miércoles, 2 de febrero de 2011

TouchType debuts SwiftKey Tablet app for Android tablets, we go hands-on (video)

We got a taste of what TouchType was doing to tweak its SwiftKey keyboard app for tabletsback at CES, and the company has just now gotten official with the final result: its SwiftKey Tablet app. It's apparently been designed "in partnership" with Google and Motorola to coincide with the launch of the Xoom and, as you can see above, it's clearly been tailored specifically for Honeycomb -- the company describes the skin as "holographic" and "thumb-optimized." As with previous SwiftKey keyboard apps, it makes use of the company's so-called Fluency Prediction Engine, which promises to predict "around a third of words" before you enter a single character, and can now even analyze your Gmail, Facebook and Twitter accounts to learn how you write (though that can apparently be turned off if you prefer). Head on past the break for a quick video, and stay tuned for some hands-on impressions.

Update: Impressions after the break!

The alpha version of the SwiftKey tablet interface is pretty darn impressive from where we stand. Though we did sometimes found ourselves reaching for a B with our left thumb and the landscape interface doesn't have a full pane of symbols, the horizontal split makes for pretty reasonable virtual keyboarding while holding the tablet nice and stable in the palms of both hands. What's more, SwiftKey's three-button word prediction system makes things speedier yet: You can immediately enter the best guess with a tap of the spacebar, the runner-up using your right thumb, or tell the interface no, you really did intend to type "vacuum" with your left. (If you just keep tapping spacebar, you can come up with some hilarious auto-generated sentences.) 

TouchType plans to release a beta version of the software shortly after Mobile World Congress this month, and expect to finalize things by mid-April as a guess, with plans to shrink the keys slightly for more comfortable thumb entry and add symbols before then. 

Sean Hollister contributed the hands-on portion of this report.

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