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IPad Soft keyboard - a bit basic (very basic, really)

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  1. #1
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    IPad Soft keyboard - a bit basic (very basic, really)

    I have an Android based smart phone and have been mulling over in my mind an iPad or an Android based equivalent. I finally went to an iPad and am generally happy with the choice, but am shocked with the very basic keyboard provided, and with no ability to change it!! I realise that it follows the Apple keyboard layout, but it's lack of flexibility is shocking when compared to what is available in Android world.

    I realise that this is down to Apples drive to control everything that comes anywhere close to the operating system, and this is one of the reasons why I moved from a iPhone to an Android device last year.

    Does anyone know if there is any prospect of us being able to have a choice in the reasonably near future?

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  3. #2
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    iOS 5 will provide at least one alternative; a "split" keyboard more suitable for "thumbing." However, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the range of keyboards available in the Android world.

    If and when "jailbreaking" is possible with the iPad it may be different but it's very, very unlikely that anyone will release a jailbroken option for the current iOS 4.x.x releases with iOS 5 available in a few months. And it's anyone's guess whether and when jailbreaking will be possible in that environment.

    Now that you have an iPad, you're going to have to get used to the sort of control Apple exerts over availability of options in some areas of functionality. Yes, you can have hundreds or even thousands of alternatives in some kinds of apps. But when it comes to the more fundamental look and feel of the device, Apple guards it jealously.

    Much debate over whether this is a good or bad approach and there are strong arguments on each side but they don't change the fact that it's the way it is.

  4. #3
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    Of course, there are many third-party keyboard apps available but I accept they cannot replace the Apple keyboard as the default.

    Tim

  5. #4
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    Tim

    You seem to imply that there are alternative keyboards available - are you referring to physical keyboards (this I am aware of) but I am not aware of any soft ones. If there are some, where are they?

    I really hate the lack of cursor control keys, and it would be so easy to differentiate between upper and lower case letters

  6. #5
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    OK - there are many alternate soft keyboards but they cannot replace the default keyboard. In other words they are standalone keyboard apps. You type into them, then you have to cut and paste the text into whatever other app you wanted to input that text into. So, for example, if you wanted to write a document in Pages , Apple's 'Word' app, you'd need to fire up the separate keyboard app, do the typing there and then cut and paste it into Pages. You cannot get these third party keyboards to replace the default 'pop up' keyboard that would appear if you typed in the Pages app itself.

    By the way, regarding cursor keys you are, I'm sure, aware that by touching and holding the screen over some text a pop up magnifying glass will appear enabling you to scroll the cursor vertically and horizontally with better precision.

    If you're still interested in third party keyboard apps, I can mention several for you. Most Members have their favourites too!

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim SPRACKLEN View Post
    ...

    If you're still interested in third party keyboard apps, I can mention several for you. Most Members have their favourites too!

    Tim
    Tim,

    I, for one, would be interested.

  8. #7
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    There are 470 keyboard apps in the App Store!

    Have a look at

    Fast Keyboard
    Extended Keyboard
    Keyboard Upgrade

    To start with. If you have some specific requirements, just let me know.

    Tim

  9. #8
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    Tim

    Thank you - I will investigate

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim SPRACKLEN View Post
    There are 470 keyboard apps in the App Store!

    Have a look at

    Fast Keyboard
    Extended Keyboard
    Keyboard Upgrade

    To start with. If you have some specific requirements, just let me know.

    Tim
    Thanks, Tim. Have to admit that since I HATE soft keyboards in general and because of the limits you mentioned, I haven't investigated the ones that are available in any detail. I was mainly interested in seeing which ones you might recommend given the reliability of your recommendations in general.

    I do use various soft keyboards on my Android smartphone, mainly because I hate tiny physical keyboards even more than virtual keyboards (picky, ain't I?). In the Android smartphone world, both Swype and Smart Keyboard offer significant advantages compared to the stock Android keyboard. Neither approach, however, has the same advantages in a larger tablet device even if they were available. (imo.)
    Last edited by jsh1120; 08-31-2011 at 10:15 AM.

  11. #10
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    I hate soft keyboards too and (as I am now) type on a Bluetooth keyboard - a folding one at that - which I take wherever I go. Only if I'm forced to use the soft keyboard - usually on a flight, train or bus - do I forgo the Bluetooth keyboard.

    My Bluetooth keyboards - both folding - are the iGo (now out of production, but some still for sale) and the Freedom iConnex - available from Amazon and other retailers.

    Tim


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