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.

Theme Thursday: TouchPal Contacts

Theme Thursday: TouchPal Contacts

Oct 18, 2012

Most Android users do not really consider the Dialer or contact app as something that can be customized. It it what controls the most basic function of a phone, calling people. Now I don’t have a big problem with how Android handles their contact lists and the dialer, but I am not a fan of how specific manufacturers skin over the stock Android system. My least favorite overskin has to be HTC’s Sense UI, and seeing as this blog post deals with customization it makes sense to look at something that generally remains untouched.

My choice here was the highly rated TouchPal Contacts, which offers a whole suite of customization apps, but I am going to specifically be concentrated on their contact/dialer app. This offers some specific advantages over a stock dialer, and even some of the older versions of CyanogenMod 7 which does not come with a T9 dialer. My personal favorite is the ability to quickly set an away status which will set the phone to silent and also answer an incoming call with an away text. There are other apps and ways of doing this but I found that using TouchPal is quicker and offers some more customization options.

This would not be a Theme Thursday without the option to change a theme or two. The quantity of themes is not very great but what they lack in number they make up in quality. These themes are all very well done and they all look great. There is also a large variation in styles here ranging from simple, minimalistic to ornate and detailed. Other unique features are gesture dialing, which is always a plus. Being able to immediately dial a specific contact without pressing a button is amazing and is a great conveinence.

Like some other apps of its kind there are some proprietary features that facilitate extended interaction with other TouchPal users. These include social media interaction and contact exchange. A cool feature is the ability to update specific social media networks directly from the app, but this is largely superfluous
because there are a hundred of other apps and widgets that fulfill this need without opening an app.

In conclusion, anyone looking for a better looking and more useful dialer app be sure to definitely check out TouchPal Contacts.