As someone who favors large-screened phones, I’m all for making it easier to type on a mobile device. So when I heard about Tyype for Android, which adds a trackpad to the traditional on-screen keyboard, I was intrigued. After trying it out on my Galaxy Note 2, which has a 5.5-inch screen, I’m sold on the trackpad concept Tyype offers. I can’t yet make it my primary input method, however, due to a few missing features.
First, the trackpad. You can set it to appear above or below the keyboard. I tried it below but quickly moved it to above because my hands already trained for a spacebar at the bottom of any on-screen keyboard.
To use the trackpad, you simply swipe it to the left or right to quickly move your cursor through any text. Tap the trackpad and a space is inserted. Double-tap to select a single word or triple-tap to select all text. There are also two arrows — one on each side of the trackpad — that will immediately move the text cursor from one word to the next. Here’s how it looks:
Overall, I like this type of navigation and it gets better once you’ve selected text. Tapping and holding the trackpad causes a cut/copy/paste menu to appear, making it easy to copy your selected text, move the cursor as needed and then paste text. This whole process makes it easier to handle such activities with one hand on a large screen.
Unfortunately, Tyype’s feature set essentially stops there. While the trackpad itself is excellent and easy to use, the keyboard itself is bare-bones. There’s no auto-correction of misspelled words, nor is there any word suggestion option; two key features that are a must-have on any mobile keyboard for me.
If Appvetica, the small team behind Tyype, were to add those features, I’d be adding this keyboard to my Android smartphone right away. Instead, I’m putting Tyype on my “watch list” and not on my phone, hoping to see these important features added.
For those that want to test out the keyboard, it’s free for five days in the Google Play store; after that you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version for $1.58. I double-checked to see if the paid version adds any features, but the Appvetica team said not yet. They hope to add auto-correct in the next one to two weeks.