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Old 02-26-2013, 05:44 PM   #21
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Keyboards in Android are very easily replaced or customized to suit an individual need. As are many aspects of the Linux-kernel-based operating system. This is Linux's (and its derivatives) greatest strength, and why detractors like to label that as "fragmentation" (FUD).

I don't buy Apple products because I don't like being told how my tools are going to work for me. But they are still very high quality products, albeit hugely overpriced for what you get.

I used to use the HBT app, but it's been a long time since I did. Still, I found the app useful.

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #22
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Keyboards in Android are very easily replaced or customized to suit an individual need. As are many aspects of the Linux-kernel-based operating system. This is Linux's (and its derivatives) greatest strength, and why detractors like to label that as "fragmentation" (FUD).
You may consider it a great strength, I consider it break-even at best. So far as I can tell, it means that commercial android phone vendors don't spend a lot of time working on refining these tools to make them as robust and user-friendly as they could, because they figure someone else will spend those resources and do it for them. So then you have a bunch of small 3rd party and open source solutions, many of which are 80% really great but suffer from some flaw that makes them aggravating, with the occasional gem which actually works well but is often difficult to find amidst all the cruft.

As a user I want my keyboard to "just work" right out of the box. I don't want to spend hours or even minutes sifting through and trying out new keyboard applications (some of which I might even have to pay for as a bonus) just to find the one I like best. That is not my idea of fun. I want it to work right when I turn on the phone the first time. I don't mind hunting down an application to add functionality to my phone, but a keyboard is pretty basic functionality for a smartphone and it should work pretty darn well without user intervention.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #23
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You may consider it a great strength, I consider it break-even at best. So far as I can tell, it means that commercial android phone vendors don't spend a lot of time working on refining these tools to make them as robust and user-friendly as they could, because they figure someone else will spend those resources and do it for them. So then you have a bunch of small 3rd party and open source solutions, many of which are 80% really great but suffer from some flaw that makes them aggravating, with the occasional gem which actually works well but is often difficult to find amidst all the cruft.

As a user I want my keyboard to "just work" right out of the box. I don't want to spend hours or even minutes sifting through and trying out new keyboard applications (some of which I might even have to pay for as a bonus) just to find the one I like best. That is not my idea of fun. I want it to work right when I turn on the phone the first time. I don't mind hunting down an application to add functionality to my phone, but a keyboard is pretty basic functionality for a smartphone and it should work pretty darn well without user intervention.
No arguments about the first part, but that's why I own a Nexus device.

As for the second, if your are not a DIY type of guy, Linux/Android/FOSS is not for you. You'd be better served with an Apple product.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:29 PM   #24
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I am a DIY type of guy, but COME ON there is no reason I shouldn't have a working keyboard out of the box. It is disingenuous to call Android a smart phone without that basic functionality nailed down.


Usability is important. For some reason the open source community as a general rule doesn't like spending time on improving usability, though. As a general rule, the best they have come up with so far is to copy commercial vendors who DO spend time on that. Apparently it's not interesting to make your widget user-friendly once you have basic functionality hammered out.

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:37 PM   #25
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I am a DIY type of guy, but COME ON there is no reason I shouldn't have a working keyboard out of the box. It is disingenuous to call Android a smart phone without that basic functionality nailed down.


Usability is important. For some reason the open source community as a general rule doesn't like spending time on improving usability, though. As a general rule, the best they have come up with so far is to copy commercial vendors who DO spend time on that. Apparently it's not interesting to make your widget user-friendly once you have basic functionality hammered out.
What one person likes, another doesn't. So each droid should read your mind before you open it?

I have used the iphone keyboard, HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?????????

My out of the box droid seems to have the same one (maybe slight variation where symbols are found)
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:43 PM   #26
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The difference is that this one has horribad prediction, I guess. I type one thing and it chooses a completely different, nonsensical word EVERY DAMN TIME. I very carefully click on exactly the letters I want to spell a word, and it still decides I am typing something else. Using the swype keyboard is actually worse in my experience. I swipe across exactly where the letters are for the word I want, and it gives me a word that doesn't even begin with the same letter I used. WTF?

I find it horribly frustrating. I thought the iphone was a bit annoying as you do often get the wrong word, but it's nowhere near the same frequency as I get on android. Typing short text messages is annoying, and an email or post on a forum is downright frustrating.


I am using a galaxy S3. So, perhaps different software--I dunno.

