SlideIT Keyboard – Why Type When You Can Slide?
Tested version: 4.5
Latest version: 6.0
Requires Android: from 2.2
Many of you know and love Swype. The name speaks for itself: Swype literally allows you to enter words by swiping your fingers across the screen. Sounds great, but the problem is that it isn't so easy to get one's hands on Swype. The good news is that there are plenty of good – and sometimes great – alternatives out there—and SlideIT Keyboard is one of them. Let's take a closer look.
Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Android version: 4.0.2
After having downloaded the application an installation assistant guides you through the keyboard's configurations. SlideIT Keyboard supports several languages (45 language packs are currently available): download the ones you will be needing.
The assistant also explains how to activate the keyboard. Another cool option: you can add your contacts to the dictionary and then just swipe away to spell out your contacts' names.
SlideIT works quite nicely after this preliminary set-up has been taken care of, though you will of course have to develop a feel for swiping. Once you've gotten comfortable with it you will find that swiping words is a lot faster than spelling them out, provided, of course, that they are included in the application's dictionary. Words that aren't yet part of the dictionary can be typed out conventionally; they can then be incorporated into the app's glossary—to do so, simply hit the (+) on the left side of the display.
SlideIT supports speech-to-text hit the microphone symbol and start talkin'! Results are contingent on Google. For special symbols hit the '?123' symbol—you'll find four pages worth of characters here. Four buttons for the function 'Settings', 'Cut', 'Copy' and 'Insert' are located in the word suggestion bar and can be used on a word via double click.
Let's move on to the application's settings, because this keyboard application harbours quite a few of them.
Go to 'Language & Dictionary' to select a language, links and abbreviations. This is where you can also add or delete language packs. I find the abbreviations option to be especially useful—for instance, enter 'AWHFY ' which then automatically turns into 'Are We Having Fun Yet?'. The app already features a lot of abbreviations and if ever you feel that some are missing you can simply add them to the bunch manually.
You can export/import your dictionary (in case you switch devices, for instance).
The application has a generous amount of available skins—there are currently 30 available from the Android Market.
There are plenty more settings options, including automated capitalisation, the maximal length of a sentence as displayed on the screen, vibration effects, acoustic feedback...
Check out the 'On-The-Fly' option if you which to configure word suggestions.
SlideIT Keyboard is a user and newbie friendly keyboard that will simultaneously satisfy power users. It has a lot of settings options for advanced users, or users who simply like to configure keyboards according to their own preferences. Overall we are very satisfied with SlideIT.
Screen & Controls
Setting up and using SlideIT Keyboard is relatively simple. It's takes a moment to get used to, but once you've gotten a feel for swiping you will find that it it really is a time saver.
The SlideIT graphics per se won't blow your skirt up, but you can spice things up by downloading some of the skins. The Gingerbread skin has a classic Android look to it.
Speed & Stability
SlideIT Keyboard runs very fluidly and word suggestions pop up without any delays. The app is pretty sturdy overall.
Seeing as it's our app of the week, SlideIT Keyboard is currently on sale for only EUR 1,97, which is a good deal, and one we would ordinarily award a higher rating. However, this is a limited offer—the app usually goes for EUR 4,50, which is a bit hefty.