DroidWars: Keyboards – Q1, 2010

Other Options

As I said, I simply can’t list all of the keyboards available in the Android Market. There are some that only allow voice input, others that supplement the dialer, and some that barely function. I’ve already covered the ones I find most intriguing in the Market. Here are the two most significant virtual QWERTYs for Android that you won’t find in Android’s growing shop.

HTC’s Sense Touch Input

htc-imeI can’t say enough good things about HTC’s IME. It is beautiful. It is functional. And now that Android devices pack a considerable punch, it is very responsive. The drag about this keyboard is that it cannot be purchased on its own. At the time of this writing, the only legal method of obtaining the artwork is by purchasing an HTC Android with the company’s Sense UI and flavor of Google’s OS. However, it is available online as an independent app and comes bundled with the cooked ROM I’m using now, MoDaCo’s Desire. If HTC put this in the Market for $10, not only would it be declared the victor on the next page, the company would probably make half a mil from it in the next six months.

The Stock Android QWERTY

commaThis bad boy has come a long way since 1.5, and Google’s recent addition of pinch-and-zoom to several bundled apps proves that they are listening to what the public wants. It may not be so hot on an MT3G or G1, but if you’re running a Nexus One, you know how much the experience has improved over time. A huge chunk of that is due to the N1′s luscious screen and we can expect to so more like it in the near future. I don’t like hitting the alt key just to get to something as common as a comma, but the quick and easy access to voice input is nearly a must-have. Love it.

Just because you can customize individual elements doesn’t always mean you should. I am more than happy with the keyboard that comes with Sense, and many of you will be fine with the stock Android kb. But if I were running vanilla Android, I would run…

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