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:46 PM   #27
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The difference is that this one has horribad prediction, I guess. I type one thing and it chooses a completely different, nonsensical word EVERY DAMN TIME. I very carefully click on exactly the letters I want to spell a word, and it still decides I am typing something else. Using the swype keyboard is actually worse in my experience. I swipe across exactly where the letters are for the word I want, and it gives me a word that doesn't even begin with the same letter I used. WTF?

I find it horribly frustrating. I thought the iphone was a bit annoying as you do often get the wrong word, but it's nowhere near the same frequency as I get on android. Typing short text messages is annoying, and an email or post on a forum is downright frustrating.
THIS^ I can get behind.

In the immortal words of (some african american guy) to Chevy Chase..."Hey F*CK yo predictive text"

turned that crap off DAY 1.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #28
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I am a DIY type of guy, but COME ON there is no reason I shouldn't have a working keyboard out of the box. It is disingenuous to call Android a smart phone without that basic functionality nailed down.


Usability is important. For some reason the open source community as a general rule doesn't like spending time on improving usability, though. As a general rule, the best they have come up with so far is to copy commercial vendors who DO spend time on that. Apparently it's not interesting to make your widget user-friendly once you have basic functionality hammered out.
You don't really get an Android phone unless you buy a Google (Nexus) device with vanilla Android. What you have is Samsung's Touch UX (or whatever they're calling it now). Included with their "skin" is their own keyboard.

There's good reason why there has been such a big push from Google for the various manufacturers to stop skinning Android like they do: they're not making it better as a whole.

It's kind of like how I don't run "Linux", I run Ubuntu's Linux distribution. Some people like Ubuntu's take, others do not.

NOW, as for your commentary about FOSS: getting it working is the first priority and everything else has to take a back seat because nobody is getting paid to do the work. Usability does come in time, but not nearly as fast as it would if you had Apple money to dump into it.

A strong case could be made for Android still being the most polished Linux product yet. But it took Google money to get it that far.

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The difference is that this one has horribad prediction, I guess. I type one thing and it chooses a completely different, nonsensical word EVERY DAMN TIME. I very carefully click on exactly the letters I want to spell a word, and it still decides I am typing something else. Using the swype keyboard is actually worse in my experience. I swipe across exactly where the letters are for the word I want, and it gives me a word that doesn't even begin with the same letter I used. WTF?

I find it horribly frustrating. I thought the iphone was a bit annoying as you do often get the wrong word, but it's nowhere near the same frequency as I get on android. Typing short text messages is annoying, and an email or post on a forum is downright frustrating.


I am using a galaxy S3. So, perhaps different software--I dunno.
I would highly recommend using SwiftKey if you want a good keyboard on your S3. It isn't free, but it's not prohibitively expensive either. But that's only if you want working predictive text. I don't have any suggestions for you if you need something else.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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NOW, as for your commentary about FOSS: getting it working is the first priority and everything else has to take a back seat because nobody is getting paid to do the work. Usability does come in time, but not nearly as fast as it would if you had Apple money to dump into it.
That's just the thing. The problem with FOSS in many cases is that developers, as a rule, like adding lots of features. What they DON'T generally like is taking one feature and polishing the hell out of it so that it works flawlessly. As a developer, I admit that redesigning a UI several times is not at the top of my enjoyable programming tasks, but it DOES make the software a better experience. You can omit a lot of features and still have a devoted user base if your software is substantially more usable.

Apple didn't dump lots of money into the iPhone on their first iteration. Well, they DID, but not on developing tons of features. They took the money they would have spent duplicating lots of features which already existed in lots of phones at the time, but didn't get into iOS v1.0, and instead focused on making the usability of iOS the most important thing. The keyboard predictive text was generally useful and not a hindrance. The UI libraries shared between applications was well thought out and intuitive, which made it easier for users to learn how to use new applications, and easier for them to accomplish common tasks. There were TONS of features missing, but the UI was good enough to sell millions of phones despite that. I mean we are talking about a phone which didn't even support 3G, which almost every other new phone did at the time of its release.


So I think the FOSS community could learn a few lessons on how less can be more. Scale down the feature creep, and take some of that time to improve the features that are already there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:48 PM   #30
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Anyone on Android not willing to use SwiftKey or not willing to pay the 2-3$ for it should not have the right to complain about the word predictions and should have their phone taken away from them and donated to someone who actually have a clue. (Even SwiftKey I set at manual correction mode but it's damn brilliant in general... Sometimes I press the suggestions 3-4 times in a row)

I'm CONSTANTLY using the Android app. If it goes away, I think I'll stop contributing. That's how much I hate using the site on my phone (and I own a Galaxy Note so imagine on a smaller phone).

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