There have been a lot of questions regarding the many Android keyboards available in the market and most of them are concerning which of it is the best for me. There is the Android standard keyboard, the new Swype keyboard, and also the multi touch keyboard released by Motorola on the Droid X. So how do they stack up and which is the best for you?
For something that is known as the Android standard keyboard, there is nothing standard about it. In fact, it is rather nice piece of software to go along with your smart phone. The latest version has a voice input feature which greatly amplifies the keyboard. Even on its own, it is still a magnificent piece of equipment. It is very responsive, and there are almost zero problems when in use. Even if your device doesn't offer you a choice of any of the other keyboards, you still are not missing out much as this is a solid contender.
It is pre-installed and configured which is always nice, and is amazingly to use. The slight disappointment to this standard keyboard is that it is not very clever when it comes to symbols and special characters. Just to press the "alt" button in the keyboard will somehow stop the whole flow and this is quite prominent when writing long messages. Another slight downfall is its poor word prediction although this is improved upon on HTC Sense equipped devices.
Meanwhile, Swype is very hard not to like. It is fast, new, and simply just too cool not to use it. In fact, almost all users seem to love this keyboard. You might need to spend a small amount of time to get used to it but once you do, you simply cannot let it get away from your hands. It has a really amazing "wow" factor. You essentially trace a line over the letters you want and they magically appear. Again, you might have to take some time to really get used to the idea of not being able to see the keys under your thumbs.
Being a better keyboard, it has a fast text entry, a unique way of displaying predicted words, the ability to insert words, and many more. The only minor complaint about the product would be the time needed to truly master the learning curve. At the moment, it is still not being able to be purchased in the market as it is still in a beta status.
The newcomer to the keyboard field is the new multi touch keyboard released by Motorola on the Droid X. As of now, it is exclusively on the Droid X but developers have already ported it to other devices like the Droid Incredible and others. This keyboard is much like the strong standard keyboard but improves on a problem you encounter when you start to really type fast on a touch keyboard.
As your typing speed increases, you will tend to be touching two letters at the same time. This is a problem for a standard keyboard as it will get confused as to the order of letters you are intending to input. The multi touch keyboard adds multi touch support so you can hold down one letter and keep typing and it will work just fine. Motorola has done a great job with this but we have to say that the predictive text just wasn't as polished as the standard keyboard or even Swype. We suspect that this will improve as updates are released.
When it comes to choosing which Android keyboard to use, the end result will be yours to make. Hopefully you have a device that supports all three so you can try them all to decide which is best for your style.
Dan Ponjican is a blogger at http://www.ShopAndroid.net/ and covers topics on Android software, apps and phone reviews.
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