When cell phones came out, I was a relatively young man, but even then I was still kind of a grumpy on the issue. I always said “I only need a cell phone to make phone calls, dag’nabbit!” I always resisted using them for much of anything else, and despised texting. Well, the advent of touch-screen smart phones changed my mind on a lot of this. I now use my cell phone to check e-mail, surf the net, play games, watch movies and listen to audiobooks.
And yes, reluctantly, thanks to my second wife, text. Never liked texting, though, because I have big sausage fingers.
Well, I found an app for my android phone on sale for ten cents the other day called the “SlideIt” keyboard. Sounded intriguing – and I figured that for a dime what have I got to lose? The normal cost is $5.99, and trust me, it’s worth every penny. There’s also a free trial version that you can play with for fifteen days.
The keyboard looks like this:
It also has nifty features like cut and paste, as well as multiple languages and skins. You “type” on this nifty little keyboard by sliding your finger over the letters instead of typing. For instance, if you wanted to type the word “dog”, you’d do this:
And I’ll be darned if this thing doesn’t know that you meant to type “dog”! It actually gives you a list of words that you can choose from, but, in my experience, nine times out of ten the first suggestion is the correct one. It also automatically inserts a space after the word so that you don’t have to monkey with hitting the spacebar. The exception to this is if you want to follow the word with a single letter like “a” or “I”. In those cases, you have to manually space before and after the single letter to keep it from attaching that single letter to the previous words.
It is not, unfortunately, psychic. So if you’re typing less common words, you may have to choose from the list. For instance, I was texting with my friend Windy the other day about a woman named “Vita”. So I swiped like this:
Fortunately, I looked at my text before I sent it and realized that it had entered “boys”. I deleted it and tried again. Same result. I tried again, and looked at the suggestions this time. The second suggestion was “Vita”. Then I realized that it was defaulting to the much more common word “boys”. So if you’re typing a note like “I really enjoy dating Vita”, you might want to check the text before you send it, or your friends may think that you’re peculiar.
You can also add words to the dictionary by entering the word one letter at a time and simply clicking the “+” button. It’s just that easy!
So for those of you with big sausage fingers like me, this is an absolute boon for texting, e-mailing, writing notes to yourself or whatever.