So Google have released a new version of their native, out the box keyboard for their nexus devices.
The sentence above was written on my nexus phone using it, this sentence is written using my nexus tablet using it.
And this sentence (and from this point forward) is being typed using a good ol’ mechanical keyboard. (ahh, that’s better).
The first – quite fiddly – and I’m not sure if it is quicker – but I’ve been using it for a day now and it’s definitely getting easier. The second sentence – (Nexus tablet) again – not as quick or comfortable as a keyboard (and £8 Bluetooth). The screen shot by the way, is me swiping with my nose, whilst I pressed the down volume at the same time as the power button to capture a screenshot to try and illustrate the swipe action in action.
If you’ve not come across this type of keyboard / input before; you’re presented with a normal looking on screen touch keyboard, that instead of touching a letter then lifting your fingers off, pressing another letter and so on, you just move your finger around the keyboard, drawing through the letters your want. It’s quite amazing at how approximate you can be – you just have to get close and it fills in the blanks or guesses the word you were trying to make.
I’ve tried using it on my phone without looking as well (near impossible to get results doing this on a standard tough keyboard) – and it’s actually done a pretty good job. Earlier today, I tried doing random scribbles with google keyboard and tweeting them (every time you lift your finger, it starts a new word… good game – scribble, lift, scribble, lift). My friend was responding with random talk to type tweets. Quite surreal. Anyway..
The point I wanted to make..
Is that it strikes me that the new keyboard is a VERY close copy of a keyboard called SWYPE. This has been around for a good few years now and to the technology layman, Google’s ‘new’ keyboard is almost exactly the same. I’ve seen Google bring out products before that have made me wince on behalf of smaller company staffers that have originated, built from the ground up and nurtured other products. The most recent that I’ve spotted would be Google Keep – which strikes me as something very similar to Evernote. Google Navigation was possibly the biggest – changing the landscape of a huge growth industry overnight – that of handheld SatNav companies like CoPilot – who’s £20 product must have lost a fair chunk of market share due to it’s free counterpart. I guess they’re not being evil, but it must be hard for other companies to go from game leaders, to second placers overnight, as has happened with so many tech companies.
I still applaud Google though and I’m loving their new swype, er I mean Nexus Google Keyboard.