Tag Archives: keyboard

Windows Phone 8.1 loses Fastest Soft Keyboard in the World title to 16 year old

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Well, that did not last long.  A mere few months after the new Windows Phone World Flow keyboard secured the title of the fastest soft keyboard in the world a Brazilian 16 year old has managed to type the special sentence a 1/3 second faster on the Flesky keyboard on Android.

Marcel Fernandes typed out the 25-word paragraph “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.” in 18.19 seconds on April 25. The previous record was set in January by Gaurav Sharma, a 15-year-old from Seattle who did the same feat in 18.44 seconds using the new Windows Phone 8.1 Word Flow keyboard.

Unlike Word Flow or Swype, Fleksy still employs a keyboard but uses an algorithm to autocorrect and guess a user’s next word. A user can also customize its appearance, like hiding the space bar on the keyboard.

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Old Windows Phone keyboard trick now much better in WP8.1

I complained a week ago about the inability to swipe to punctuate in Windows Phone 8.1

It turns out the Windows Phone 8 keyboard itself has a rather great swiping trick which is now much more relevant in Windows Phone 8.1.

It turns out pressing and holding on the punctuation switch button and then sliding to the punctuation key you want and then letting go will pop you right back to the normal keyboard to continue swiping your rant at speed.

The video, by Somegadgetguy.com, also has a few more trick which even long time Windows Phone users may have overlooked.

Do our readers have any more tips and tricks? Let us know below.

Miss your comma on WP8.1? Here’s how to get it back

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Amongst the numerous changes in Windows Phone 8.1 is the strange movement of the comma key from the first level keyboard to the special characters, which apparently occurs when  multiple  keyboards are installed.

It turns out fortunately this is an easy change to reverse.

Simply go to Settings -> Keyboard –> Advanced  and check Show a comma key when available.

Besides those changes Windows Phone 8.1 also has a new cursor key, now working the same as Windows 8 Metro, with the cursor being manipulated by touching the small circle below it.  The new cursor is more intuitive and allows more precise selection and placement, so overall seems to be a positive move.

Updated Windows Phone 8.1 SDK reveals new low-profile keyboard

Low Profile keyboard

With screen sizes only increasing, the fact that the Windows Phone soft keyboard still takes up half the screen is rather ridiculous.

An update to the leaked Windows Phone 8.1 SDK just pushed out however reveals a new low-profile keyboard  which only takes up 20% of the screen height, and drops the rarely used emoticon key and also the word suggestion bar.

The keyboard was revealed in a slide about text box improvements, which can be seen after the break.

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Sampler for Windows Phone 8 Released

Sampler in keyboard mode

Sampler is a new drumpad and keyboard app for WP8. Tap out a drum beat on the adjustable drum pads or multi-touch keyboard. Thirty free sounds are included with 18 drum machine style sounds and 12 synth sounds.

Sampler in drumpad mode

Sampler WP8 QRCodeAlso included are:

  • Pitch and Volume Bend
  • Reverb and Echo Effects
  • Two octave keyboard (Split between Low and High)
  • Volume and Pitch settings per drum pad
  • Lowpass and Highpass Filters
  • Adjustable modulation buttons

Go to the Windows Phone Marketplace to download Sampler.

Minuum soft keyboard makes compelling case for 3rd party keyboards

While the Windows Phone keyboard is pretty great and has been lauded by many, there is still a lot of room for innovation, as the above video shows.

The Minuum keyboard improves your touchscreen typing by reducing the size of the keyboard, leaving more room for content, and relies on auto-correction, while allowing users to continue using their muscle memory from their QWERTY keyboard.

Reducing the keyboard to one dimension allows all kinds of novel uses, including its use by motion, allowing one to type by twisting a ring or bracelet for example.

More about the project can be read here.

With such innovation coming from 3rd parties, do our readers think it’s time for Microsoft to open up the Windows Phone keyboard API? Let us know below.

Thanks Sarkis for the tip.

Microsoft reveals the secrets of the Windows Phone 8 keyboard

The Windows Phone 7 keyboard received much praise, and Microsoft intended to improve on this in Windows Phone 8.

They introduced Wordflow, which looks not just at a single word, but at a series of words to provide more accurate word prediction.  Microsoft says they surveyed a dictionary of 2.5 billion words built from Wikipedia and Twitter scraping, and selected 600,000 for the on-device dictionary, resulting in word correction which was 94% accurate, and always learning to get even better over time.

