by George Heymann

Thickbuttons: virtual keyboard replacement for Android

Thickbuttons is replacement virtual keyboard for the Android platform that is available for download from the Android Market. Thickbuttons uses a predictive text algorithm to anticipate what you are going to type next then re-sizes the appropriate keys. It works surprisingly well. It also has a couple of unanticipated but welcome features. Within the Thickbuttons settings menu you can select to include a contacts and sms dictionary so that proper names and your special sms shortcuts can be learned. It also has a ” growing dictionary” that learns new words typed and can optionally share the dictionary with other programs.

Once you get the program downloaded from the market there are few additional settings you must set before it becomes selectable as an input type. First go into your phone settings menu and select language and keyboard. Within the sub-menu select click on Thickbuttons , then proceed to the Thickbuttons settings tab to customize the remaining settings to suit your requirements. Then when you press and hold any text field Thickbuttons should appear as an input option. If you need additional installation instructions you can find detailed instructions here

Despite all the positives there were a few sour notes for me as well. I was surprised that the expanding and contracting keys turned out to be a mixed blessing. Although it does help you locate the next key more times than not, at least for me the shifting keys also induced some additional errors. I found myself having to concentrate on the keys more than normal. If this becomes a problem it can be minimized by selecting the enlargement setting to little. Perhaps if the enlargement of the keys can be somehow centered over the anticipated keystroke as opposed to shifting the keys it would help improve the keystrokes.

There also does not appear to be support for voice input in the Thickbuttons replacement keyboard as there is no microphone key. Also using the swipe motion shortcut does not activate voice input. This was especially disappointing for me as I had a conversation with the author prior to the applications release and was told this feature was to be included. Perhaps since this is still beta its planned for a future update. If I hear back from the author I will post an update. The authors website can be found at .


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2 Responses

  1. […] algorithm to anticipate what you are going to type next. This has been done before see our review of Thickbuttons here. So what makes Swiftkey […]

  2. […] Thickbuttons: virtual keyboard replacement for Android ( Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPrintDiggTumblrRedditStumbleUponEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Android, Beta, General technology, Google, Media, Preview, Quick look, Services, Software and tagged Android, Canadian, Downloadable, Dragon Dictation, Dragon Go, DragonDictate, English, Keyboard layout, Language model, language modeling, Nuance, Speech recognition, Swype, Swype Beta, Swype keyboard, voice recognition. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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