1. zipro's Avatar
    I recently purchased a Nexus S. I've been a long time android user and previously used Blackberrys for several years.

    I really like the Nexus S. It's a solid phone with a great screen. the only problem I have with it is the keyboard. I don't use my mobile phone for browsing the web, as I have an iPad that I mostly have with me. I use the phone for yanking out emails, short messages and whatsapp, posting the occasional tweet and Facebook message. For that, I use the keyboard a lot. and I just can't seem to figure out now to use the virtual keyboard efficiently. it drives me nuts - it's highly inaccurate (or my thumbs are)


    are there any current or former Torch users here who can give me their opinion on whether the Torch would be an alternative? are there any downsides to the Torch other than the browser?


    Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk
    01-06-2011 08:15 AM
  2. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    I know how you feel. Typing on the Nexus S (and on Android in general) remains one of the few sore spots of my Android experience. The stock Gingerbread keyboard is well improved over previous iterations, but still pales in comparison to the smoothness, accuracy and reliability of say an iPhone -- anyone who has typed extensively with an iPhone or even an iPod touch will understand what I mean. I owned a Bold 9700 for some time prior, and of course, no screen comes close to typing on physical keys.

    However, you are not without hope. I've tried many keyboards throughout the years, trying to find one where I can type as confidently [as I can on the iPhone]. I'll throw out a few suggestions for you to try:

    First, look up Smart Keyboard Pro. This is a highly customizable keyboard, full of amazing features (which I wish the stock Gingerbread would adopt). Things like Custom Auto Correction go a long way in improving the typing experience. It's also quite responsive, however, I don't believe it's optimized quite yet for Gingerbread -- I'm noticing it misses space bar presses quite frequently, resulting in words likethis. Edit: I should mention I've reached out to the developer and he plans to bring updates to it soon, hopefully optimizing it for Gingerbread.

    2ndly, try Better Keyboard Beta 8. The beta is open and free right now, so it's a good time to trial it. BK8 has come a long way. It's a little wider (so the keys are placed more similarly to Blackberries - this might be a huge factor to you), and highly responsive. I experience very few mis-presses or space bar issues. I also notice there are less double-taps occurring (the stock Gingerbread is horrible with this, often resulting in words like tthis or thiss). Really give this one a try; I personally think you'll do best with this.

    Lastly, some more novel alternatives include Swiftkey and Swype. Both are praised by many, but my personal experience with them have not been rewarding.

    Swiftkey is supposed to predict your next words for you, essentially eliminating the need to actually type, and it does this by "learning" how you type. So it takes some time before it gets really accurate and reliable. You'll have to put work into it. However, I find that even so, because you're forced to focus so much on making sure it predicts the next correct word, it ironically slows you down. It took me longer to finish messages using Swiftkey than if i just manually thumbed out words. And unfortunately, more often than not, it won't predict the right word anyway, so you end up thumbing out almost the entire word before it finally catches on.

    As for Swype, I believe the beta is now open too, so hit up their website and sign up to trial it. Swype is incredibly fun and intuitive, truly eliminating the need to "type" at all. But ultimately, I found it cumbersome, especially when trying to Swype out long words or custom/personal words. But it is still very reliable and I can understand why people are enamored by using it.

    Hope these suggestions help. Good luck.
    zipro likes this.
    01-06-2011 09:43 AM
  3. Dexter73's Avatar
    There is also the speech to text option if you are not entirely comfortable using the keyboard.
    01-06-2011 11:29 AM
  4. Cyber Warrior's Avatar
    It takes time getting use to the virtual keyboard. One of the reasons i like the Droidx is for the bigger screen. I have big hands so it makes typing for me easier.
    Smart Keyboard Pro is a good alternative though. I find less mistakes when typing with that board. Its very customizable from a larger space bar to adjusting the height of the keys plus it has the t9 keyboard option that blackberry uses.
    01-06-2011 11:38 AM
  5. Baconator's Avatar
    I love my Swype keyboard! It is great! "What is typing?" lol jk You should try it.
    01-06-2011 12:46 PM
  6. falconeight's Avatar
    Should be beheaded for comparing the nexus s to the torch. I understand the bold 9780 but the torch physical keyboard is horrible and the phone is cheaply made.
    01-06-2011 03:02 PM
  7. zipro's Avatar
    Should be beheaded for comparing the nexus s to the torch. I understand the bold 9780 but the torch physical keyboard is horrible and the phone is cheaply made.
    That's why I asked if there are other downsides. I don't think the phone's cheaply made - I played with it for half an hour today at a local electronics store - it's built like a tank. I don't have anything against the build quality of the Nexus S - but that thing's definitely not built like a tank.

    As for the keyboard: so far, any physical keyboard easily beat any virtual keyboard I have used. Even the 1st Milestone's and the Palm Pre's are better than virtual ones, although they both suck.
    01-06-2011 03:32 PM
  8. zipro's Avatar
    I know how you feel. Typing on the Nexus S (and on Android in general) remains one of the few sore spots of my Android experience. The stock Gingerbread keyboard is well improved over previous iterations, but still pales in comparison to the smoothness, accuracy and reliability of say an iPhone -- anyone who has typed extensively with an iPhone or even an iPod touch will understand what I mean. I owned a Bold 9700 for some time prior, and of course, no screen comes close to typing on physical keys.
    thanks for the detailed reply, I appreciate it. I've now downloaded Smart Keyboard Pro and the Beta of Better Keyboard and will give both a try over the next couple of days. I can already tell that both of them are significantly better than the stock keyboard.
    01-06-2011 03:34 PM
  9. zipro's Avatar
    I love my Swype keyboard! It is great! "What is typing?" lol jk You should try it.
    that's actually the only one of those mentioned above that I already have some experience with (because it came pre-installed on my wife's Galaxy S). My problem is: I live in Switzerland. Apart from my mother tongue (English) I also speak Swiss-German, which is a local German dialect without a fixed written language. Despite the fact that there's no official Swiss -German dictionary, most people here (including myself) type in Swiss-German most of the time (basically spelling the words the way you pronounce them). The only way to type that way is to completely disable the dictionary, so Swype simply won't work.
    01-06-2011 03:38 PM
  10. falconeight's Avatar
    That's why I asked if there are other downsides. I don't think the phone's cheaply made - I played with it for half an hour today at a local electronics store - it's built like a tank. I don't have anything against the build quality of the Nexus S - but that thing's definitely not built like a tank.

    As for the keyboard: so far, any physical keyboard easily beat any virtual keyboard I have used. Even the 1st Milestone's and the Palm Pre's are better than virtual ones, although they both suck.
    The slide on the torch gets loose and wobbly quick. The screen bounces, and the capacitive buttons delaminate with time.
    01-06-2011 05:07 PM
  11. Ti-Mike's Avatar
    I used to have 2 torch...black and red....great typing etc...but i got used as well to the Nexus S keyboard.....even longer mails , perfect.....i will take some days to get used to the touch screen keyboard.
    01-07-2011 01:51 AM
  12. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    thanks for the detailed reply, I appreciate it. I've now downloaded Smart Keyboard Pro and the Beta of Better Keyboard and will give both a try over the next couple of days. I can already tell that both of them are significantly better than the stock keyboard.
    Glad to help. Let me know which works out for you.

    I'm always extensively critical of Android's keyboard experience (and of Android in general), but I am critical out of the desire to see Android grow and improve.
    01-07-2011 10:52 AM
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