The smartphone keyboard has remained largely unchanged over the past decade, ever since the original iPhone was launched. Sure, there have been a few updates, the the general layout takes after the computer keyboard we’re all used to. One app, however, aims to change that.
The app is called Wrio, and it launched on both Android and iOS this week. It does away with the QWERTY keyboard we’re used to in favor of hexagon-shaped keys.
The app was actually successfully crowdfunded last year after being beta tested with 800 users — research that revealed an increase in typing speed of between 20 and 70 percent compared to standard QWERTY keyboards. It’s important to note that while the Wrio keyboard doesn’t offer a traditional QWERTY layout, the keys are still roughly in the same place — you’ll be slowed down at the start, but it shouldn’t be too hard to get used to it.
The keys aren’t just reshaped for the sake of it — the point is that the shape change allows for the keys to be bigger, in the end reducing the number of typos. Not only that, but the backspace key isn’t even there — to delete something you just swipe from right to left. A sustained swipe will delete words, a quick flick will delete a letter. Most punctuation keys have been moved from the primary keyboard to a secondary one, although a few important ones remain, such as the period, comma, question mark, and exclamation point.
You’ll also be able to access emojis with a gesture — simply swipe up on the key that switches between the primary and secondary keyboard and you’ll get access to the emoji keyboard.
Wrio is also looking towards predictive typing — over time and as you continue using the keyboard, a user dictionary will be built up which can be used to offer personalized predictive suggestions.
The app costs $2.99, and is available on both Android and iOS.