There are a lot of alternative keyboards for Android. Our current favourites are SwiftKey X, with its uncannily clever predictive engine, and Swype, the perfect one-handed typing solution, and there are plenty more in the Market vying for a place on our handsets.
Adaptxt is yet another Android keyboard. It’s not new, having been around on other platforms, most notably Symbian, for a number of years. But is its belated arrival on Android too little too late?
Adaptxt combines prediction and auto-correction, and uses artificial intelligence to learn your writing style. The predictive side of the app is not dissimilar to what SwiftKey X offers, and will improve over time as you type more and more and it learns the combinations of words that you use.
The auto-correct feature is far better though.We even found that we didn’t need to worry too much about accuracy as we typed as the list of suggestions – in red for the auto-correct and black for predictive – regularly came up with our chosen word within a few keystrokes. Curiously when it didn’t our chosen word was often nowhere in sight, suggesting a few refinements would help. When typing in landscape mode we didn’t get any suggestions at all, perhaps a consequence of the app’s beta status.
Adaptxt biggest potential strength is its support for multiple dictionaries, not just in different languages but for specialist uses such as business or medical dictionaries. These should ensure your non-standard words don’t get constantly flagged as errors.
Adaptxt is in beta now, and is available for free for a limited time from the Android Market. It represents a promising start, but with plenty of room for improvement. We’d like to see a new skin for the keyboard as well as a new layout for some of the keys, for instance, and for it to be more app-aware (it’s less effective when typing URLs in the browser).
So we’ll be sticking with SwiftKey X for the time being, but this is most certainly one to keep an eye on.