S5 – soft keyboard
Now for a quick look at my experiences with the the S5 and its soft keyboard.
The S5 comes with a vilivSoftKey program which provides a on screen soft keyboard for data entry.
I personally found the onscreen keyboard size a bit too small for 2 thumb typing (ok if you use your forefinger) and I find myself making too many typos to the point that it frustrates me.
Another thing that bugged me was when you start typing a URL , say “www.”, the autocomplete kicks in and overlays on top of the screen keyboard (as seen on my S5 pic above). The only way to get out of this is to hide and unhide the keyboard so that the keyboard restarts on top of the autocomplete list.
At the bottom right hand corner, there’s a “Mode” key that’ll toggle the numeric and symbol keys.
Not being totally satisfied by the typing experience, I began searching for a more effective soft keyboard to suit my 2 thumb typing on the S5.
I tested the uBoard, a soft keyboard which I have used on some past UMPCs such as U71P. The uBoard’s keyboard is very configurable but my typing accuracy using the uBoard on the s5 still wasn’t as accurate as I hoped it to be.
I also downloaded an trial version of Dialkeys Gen 2 from http://www.dialkeys.com..this offers a split keyboard (kind of reminds me of the split hard keyboard of the Wibrain!)
It’s a great keyboard and I would have paid the USD30 for the license but I was convinced I’ll find a free soft keyboard that’ll meet my needs.
I finally found the zero weight keyboard (ZWKB ) at http://freshnet8.com which I’m glad to say suited me to a tee.
Here are some features I found which works well for me:
- full screen keys are big and ideal for thumb typing.
- The keys are in bold making it much more
- visible on the small 4.8″ screen of the S5
- By default, it comes with an audible albeit at times annoying click sound when keys are depressed but this can be configured to be switched off. I like having the “click” that tells you that you have correctly pressed a key and each key stays highlighted so you know which key was previously pressed.
- When using the backspace key , the opaque keyboard becomes translucent so you’re able to see your screen through the keyboard.
- It’s free!
I also find that of all the soft keyboards I’ve tested above, the ZWK B (for me) is the most accurate for thumb typing.
So there you go, some of my personal experiences with different soft keyboards on the S5.
Do let us know of your experiences with any other soft keyboards you have come across that are great for touchscreen thumb typing!