App developer Yose Widjaja has created a new Swype-style keyboard designed to allow users to type with two hands using swipe gestures, and he's demoing the keyboard in his Hipjot note taking app.
Poised as a cross between both gesture-based Android keyboard Swype and the standard iOS keyboard, the Hipjot keyboard can be typed on like a regular keyboard, but it also supports two handed sliding between letters. That means users can type the letters of a word, such as "deviant" with two hands simultaneously in a single double loop gesture.
Because the keyboard allows users to both type normally and swipe through letters with one or two hands, it can result in some impressive typing speeds. Widjala is able to reach peak speeds of 120 words per minute, which is higher than the predicted Swype typing speed of 50 words per minute.
While Swype, which is limited to Android, also allows for gesture-based typing, it does not let users type with two hands simultaneously nor does it allow users to switch between swipes and standard key entry.
Because the Hipjot keyboard incorporates dual entry methods, users have more control over the typing experience. It's also designed to be highly forgiving of inaccurate touches and it includes both selectable corrections based on input and a customizable dictionary.
With two finger inputs, you can be a lot more explicit in your touches, so it allows you to type without choosing what you want to type, most of the time, while retaining a comfortable swipe where you want to. One finger swipes are inferior in that words like "paraphernalia" forces your finger to go left/right so much.
Currently, Widjala's Hipjot note-taking app is designed to serve as a way to show off his innovative keyboard. The app itself, while functional, has a steep learning curve and a custom user interface that is difficult to decipher.
While Widjala is willing to work with other developers and would like to see his keyboard gain traction in iOS, custom keyboard implementation on the platform must be done on a per-app basis because Apple does not allow third-party keyboards to replace the default keyboard. While many iOS users would like to have the option to install keyboards like Swype, or Hipjot's own dual-swipe invention, Apple has yet to budge on the matter.
Some developers, such as those behind predictive keyboard Fleksy, have skirted Apple's rules by releasing an SDK for other developers to use, but custom keyboards like the one found in Hipjot are unlikely to catch on until Apple relaxes its rules.
The dual-swipe typing experience is currently limited to Widjala's Hipjot note-taking app, which can be downloaded from the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]