Coming from an engineering background, I know how important it is to be to be able to type on our cell phones without looking at it (I know, I know.. you don’t say). Back in my college days we all had T9 keypads on our phones which made texting without looking at the phone easier. But now with the advent of touch screen smartphones, which lack physical keyboards, I miss my days of touch typing while composing a text message.
Typing on touch screen phones has always been a challenge for the users even after they could see the entire keyboard on the screen. Developers have already come up with many innovative on-screen keyboards to ease accessibility for the users and we have discussed some of the good ones in the past. But today I am excited to talk about an all new on-screen keyboard for Android using which you can touch type on your device without looking at the keyboard (the user must have some basic knowledge about the qwerty keyboard layout).
A Quick Look at Fleksy
To get started, download and install the latest version of the Fleksy keyboard for Android on your device and launch the app. Just like any other keyboard app, Fleksy will ask you to enable it as one of the input methods on your Android followed by selecting it as the default one. The app will guide the user on how these things are to be performed. Soon after selecting Fleksy as the default keyboard, you will be given a short introduction on how to use the keyboard and its innovative features to be able to type faster.
The first thing you will notice in Fleksy is that the keyboard offers bigger typing area with swipe gesture control. To delete a word all you need to do is swipe left across the keyboard. Swipe right to add a space. But the thing to admire the most about the keyboard is its auto-correct feature which is miles ahead of the default Android keyboard. However, if the predictive text is not accurate at the first attempt, the user can just swipe up for suggestions or down to keep the current word.
Now, coming to the touch typing part, the user can just swipe the keyboard down using two fingers. The first time you do this, the keyboard will hide the space bar and it will disappear completely if done again (option to be enabled from Advanced Settings). Developers say that the main idea behind the innovation was that the user should be able to see the screen with content than seeing the keyboard. In the invisible mode, you will see the entire screen of content with a thin grey line in the middle of the screen. The area below the line will act as a keyboard but the traditional keys will not be visible.
Things That Need Work
The app is still in beta and there’s a good room for improvement in the future updates. The invisible keyboard sure looks cool, but it cannot be used in texting applications, such as WhatsApp as of now. Currently there is no way to access the send button which falls under the keyboard in the invisible mode. Also, the prediction is only good when you stick to the dictionary words. There’s an option to add words to the dictionary manually but I would prefer an import wizard that could import the existing custom dictionary from the previous keyboard I was using or at least the app should be able to learn from my messages and emails just like the Swift keyboard.
Currently the keyboard supports Spanish, German, Italian, French and Dutch other than English. I would suggest you go ahead and download the keyboard and see for yourself. While the first few days can be really challenging with swiping gestures, you will love it once you get the flow of it. Do share your reviews in the comments.
Top Photo Credit: Wiertz Sébastien
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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