The Great Android Keyboard Apps Test – SlideIT vs. Swype vs. SwiftKey vs. Smart Keyboard vs. UltraKeyboard vs. TouchPal

The first post in the series dedicated to Android smartphones is about keyboard applications. The following uncensured raw-text chapters have been written on my smartphone using different keyboard applications. The last chapter summarises the ideal keyboard.

SlideIT

This is paragraph written with SlideIT. Wow, it recognized its own trademark. Now let’s try some other language than English. Osaako tama suomeaollenkaan no ainakin sanoja voi naputtaa kunhan muistaa tarkistaa ettei autocorrect korjaa ehka jos laittaa abc moodiin niin on helpompaa ja onkin. onkohan suomen kielta optioissa.

Oli kylla. kokeillaanpas slaidata. No noon EU traits.. Siis täältä löytyi jopa suomalainen näppis. Ja englannin sanoja ei voi slaidatessa sekoittaa. Ja kaksois kirjaimet kin useimmiten onnistuu ilman ylimääräisiä kiemuroita kuten esim swype ssä. Olen vakuuttunut. Sitten kokeillaan Liettua a. Aš labai noriu šias keyboardas bandyti. Gal mano lietuvių kalba nėra gerai bet šios visų specialūs charakteristikas rasti kaip Magic 😀

Switching between two languages is quite fast and the word selection menu is nor so intrusive as in swipe. Only that apostrophe usage is a bit clumsy, it’s not a problem when you learn specifics, I guess.

Robocop on a pink unicorn with rainbow in the background

Swype

So this is now written with swype. how easy it is to forget that auto capitalisation us not working. but swype learns new tapped words automatically and reads messages and contacts for words. it means I can swype alex and he knows it. and the apostrophe use, it’s so great to make it happen really fast. somehow  now even  now annoying pop out word suggestion box is not showing up so often, maybe because I am writing’ rather’ normal text.however auto spacing and capitalisation works better in slide it. and the lietuviu kalba yra geros dienos yodel swype only knows what out had been taught. and double letters need to be swirled around. tapping in words wad better is slideit. and less error prone.
Swypessa kaikki suomen danat tautuy typettaa sisaan ja virheita vaan tulee enempi. Gal visi pirma lettet in sentence needs to be manually capitalised, maybe it’s not a problem. should I write english with swype and others on slide it. oh well maybe in the future good things in swype and slide it will merge or unify. Laitoin vibran haptisen paalle, yroteyaanpS viela typwttaa vahan pseudosuomeA. Huteja tulee enemman kuin kilpailijalla, ikke sant.
ändert nicht, swype hat ein gutes sprache, aber kein Finnisch oder Litauisch. io non parli italiano, che ora parti il prossimo treno? and I just discovered the long press for changing language.
gobbledygook homosexual iphone android swype test companionship irkutsk helpdesk  elmo .com. trader accuracy fort speed.

SlideIT pt. 2

let s try more of SlideIT, because it’s supposedly only fifteen days trial. Only good knows what happens After those fifteen days. Maybe nothing matinee a lot. Somehow I feel fast topping with SlideIT is more error prune if I retry to make world record in speed….:-) but smileys are quite nice. Too bad I have to watch the word proposals more than on swipe. Although if I then everything should be better or art least good enough.

! Long press gives a special character just liked in swipe. # .. . com is not working as in swype.

SwiftKey

Next is SwiftKey keyboard and I am going to be the first time I have this keyboard.  This word prediction is pretty neat but one has to watch it.  Also deleting a previous word is easy with swipe gesture. How need I am.  Capitalisation of words work pretty well.  Also whitespace after punctuation is great.. com. Com seems like dotcom is not recognised?  It’s super that apostrophe usage ain’t hard.

Smart Keyboard

Smart keyvoard trial is the next keuboatd under twdt. Ad i try to type super gadt, iСаша и мой други. Äiti on kiva juttu, kub suomekso kitjpottss todi noprsdti niin virheitä tulee ©.
Eglė eina iš kino į pasaką. Nera nesu egle autocorrection. Ёиа&мая. Idont like this keyboard at all.

SwiftKey pt.2

Viela Lisbon heroin SwiftKey. Ok,  nayttaa silta. Etta. Jos. Ei ole tarvinnut.  Språket är nu svenska fordi finska var inte i menuet.  😛
Hej please då. Men det är ju inte så mycket att göra det, men, women and children all very well. The creator of the most popular videos on the list of people who are interested in this outgoing message.  Inget.

SlideIT pt.3

I am back to SlideIT. An ideal keyboard would have SlideIT word suggestion bar, swiftkey gesture backspace, swype error tolerance and auto learning of vocabulary. And speed also from Swype. Then we would need apostrophe use from swipe and haptic touch and languages from SlideIT. Aš ne labai įdomu užsieniu kalbos… Yra tik SlideIT kas galima paswaipinti lietuvių kalba. Taip pat backspace deletes whole word by default if just entered that word.. And back to swiping English.

Swype pt.2

And back to swype.it does not add white space nor airspace after period.such is life. Burgers speed ius really good with this unless the auto correct is too sensitive. elmo ensio. Laba diena, kaip tau sekasi? Let’s slide some more to get the feeling which us faster to write..

