We’ve all been there. We fire off a text to someone before we realize we have either mistyped a word, or the built-in autocorrect features have decided we meant to say something entirely different without regard for how potentially embarrassing its changes may be. Entire sites have been built around these embarrassing, yet hilarious typos and we can regularly see some of the most entertaining examples shared on social media.
However, many of these typos and embarrassing moments may soon be gone forever or, at the very least, reduced to only happening occasionally as app creators and innovators work to create new and better keyboards for our favorite mobile devices. These new keyboards provide a wide range of features including greatly improved predictability; some are even striving to change exactly how we type.
Android and iOS
Apple has only recently allowed third party keyboards for their mobile operating system, iOS. Android, on the other hand, has long been a supporter of third party keyboards. Because of this, you will find many more keyboards available if you use an Android smartphone or tablet. Some of the leaders in third party keyboard apps such as Swype and Swiftkey are available for both Android and iOS, so no matter what mobile platform you use, you should be able to easily find a reliable keyboard for your device.
A familiar tool to everyone, word prediction has been present in virtually all the keyboards available for the mobile platform. Unfortunately, word prediction isn’t always the most accurate and has been the source of some of the most embarrassing mistakes when sending text messages and emails. Apps such as Swiftkey are striving to improve word prediction to make it smarter to eliminate many of these mistakes. In my experience, the third party apps like Swiftkey do a much better job of predicting your words than the default keyboards included with Android and iOS.
Swipe Versus Type
Who would have ever thought that one wouldn’t need to actually press keys in order to type on a keyboard. Apps such as Swype are trying to create a world where you don’t need to actually press a key to type a letter. With Swype, you simply drag your finger across the letters to input the words you need. The design is rather unique and it works well even with the most complicated of words. Imagine a world where you don’t need to tap away at a keyboard. All you need to do is simply swipe your finger across the letters you want. I have found this ability is really handy when typing with one hand, allowing you to fire off a text with very little effort.
Someday, our children will look at these mobile devices that we so regularly use and wonder exactly how we managed with such primitive equipment. Keyboards have come a long way from the original plastic keys of computer keyboards. As more and more of our daily computing tasks are shifted to a mobile, touch-screen interface, it is up to some of these early keyboard innovators to help us find the perfect balance of comfort and typing ability so we can reduce those embarrassing predictive text moments to zero.