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.
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.
Also 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.
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.
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
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 â€œmoveâ€ after â€œBust aâ€. 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.
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)
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.
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 (220.127.116.11) nullar.com
The Windows Phone 7 keyboard is one of the best qualities of the OS, but it seems Mango, for all its improvements, have introduced a new issues with the feature.
On XDA-Developers a number of users are complaining of either the keyboard not popping up when the user touches an input field, and even worse, disappearing in the middle of typing a sentence.
Some users are also complaining their touches are not registering as accurately as before. The issue is not confined to devices with the hacked Mango update, but also appears in devices which received the official update.
Are any of our readers suffering this issue? Let us know below.
One of the unique features of Windows Phones are their soft keyboard with emoticons support. In Windows Phone ‘Mango’, Microsoft is improving on itÂ by the diplaying the emoticon characters:-),:-( as graphical characters such as , :-(Â just as in Windows Live Messenger.Â Pocketnow have posted theÂ aboveÂ screenshot showing theÂ new feature in the messaging hub. A welcome feature for emoticon loversÂ since it truly will reflect their emotions.
We were overly excited to try Swype when it was first released, but now it seems its one of many line based on-screen keyboards to come. Just last month SlideIT came into existence, with many excited, we thought it would be the best and the last. It seems pocketnow has done a video to prove us wrong.
The video demos the new ShapeWriter in action on what seems like an HD2. The video shows truly how fast an on-screen keyboard can be. Unlike Swype, this new keyboard cost a little cash, and a little being $19. That price tag is a deal breaker for me, that is a little too much for a keyboard I will hardly ever use. This is certainly a good concept, and it seems fast, but with that price, I am sure youâ€™re better off with Swype.