Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but walking and texting don't mesh as well—or do they? Android applications such as Walk and Text promise to revolutionise the act of walking around or even going up/down flights of stairs whilst still chatting or texting using your Android device. How is this even possible, you ask? And more than that, does it work? We tell all in today's review.
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Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy S2 (I9100)
Android version: 2.3.6
Runs as of version: 1.5
Okay, maybe we exaggerated a bit in the teaser above, after all Walk and Text isn't the first app to provide a service that allows chronic chatters and texters to walk around whilst still typing away. I personally found Transparent Screen PRO to be the most impressive service of this sort that I've come across so far, so I was curious to see what the Walk and Text experience would have to offer.
Upon starting up the app you will see the virtual keyboard with the camera preview displayed as a background theme. Both functions – camera and keyboard – can be deactivated via the tabs, a feature which will be of interest to users who own devices with hardware keyboards. When the touchscreen keyboard is deactivated, a lot more of the on screen real estate is left unused, and hence the camera preview can be more prominent.
For even more clarity, set the background colour for already written text so that it's less visible; this will further increase the screen transparency.
There are further options for viewing SMS threads (please note that the camera preview is not available when using this function), speech input and a very useful torch function comes in handy in situations where you can't otherwise see what you're doing.
On the whole, if you're interested in this type of app, Walk and Text is good but doesn't stand out from the crowd in this category.
A few drawbacks: the vibrating feature can't be activated for when you're typing, and there's an issue with the landscape mode. While the camera preview is always super responsive and fluid (hats off for that!), the keyboard and tabs don't pivot with the device. This means users don't have a choice but to hold their devices horizontally, which doesn't prove to be the most comfortable alternative. On our testing device we found that the camera would often be blocked because of the way the hands have to be positioned. The rotate button didn't work out for us, either.
Walk and Text is an app much like any other from this category. It delivers on its promises but doesn't provide any extra features.
The live image is stable an reliable, and the flash tab is quite useful.
Screen & Controls
Walk and Text lets the user be quite creative when it comes to the app's appearance. You can select the font and theme colours. The live screen performs very well and never lags, and the tab set-up is user friendly as far as navigation and graphics go. Tabs can be completely hidden so that the display is freed up for the live camera.
The virtual keyboard on the other hand does not perform as well: it will only run when the vibration feature is switched off.
Speed & Stability
The Walk and Text live camera has been converted beautifully and runs ultra smoothly. The same goes for selecting tabs: easy and fluid. However, the app crashed on us several times throughout our test runs, especially when loading threads, which is why it scores three out of five stars in this category.
Walk and Text costs EUR 1,77. The reason we're awarding three stars in this category is because there are other similar services available that perform better and cost less.