ThickButtons for Android Makes Touchscreen Typing Easier

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I don't have many issues with the Android platform, but I do have one major gripe: The native software keyboard is the pits. The keys are just too narrow for comfortable, error-free typing and the prediction technology just isn't as on-target as say, the iPhone's. So when I heard about ThickButtons, a new Android keyboard application, I was anxious to give it a spin.

Using an algorithm, ThickButtons shrinks the letters that are not likely to be used and enlarges the buttons that are. So the app basically predicts by letter; most other dictionary-based prediction technologies predict by word. How many times have you tried typing a name or a vernacular term and have had your phone predict a totally different word? It can be hilarious-but mostly frustrating.

I tried ThickButtons on both the Nexus One and the T-Mobile myTouch 3G. I was particularly pleased with the experience on the myTouch: Typing on the somewhat small 3-inch display was a breeze! My large-hand colleague who normally loathes typing anything more than a few words on his Android phone found it to be a major improvement as well. The letters enlarge enough so anyone--with any hand size--can easily type. I also found the algorithm to be fairly accurate as well. If ThickButtons doesn't know a word, it will turn off and appear as a regular keyboard. But once you've entered the word, it will be automatically registered in the dictionary.

A free download, ThickButtons version 0.6 for Android is now available at the Android Market or at After you've downloaded and installed ThickButtons, you must enable it as an input method by going to Settings > Choose Language & Keyboard > Activate "ThickButtons." Currently, ThickButtons is only available in English, but the company says they're working on versions for most "major languages." ThickButtons is also developing a version for Windows Phone Series 7.

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