In the picture above you see two things. One, a new “keyboard” on my Android phone called 8pen, and two, me, looking overly critical of said keyboard.
Don’t get me wrong though. I am actually very much up for new technology when it comes to input on mobile devices. Regular touchscreen keyboards are certainly not the ideal solution.
I myself am a lover of Swiftkey, a keyboard for Android that is like a regular touch screen keyboard, but actually boasts some amazing features including some very smart word predictions which only get smarter as you use it more and more. You could say that Swiftkey is the best thing that I have found thus far as a keyboard for my Android.
Could all this be about to change?
So, 8pen I actually love what they are trying to do. They are trying to completely re-invent the keyboard, and make something that you can use for typing that is completely designed specifically for a small touchscreen mobile device. Trust me when I say that it is like nothing that you have ever seen before in your life. It’s different, really different.
I’d love to describe how it works, but it is pretty complex, and I don’t think that even I have my head around it yet, so, it might be best for you to just watch their product video to get an idea about how this thing is working. Check out the video:
I really like how they are wanting to make inputting text on a mobile device a lot more of a natural process, more continuous like writing. I also really dig the fact that once you are familiar with the keyboard setup you can literally input text just from a black circle on the screen. That I really like, firstly for simplicity, but also because it’s a great opportunity to look seriously awesome in front of your friends. Right?
None of us particularly like change, and having tried 8pen it’s certainly a learning curve, it seems that it isn’t something that people are going to be able to pick up just like that, but, surely that comes with the territory of reinventing something like this and doing something completely new?
For me the jury is still out on this. I’ve seen the videos, I have installed it on my phone, and I admire what 8pen is trying to do. Whether it’s going to revolutionize how the world inputs text into their mobile, I don’t know. We are creatures of habit, and don’t tend to take well to change.
I personally really want this to work for me, so I will be persevering with it for a few days to see how it goes.
Have any of you tried 8pen? How was your experience?
If you haven’t tried 8pen, and have an Android with 2.2+, download it free from the Android Marketplace, try it out, and let us know how you liked it.