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This might be a border line question for this forum, but I will see and learn whether it is relevant. At least I do not believe that anyone here would feel that it is not interesting as it is very close to the interests of Android Enthusiasts.

Imagine the following scenario. You want to type 300 characters (something like three SMS) and you want to do this as fast as possible. Given my typing speed on the touch screen (even utilizing various speed up input software), I am still typing at something like the fourth of the speed as on a normal keyboard.

This scenario could arise in the following places:

  • As a passenger in a car/train/airplane
  • While walking (actually while biking in my case, but this is not recommended)
  • While sitting in a sofa/chair
  • While lying in bed

I have come across various wireless keyboards, which could be utilized. The problem is that if I need one hand to hold the phone (in order to read what I type) and one to hold the keyboard in most of the scenarios above, I am left with at best a few fingers to type on the keyboard, which would hardly be better than using the touch screen.

Therefore, I am thinking about a keyboard with a holder, which would need to be really tall in order to be close enough for me to actually read what I type. I imagine that the time it takes to set up something like this, would mean that it would not pay off for just typing the 300 characters.

My conclusion so far, is therefore, that there is no current solution to this problem, which would make me faster, apart from buying an android phone with a built in keyboard. Are there any alternatives I have missed?

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"(actually while biking in my case, but this is not recommended)" and illegal in some jurisdictions! –  GAThrawn Jun 3 '11 at 13:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As much as I personally like Swype, SlideIt or SwiftKey (or ThumbKeyboard on my tab), no VK can ever come even close to replacing a real hardware keyboard. Accuracy issues because of screen issues (lack of true multitouch), poor prediction software (especially on slower phones) always make me spend more time correcting what I thought I typed than actually typing.

Unfortunately swapping the phone is usually not an option for most people. I did some googling I found a mini bluetooth keyboard with case that could potentially work for you.

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The problem with this keyboard is that it only works partially when I sit at a proper table. I would then lay the phone down flat on the table and use both hands. –  David Jun 3 '11 at 21:17
    
That was one of the first hits on my short Google search. You are probably looking for a similarly small keyboard, but with a "snap-on" plastic case instead of the leather one. I've seen a couple of keyboard like that that include a stand, but they weren't compact. –  Chahk Jun 3 '11 at 22:02
    
They would then still require me to sit at a proper table, or else I could only use one hand and the whole thing would share so I probably could not read what I was typing... –  David Jun 3 '11 at 22:07

I realise that this isn't an answer to your hardware requirement, but are you sure you need new hardware?

I believe that the current Guinness World Record speed texting record holder used the Swype keyboard on an Android phone, so it's not exactly slow.

Swype is pre-installed on a number of Android phones (primarily Samsung models) but unfortunately is otherwise in a limited beta that you'll need to register for. There are some similar soft keyboards like SlideIt that are available in the Market

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This is exactly what I was going to post, +1 for the Swype record. –  Matthew Read Jun 3 '11 at 13:31
    
I like the answer. Unfortunately, I regularly text in four different languages and last time I checked it was really inconvenient to switch languages. –  David Jun 3 '11 at 14:07
    
@David Ahhh ok, that does complicate matters for any soft keyboards, as you won't be able to take advantage of the predictive abilities without a lot of hassle. –  GAThrawn Jun 3 '11 at 14:33
    
Yes, and sometimes one email (if that is what I am writing), contains text from two different languages. I have to say that I have gained a lot by using those soft keyboards, but still I am not quite up to speed of that girl in the video. I would be close, though, with a proper keyboard. –  David Jun 3 '11 at 14:48

If you truly want to speed up the typing speed, there are certain factors you have to take in account:

  • Screen size
  • Touchscreen type (number of simultaneously recognized distinctive touch points, latency, etc.)
  • OS (how fast can it recognize the touches, etc.)
  • Underlying base hardware (how fast can it run the OS itself, and how fast can it process the raw touch information into usable digital data)

If you want to truly speed things up, you will have to get a new phone, preferably some flagship device (these tend to have the latest, "most innovative" specs, including touchscreen, plus the latest OS). I understand that you would rather not do this, but otherwise you cannot speed things up (you could try replacing the touchscreen, its controller, etc., but it is all risky, and software support would be lacking).

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