More text input options for UMPCs


Umpcmessagease_1I just flew in from Florida at 1:30 this morning and boy are my arms tired. Actually, my whole body is tired after walking around Disney for a few days and then dealing with return flight delays. In any case, I’m back and on my way to NYC in a few short hours to meet James, Dave and the brave MobileTechRoundup listeners who want to see the faces behind the voices. (Disclosure: you won’t be impressed!)

Before I head out, I thought to check in on my RSS feeds and I’m glad I did. Matt Miller has a brief, but excellent article over at The Mobile Gadgeteer about text input options for UMPCs. The lack of a keyboard for UMPCs continues to raised as an issue and Matt mentions usable options like ritePen, Fitaly and MessagEase; I’m familiar with the first two, but not the latter, so I’ll check it out after hitting the Big Apple! Oh and if you’re still bashing UMPCs because they have no keyboard, swap the name "Mobile Slate Tablet PC" for "UMPC" and then give them a second chance. ;)




I have used MessagEase in the past. Basically it’s divided up into the 8 directional gestures that you can enter in one of 9 areas. Once you’re used to it, you can enter text faster than handwriting or OSK tapping, but I found that it’s also a bit clumsy. Unless your hands are rock solid even high on caffeine, it’s pretty easy to hit the wrong stroke, especially if you have it down to the smallest square. In my view it’s a novel idea to use as one’s main text input method considering its flexibility (in size); but in practice it ends up not being as precise or fast as either typing or handwriting. But it beats the QWERTY OSK.

Comments are closed.