SlideIT pt.4

More SlideIT Judy Rio be sure if it is possible to make up mt mind and choose one over the other. Dabar reikia miegoti. Saldžiųjų aštuoni stopniu arba sapnių. :-X

Swype pt. 3

And back to swype just to try it out some more. Not nearly as much corrections are needed when typing with swype.although it’s difficult to remember to have a whitespace after sentences. It.is.needed.

Conclusions

The winner of my little usability test is Swype. Just because it feels natural to write with it and with a little practice I can reach quite high speed with it. It is not perfect, but best for me. Majority of my SMS writing is in English, but I also write in Lithuanian, Finnish and Norwegian.

An ideal keyboard would have word suggestion bar from SlideIT, backspace gesture from SwiftKey. Also inserting of whitespace and capitalising the first letter of first word in sentence from SwiftKey, error tolerance, speed and auto learning of vocabulary from Swype. Then it would need apostrophe use from Swype and haptic touch and language dictionaries from SlideIT.

Go-Go-Gadget SuperKeyboard!

Update 22.8.2011 : Graffiti

I tried Graffiti keyboard, the same graffiti which became popular in Palm devices some years ago. I concluded that this keyboard is not for me as in that I am swiping letters, which makes it very slow in comparison to swiping full words. I am still looking for the perfect swype keyboard with less annoying suggestion menu and more control over the dictionary.

Update 1.11.2011

Raw test – UltraKeyboard

Maybe tis keyboard is the geat. No.

Conclusions – UltraKeyboard

No sliding input. Typing and word prediction not comfortable at all. Word suggestion list is okay, the current suggestion is in bold, but if you tap space bar and not the bolded word, he will ask you to update word in dictionary. I am not willing to adopt to this behavior. End of test.

Raw test – TouchPal

thus is second time testing and i am trying to figure our the speed and prediction abilities of this new keyboard. actually it seems much faster after latest update. before it was very slow as it was using all the unknown words to his dictionary. Now it is better though auto capitalisation does not work. The word capitalisation had to be tapped in letter by letter and then he asked if it should be saved to dictionary. I like the word prediction.
я хочу ест как некогда всю водка просит.It’s so nice to have Russian keyboard with weird prediction. Ehka tama voittaa Swypen, jota ei ole ollut ikava paitsi kun tama nappaimisto jymahtaa.

Conclusions – TouchPal

This is good, but still not quite there. My testing lasted for two weeks and counting. Which is a sign that this keyboard is actually usable. Saving words to dictionary is veeeery slow, but if I untick auto-save, the keyboard usability becomes better. Keyboard inserts spaces between words automatically, but does not auto-capitalise the first letter after full stop. Changing of language has a special key on the lower left corner, and the actual loading of the second keyboard is not too slow. This is the keyboard I am using now as my main keyboard.

Raw test – Go Keyboard

English language seems roll be quite fast and word prediction also not the weirdest. Bad thing that in the initial setup he suggested many languages,but could not use because I Wade offline he wrest Rep download. Я буду по русски. It seems that the download was needed for dictionary but not the keyboards layout. Norsk går ogdå gansle bra, hvaf med Fondla. Näköjään suomenkielinen näppis löytyy. Näppis. Näppis. The golfer’s news is that news words are auto inserted in dictionary ABS then can be swyped even in Finnish which had empty dictionary before this testy. Sliding prediction is net quite on par with Swype or TouchPal. When difficult wife’s are tapped in manually,this keyboard wants to stiffest some other word.

Conclusions – Go Keyboard

This is interesting and promising keyboard and requires more testing. It has better features than all other keyboards, but speed & accuracy needs improvement. Keep an eye on this keyboard and stay tuned!

Update and conclusions 11.03.2012

So, some months later using TouchPal on one phone and Swype on another, I can conclude the following.

The best keyboard is Swype Beta.

I am extremely glad for this keyboard being free for the moment and I anticipate that I will hand out the money to buy the full version when/if the time comes that beta is no longer usable.

My phone is Samsung Galaxy S and it comes with old version of Swype Beta pre-installed. If you also have pre-installed Swype Beta and want to upgrade to newer Beta version, you need to remove the following files (rooting of phone is required)

/system/app/Swype.apk
/system/app/Swype.odex
/system/lib/libSwypeCore.so

and then register on Swype website as Beta user and you get the download link. Lot of trouble but totally worth it. At the moment of writing the latest version (v.3.26) is very mature and usable product.

The runner-up is TouchPal

Usability is good. Swyping and text-prediction is almost as good as Swype, but not quite. Support multiple languages. Installation is easier than with Swype, just download the app and needed language packs.

Swipe, don’t type

No matter which keyboard you choose, you will be happy with it. There is a learning curve to write by swiping and you have to swipe again when using difficult or long words. But still I feel it’s faster than typing. After two attempts, I usually type the word, as it most probably is not in the dictionary.

Word of warning though, swiping is NOT going to work for you if you are on the go. For that, nothing can beat the hardware keyboard, think Nokia 3310. I could text blindfolded with that phone.

Related Articles:

Androidcentral: Android Central’s Keyboard Roundup

Swype Beta registration

posted: 11 July 16
under: Tech