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Physical Keyboard Androids Versus Virtual Keyboards

Physical Keyboard Androids Versus Virtual Keyboards

Most of the Android phones make use of virtual keyboards, however, for most users it is still quicker to type using a physical keyboard. Traditionally BlackBerry has dominated that physical QWERTY keyboard. However, particularly the Droid Pro and HTC EVO Shift Android devices are increasing in popularity amongst physical keyboard fans. One of the great thing about the Android Operating System is the flexibility you have, allowing you to customize your phone exactly how you want it. The same is true for the Keyboard, which is an important part of your phone as you will be using it frequently to text messages and send emails. These innovative apps are designed to increase typing speed and accuracy on the virtual keyboards. Many virtual keyboard users will argue that with the help of these apps they can type as quickly and accurately as physical keyboard users.

Recommended Androids with QWERTY keyboards:

  • HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint (4 line slide out tactile keyboard)
  • Droid 2 by Motorola from Verizon (slide out tactile keyboard)
  • Droid Pro by Motorola from Verizon (full QWERT keyboard)

Entry level Androids with QWERTY keyboards:

  • Motorola Charm from T-Mobile

These are the Six Most Popular Keyboard Apps that you can add to your phone:

  1. Swype – you enter your text by sliding your finger along the keyboard in a single stroke (first letter to the last one). The App then predicts the word based on the keys that you swiped over. The swiping motion is quicker than tapping each letter out. Swype is reasonably accurate and can usually predict your word even if you miss the odd letter. This adds a fun unique function to your phone and can be very quick after you have had some practice, though you probably will need to do a little practicing to get good at it. This App is pre installed on the Droid X.
  2. SlideIT – similar concept to Swype above, and is a good alternative. You can select different languages by downloading various options.
  3. TouchPal – this virtual QWERTY keyboard can be easily customized to your liking and has a strong predictive text system. You don’t need to fully type each word; a standard tap will enter the rest of the word if the phone has correctly predicted your word.
  4. SwiftKey – standard virtual QWERTY keyboard making use of predictive text to speed up your typing. Similar to TouchPal, SwiftKey has a powerful ability to predict your word after just a couple of letters have been entered and then allows you to tap the rest of the word to be entered. In addition, it uses certain gestures on the keyboard to perform certain tasks such as deleting a word. What really sets SwiftKey apart from its competitors is the ability to predict the next word in your sentence. A negative for this app is that you aren’t able to enter a word that is not in its dictionary by hitting the space bar and moving on.
  5. Better Keyboard – this keyboard is relatively simple and allows you to customize your keyboard to match your theme preferences. There are lots of options you can do to skin the keyboard exactly how you want it. The letters are slightly larger than some of the other virtual keyboards. Better Keyboards makes use of various gestures to speed up commands, such as long-pressing the numbers key brings up the settings menu etc. The App is very quick at switching between modes. Something to watch out for is the speed of the backspace button; you might end up deleting more letters than you wanted to.
  6. ThickButtons – this is an interesting concept, the App predicts which keys you are most likely to hit next and those keys increase in size making it easy to hit. This concept takes a little getting used to, and might work for you. Let us know what you think. The down side being that you might memorize the positioning of the keys after using a keyboard for a little while. Hence, when certain keys increase in size the positioning of the keys changes and might throw you off a little.

Let us know which keyboards you found to be the best, and if you think the virtual versus physical keyboard is better on the Android phones.