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SlideIT, Swype, and Shapewriter. Some notes.
I have been trying different keyboards recently, I was surprised at how well the swipe recognition technology works. I am a somewhat clumsy typist, but had little difficulty using these keyboards. I had read of the learning curve involved, but really, you can get the hang of them in 15 minutes.
There are 3 of these keyboards I have tried. All three are lacking text to speech, however.This oversight is a bit surprising. At the pace these keyboards seem to be evolving, however, I expect that feature soon.
A lot of buzz ( or less kindly hype) on this one, but frankly I found it the least useful because adding new words to the dictionary is difficult.
Pop-up for word selection. Matter of taste, but I much prefer the "conventional" inline method used by others.
Another minus is that if you enter a wrong word, you have to hit backspace on each latter rather than it being smart enough to remove the entire entry.
Layout felt cramped.
Can't hold down a key to select a spacial character (ie, hold down n to select ñ), You must switch modes just to enter a number.
Graffiti mode is a great idea, but it works poorly. It's really more of "random symbol generator" than anything else at this stage.
This was the simplest to both add and delete words from dictionary. Deleting a word requires just that you select the word and then select "remove" from the immidiate window. No need to switch out to delete dictionary words. They should all be like this.
It doesn't support skins, and I find the default skin to be less clear than I wish. A skin like Better Keyboard's Oil Slick would be just dandy for me.
In general, setup and customization options on this one are very weak. It was also the least accurate, bordering on awful (eg, 'hubris' kept defaulting to 'hybrid', 'piglets' to 'pockets').
I wish it didn't have as much space between the letters but it is the most like a decent conventional keyboard with gesture recognition than the others. In other words, it doesn't suffer from either of the show stoppers I mentioned above: difficulty in adding new words (Swype), difficulty in adding symbol/characters (SlideIt). Unfortunately, it was the least effective at it's reason for beign: gesture recognition.
The first to, Swype and Slide it, are very good gesture based keyboard, lacking conventional keyboard fucntionality. Shapewriter, on he other hand, is a decent conventional keyboard, albeit one that lacks customization, with mediocre to poor accuracy.
Overall, these 3 are close to, but not quite ready, for prime time. The basic technology is wonderful, but they need to do more of what a good basic keyboard does (not just in functionality, but in customization), rather than rely on the gesture technology as their main point of appeal. It's more than a gimmick, it does work, but the overall packages need to grow up. This applies to all three. Certainly, if we combine the features available among these three keyboards we'd have quite a beaut.