App: Smart Keyboard / Smart Keyboard Pro by Cyril Deguet
Price: Free / €1.99 (approximately $2.76 at the time of publication.)
Features: Multi-touch, several languages, dictionary (Pro version only)
Tested: 02/20/10, Nexus One | Version: Free, 1.1.3; Pro, 1.4.3
This keyboard replacement made it to a list of my current favorite apps for the Nexus One and also made a quick appearance in my third N1 Q&A video. Besides the random trading of places occurring amongst the keys of an earlier, free version, the number one detractor from this QWERTY was the lack of dictionary support. At the time, I only saw the promise of the feature in the Pro version, which had yet to be released.
Well, I’m happy to report that Smart Keyboard Pro has hit the Market and dictionary support, auto complete, suggestions, auto-capitalization, gestures, and bug fixes are in full effect. You can also tell the keyboard to recognize your contact entries.
Smart Keyboard has been updated recently and now features a very, very iPhone theme, which is fine and good but I think making it the default was a big mistake. Greatest strengths? This one features multi-touch support (Android 2.0+ only) that is not only practical, but very perceivable – unlike the multi-touch utilized in the stock Android keyboard. Biggest drag? No voice input button and the swype gesture that initiates voice input on the stock QWERTY isn’t available. Smart Keyboard Pro supports English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Russian. You’ve got to try it in landscape with the gray skin (shown above) to fully appreciate it. Version 1.12.1 is fresh in the Market. Before I rooted my N1 and dove into the MoDaCo Desire ROM Alphas, which feature my dearly beloved HTC IME (Sense keyboard), Smart Keyboard Pro was my QWERTY of choice.