reportedly acquired Swype, creators of the well-known finger-tracing keyboard that comes preloaded on many phones. The price for Swype? A cool $100 million.

Note that Nuance makes the FlexT9 keyboard, which comes with its own finger-swiping mechanism. Thus, this makes the buyout even more confusing. The most likely hypothesis behind this acquisition, beyond unfounded speculation over legal wrangling, may go as this: Nuance wants to get close with the manufacturers the way that Swype has been doing. Swype has deals to put their keyboard in stock installations of many Android phones. Because Nuance offers their own speech to text software that FlexT9 uses, one way to drastically increase the usership of this over a competitor like Google would be to get their service used by millions of Android owners by default, by getting their product in Swype.

What this means for the future of the two products FlexT9 and Swype is unclear; will FlexT9 absorb Swype’s tracing, hopefully combining it with FlexT9’s typing keyboard with superior autocorrect? Will FlexT9 be abandoned for a Swype with Dragon voice support? Some entirely different fate altogether? Questions abound, and time will show what the future of both keyboards will be.

Source: This is my Next