A big disappointment to me with the release of the Motorola Xoom was the lack of a decent keyboard replacement; and since I had an android device already [Motorola Droid X], I was completely spoiled with the plethora of other options, but the one I really wanted was FlexT9.
It’s available in US and UK English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and supports the following Android OS v2.1 and higher devices: (USA) Verizon Moto Droid X, Moto Droid/Droid 2, Fascinate and Xoom; T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, myTouch 4G, Nexus One, Nexus S, Vibrant and Dell Streak 7; AT&T Captivate & Nexus One; Sprint Epic, Evo & Galaxy Tab; (Europe): Motorola Milestone and Xoom; HTC Desire, Desire HD, and Desire Z; Samsung Galaxy Si9000 and Galaxy Tab, and Dell Streak 7.
FlexT9 Four-in-One Keyboard At-a-Glance:
• Trace: continuous touch input – just glide your finger from one letter to the next
• Write: use your finger to quickly draw anything you would want to type
• Tap: tap, tap, tap on the keyboard old school!
The FlexT9 wasn’t initially available for download from the Android market, but it is now. And the price of the application [$5 basically] is well worth the level of recognition it provides.
Unlike the Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the iPhone, with the Android platform, the voice recognition can be used anywhere within the operating system. It’s very nice; especially if you’re looking to make quick blog posts, Twitter updates or even Facebook status changes.
To find the FlexT9 in the market, just pull up the Android application market; enter ‘Flex’ and search. Right now, one of the first results in FlexT9.
Open the application in the market and download it… purchase is required.
After installation, open the application and then enable it using the simple instructions provided.
Just enable the FlexT9 Input as an option…
Once the application is installed and engaged, you can simply change the input method on-the-fly by holding the input box and then awaiting the prompt. Then simply select the ‘FlexT9 text input’.
I must say that doing swype on a keyboard like this is [landscape] is a bit awkward; the screen is already so big [10”] and doing swype on a keyboard that big is a lot of finger travel. I believe Nuance needs to add an option to SCALE the keyboard on a landscape position— it’d help a lot in overall usability.
I find that turning the tablet in to the portrait position, it’s much more comfortable and usable.
As are the other input methods from the FlexT9 for the Motorola Xoom. Like the one below, where you can simply just write the letter with your finger and the recognition from FlexT9 figures out what you just entered.
My opinion is that Swype is more accurate when you want to keep what your sending private, but if you’re by yourself and you want to get text in to the input boxes quickly; nothing beats FlexT9 voice recognition, powered by Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
This is a great application for Android, and Motorola Xoom. Here’s the easiest way to find it… the barcode [I love these things].
- Open your QR barcode scanner application on your Android device.
- Point your Android device’s camera at the barcode above and scan it.
- Follow the onscreen instructions and “FlexT9 Speak-Trace-Write-Tap” will be installed on your Android device.
- The people that’d say that voice recognition isn’t there yet and say it doesn’t work for them, I would ask them not to make an attempt too hard to make Dragon NaturallySpeaking/FlexT9 work for you.
- Nuance has spent a lot of time working with natural language, just as you talk now. Hold the device a comfortable distance from your mouth; you don’t have to scream, or talk slowly, just when you talk, pronounce your words— FlexT9 will do the rest; FlexT9 is designed to adapt to your speaking patterns over time.
- The application allows you to speak for 60 seconds at a time, but it’s really better to keep it to one sentence at a time, for the best recognition.
- According to the support site, Bluetooth headsets aren’t supported.
And it may be important to note that a new version of the Motorola Xoom is going to be released that’s only wi-fi; not 3G or 4G, and according to the Nuance support site, only an Internet connection is required— and wi-fi satisfies that requirement.
Here’s a quick video from Nuance…
Sometimes I wish I used a rating system on my site, but I don’t… this is VERY recommended.
It’s a great application!
Larry Henry Jr.