Review: Thumb Keyboard

| February 18, 2011 | 2 Replies

Thumb Keyboard Review

Thumb Keyboard is a relatively new keyboard application from Beansoft made for those that get the customization itch. Built with 8 different themes and 7 different layouts, (which we’ll get into later on) this keyboard is nothing short of spectacular to someone who can’t decide between keyboards.

UI

The UI of Thumb Keyboard is hard to pin down, as it is a keyboard; how good or bad could it really be?  However, when compared to some other aftermarket options, this definitely has a nice, legible font on the keyboard, easily outlined and separated buttons, and nothing is really mistakable. The caps, enter, shift, emoticon, etc are all easy to identify, and the alternates on each key are very easy to see. One of the only suggested changes I could make (taking from my go-to keyboard, SwiftKey) would be to add a secondary symbol to the “hide keyboard” key – such as the Settings icon or something – to let people know if they hold it down the Thumb Keyboard preferences will pop up and allow you to adjust the layout, as well as the actual options of the keyboard. At the same time, it’s hard to fault them for this, considering how well outlined the layouts are, and how organized the options menu is, with very clear Feedback, Typing Preferences, Appearance and Customization, and Text Prediction areas laid out.


One of the best options in TK is it’s ability to use different keyboard layouts for Portrait or Landscape; ie, using a regular layout for Portrait, and a tablet layout for Landscape, ensuring more space and easier typing on a phone, and amazingly easier access on a tablet to things like numeric keys and navigation arrows, as well as offering up even MORE alternative keys, helping you to not have to hit that Symbols key as often as you would on a stock keyboard.

Customization

As far as customization is concerned, this app simply oozes it.  The themes have some really great looking options in there including a standard black / light gray option, Honeycomb, (made by our very own Wayne D) Galaxy Tab, 2 Gingerbread options, Galaxy Tab, Rebel, and WP7.  All of these are incredibly well made and true – if not spot on – to what they’re based on. The layouts of course help vary the customization sevenfold, giving you the ability to combine different themes with different layouts to make something that’s truly your own.

One of the best customization features I noticed that TK can, I believe, exclusively call their own, is the option to adjust the height of the keyboards, which is really handy, as I found Thumb Keyboard to be slightly shorter or “stubbier” if you will, compared to other aftermarket keyboard applications. Once I adjusted the height a bit though, it was comfortable and my missed / mashed key woes were gone.

Overall Experience

Overall, I really enjoy Thumb Keyboard, and it’s definitely a close call between it and SwiftKey for me. It’s everything the Stock Android keyboard should be, and Google should be striving to create an experience even remotely close to it. The theme options are mind bogglingly varied, the prediction and auto-correct works well and will be an easy switch for anyone using the stock Android keyboard. The built in User Dictionary definitely doesn’t hurt either, as some apps rely on their own language packages or the built in keyboard, without any indication of where or how you can access them to make adjustments.

I’m not exactly a fan of the “standard size” of the keyboard – could just be because I’m using a 3.7” phone again – but my first instinct was that it seemed a little small. However, as I noted in the Customization area, TK has your back on that and will let you adjust accordingly if you have monstrous thumbs like I do. However, Thumb Keyboard does entirely too much right to hold it down for one small (and fixable) fault.   With the keys in portrait being 125% bigger than other keyboards (go ahead, take some screenshots and see, I’ll wait..) it certainly helps accuracy a fair bit on smaller devices, regardless of height. With the extensive options available in Thumb Keyboard, it will be no surprise when it makes it to the top 10 in the Android Market.

Pick up Thumb Keyboard in the Market for $1.63, or simply scan the QR code below!

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Category: Android Reviews

About the Author ()

Hamilton, Ontario, born and raised. I’m the oldest of two, really into the tech scene. Like my Macbook, Live for my Xbox 360, and LOVE my phones. I work for a large Canadian Telecomm company by day, and a Gizmo Ninja editor by night. I’ve jumped around every mobile OS I can get my hands on, including Symbian, Windows Mobile, WP7, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, etc. Current devices include the HTC Desire Z, HTC Desire HD, Motorola Milestone, HTC HD7, LG Optimus Quantum, and my daily device is my Motorola Atrix.

  • Dean says:

    Sounds pretty awesome, I’ll check it out.