Tech Talk: The best keyboard apps available for smartphones

The way we read and write has changed dramatically since the Internet took over our lives.

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November 26, 2014 07:19
4 minute read.
smartphones

keyboard app available for smartphones. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

The way we read and write has changed dramatically since the Internet took over our lives.

Almost no one writes letters anymore – except for short ones they send by email – and the most common form of written communication is now texting, for which users have created an entirely new vocabulary of abbreviations, such as LOL (“laughing out loud”) and TTYL (“talk to you later”).

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There are now keyboards for smartphones, which are meant to help us enhance our ability to write quickly (and without spelling mistakes). Many teachers have complained about the decline in students’ writing capabilities, since they no longer learn (or have the need) to write well.

Keyboards for smartphones have been available for the Android operating system for years, and Apple has finally come out with one that works with the new iOS8 operating system for the iPhone. Apple, which is known for keeping its cards low on the table, has finally come out with its own smart keyboard. There are a plethora of apps that suggest words while you type and also learn new words and users’ preferences.

Innovative smart keyboard apps are popping up like wildflowers. Here are a few examples of free smart keyboard apps that work on Android and/or iPhone operating systems.

So, how does one go about choosing a keyboard? Most of them are free, so I recommend downloading a few and checking if you find typing on them is comfortable and the order of the letters convenient for you. Before deciding which one you like the best, you should give yourself a little bit of time with each version in order to enable each keyboard’s algorithm to learn your habits.

The Swype keyboard offers an innovative approach to typing. All you have to do is drag your finger over the keyboard towards the letter you want and the app will offer you a number of relevant word options to choose from. Once you get used to it, Swype works amazingly. It receives a score of 9.5 and is available for free on Apple and Android.

The SwiftKey keyboard + Emoji (emoticons) is a veteran app that’s been around for a while. It has rapid learning capabilities, a convenient interface and over 800 emoji characters and intelligent auto-corrections. It receives a score of 9.0 and is available for free on Apple and Android.

The Ginger keyboard and writing enhancement app offers a better way to write quickly. It predicts words and reviews your text as you write. It receives a score of 9.0 and is available for free on Apple and Android.

Actor Tom Hanks created a keyboard called Hanx Writer that makes your phone look like an oldstyle manual typewriter, but allows you to write with the ease and speed of a smartphone. It receives a score of 9.0 and is available for free on Apple and Android.

Want to surprise and attract the attention of the person you’re writing to? The IconMe Keyboard has an emoji (smiley) key that predicts which colorful emoticons you’d want to send. It receives a score of 8.0 and is available for free on Android.

The Google Keyboard is standard on most phones and includes Gesture Typing and on-the-go voice composition.

It also has amazing next-word prediction and supports hundreds of emojis.

It receives a score of 8.5 and is available for free on Android.

Apple Keyboard has been significantly improved and the number of auto-correct mishaps has decreased tremendously.

The iOS8 suggests words based on what you’ve written in the past and understands the subject of the conversation, so even before you answer a question, it offers choices like “yes” or “no.” It receives a score of 8.5 and is available for free on Apple.

Dell Inspiron 3147 Although people seem to be using smartphones with large screens and tablets more and more, laptops are still in high demand due to their ease of use for writing and surfing the net. In the past, laptops weighed a few kilograms, but these days they are even lighter and more affordable than ever.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 (3147) convertible-hybrid laptop has an 11.6-inch HD screen, offers a smooth working experience and quick Internet browsing and video. It has a touch screen and Windows 8, which allows users to tap the screen instead of using a mouse. This laptop has a relatively strong processor, weighs only 1.5 kg., and is therefore a great buy. It costs NIS 2,720, includes 3-year warranty and receives a score of 9.0.

If you run a young start-up, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact [email protected]

Translated by Hannah Hochner.


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