Of course the dictionary will still not help you swear, but then you cant have everything ;)

Read more about the keyboard technology at Microsoft here.

Windows Phone 8 WordFlow gives rise to an amusing twitter account

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Wordflow is a new feature of the Windows Phone 8 keyboard, where keyboard would suggest a whole word which it feels is appropriate, such as “move” after “Bust a”.  The keyboard actually learns from your typing, and if one agrees to, will upload your typing pattern to Microsoft to make the system more accurate.

The system allows one to write a whole, rather quirky sentence, from just selecting from the word suggestions, which led to the creation of the WPWordFlow account, where one can see an example of the genius of Windows Phone above.

Follow the account here for a regular glimpse into the communal mind of Windows Phone 8 users.

Windows Phone 8 keyboard pop-up will now take on Accent colours

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The HTC 8X video tour, which I am sure is highly unauthorised (and now safely downloaded to my PC) revealed a few titbits not seen previously.

One of these is a look at the Windows Phone 8 keyboard, which seems largely the same as the one in Windows Phone 7, except that it seems the keyboard letter pop-ups will now take on the accent colour of the start screen, adding a bit of fun to what can be a drab element in Windows Phone.

We have previously seen the keyboard will also feature a new Type Ahead feature that will aim to complete sentences as well as words.

The video had also earlier revealed that users will be able to download all possible keyboards and their associated word completion dictionaries, a significant change from Windows Phone 7, where users were largely stuck with the keyboard their carrier chose.

See the video again after the break (before Microsoft removes it from YouTube of course)

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Windows Phone 8 keyboard includes a new Type Ahead feature

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It seems Joe Belfiore was trying to slip a new Windows Phone 8 feature past right under our noses.

Leon Zandman noticed during Joe’s presentation that the keyboard appeared to be not only trying to complete his word, but also anticipating the next word in the sentence.

In the screen shots above the keyboard is suggesting the word screenshot after Joe typed First ever, even before he pressed S. In the end Joe pressed P for public, and the word completion kicked in.

See a video of the feature after the break.

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Touchpad Free: Big update to enable full Windows Media Center access

Movie mode image

Touchpad Free just got an update to enable the full use of your home theatre PC with your Windows phone. With a click of an icon user can do live TV, play music and do slideshows. Most importantly, Windows Media Center is automatically started so that user does not have to do "anything" to access the media.

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Version 3.0.0 includes these features:

  • Major update with loads of new feature related to multimedia
  • Windows Media Center modes added: TV, Pictures & Music mode
  • Automatic Media Center launch when using Media Center modes
  • new Touchpad server available (1.1.0.2) nullar.com

The app comes in a free and $1.99 version and can be found in Marketplace here.

Touchpad Free: Now with Windows 8 gesture support.

Touchpad Free

Download Touchpad FreePopular "make your Windows phone to your wireless mouse"  application Touchpad Free has now Windows 8 gesture support to enable the smooth use of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Version 2.8.0 also includes new a bunch of new features includes:

  • QWERTY keyboard
  • two-finger scroll sideways
  • language support for Spanish, Italian, Swedish and Norwegian

Try it out by visiting the official web site in here or directly from the Windows phone marketplace.

Introducing Emotiboard – the Emoticon keyboard for Windows Phone 7

logo The emotiboard is designed to allow you to create new and creative messages.  Impress your friend with over 650 Emoticon characters to really bring your messages to life.
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Windows Phone 7 does not currently allow custom keyboards but that hasnt stopped us from trying to make the experience as seamless as possible:

  • Quickly switch between the standard keyboard and the emotiboard to make your message creation easier.
  • Your recent emoticons are automatically remembered so you can quickly access them again and again.
  • Simply click send to launch a new text message with your message ready to be sent.
  • One click copy, enabling your message to be used in any other application on your phone.
  • Search function so you don’t have to spend any time looking through the 650+ emoticons!
  • The emotiboard uses Emoji and Unicode characters which means all other Windows Phone 7 devices are compatible as well as iOS and Android devices with the corresponding Emoji application installed.
Emotiboard is available ad-supported for free here or for less than the price of a cup of coffee (USD $0.99 or equivalent) here. qrcode