Let's face it, we've all gotten pretty good at typing away on smartphone keyboards but, is that the only way to input text? Of course not! Android is known for its wide variety of apps and utilities that give its users vast choices. Input methods are no different and on Android there's a whole lot of keyboard out there. WritePad however, is a lot different to everything else as it lets you input text through handwriting which is, for a lot of people, the preferred method of writing things down. Read on to see how WritePad works and, more importantly, is it something for you?
Description: WritePad is a new way to input text on Android. Think of it as a keyboard replacement without the keyboard. You can print, write in cursive and in different languages and WritePad will pass on your input to the target app. WritePad utilizes PhatWare's 4th generation recognition technology, and if you have a smartphone or tablet that has true pen-input like HTC's Flyer/Jetstream/EVO View 4G or anything from the infamous Galaxy Note line then this you will get all the benefits of that input using WritePad! Take a look at the video below to get a closer look at WritePad
How it Works: To get started with WritePad you'll have to head over to the Play Store and install the game from there. The set-up is perhaps a little involved but, thankfully WritePad will take you through it step-by-step:
When you go through the set-up, it's akin to setting up any other third-party keyboard, if that's sounds a little scary, don't worry because WritePad goes through everything with you! Once you've got the app set up one of the things you'll notice is that there are a lot of settings, which is great because you can tweak the app however you like! Plus, if you ever want to switch back to a different input method, just hold the options button in the WritePad toolbar for a list of all input options installed on your device.
It's really easy to get to grips with the app and for those times when you need input something quickly using the keyboard, there is a QWERTY-layout included as well:
But, you don't care about that do you? What you want to see is the WritePad in action, to get back to the handwriting recognition just click the pen in the bottom left:
So, as you can see my handwriting is pretty awful but WritePad had no problem figuring out what I wanted to say. For instance, that letter after the 'd' is it a 'b'? The number six? It looks nothing like an 'o' but WritePad still managed to work it out perfectly fine. WritePad even has support for symbols:
As you can see the app also lets you print as oppose to using cursive which is great for those that don't write in cursive.
WritePad is very much one of those apps that gets better the more you use it. In this case it gets easier the more you use it and more importantly, the more you'll enjoy the app. There is a learning curve to the app but it's not too steep and once you get past that, it becomes really easy to use WritePad as an input method.
Opinion: Here at Android Headlines I am perhaps the most technical and least technical in a number of ways. For instance, I use numerous operating systems and absorb all tech but, I don't use Evernote or anything like that - I write it all in a notebook. So, using WritePad it was refreshing to write on my smartphone instead of typing away. I will say that there's a learning curve but, if you're used to writing a lot, this could be your permanent input method after a little time.
- Speed (4/5) - There were no issues while using WritePad and input was recongized very quickly.
- Features (5/5) - It might not be for everyone but there's no denying that WritePad is very comprehensive and accurate.
- Theme (3/5) - It's a shame that the app hasn't been updated with a Holo look but that doesn't hold the app back by any means.
- Overall (4/5) - Once you've gotten over the learning curve WritePad is a valuable and great app to work with, especially if you're more used to writing that tapping away.
- Refreshing and new way to input text into all Android apps.
- Very, very accurate with even the poorest of handwriting - mine, is terrible for instance.
- You can input with cursive or print.
- Comprehensive settings allow you to tweak to your heart's content.
- There's no denying the app is pretty pricey.
- No free/trial version on the Play Store, however there is a 24 hour trial version available directly from PhatWare web site at http://www.phatware.com/downloads
Conclusion: When it comes to inputting data, we've been doing it the same way for years now and it's always great to change things up a little. If touch keyboards aren't your thing or you got really good using that stylus on the Galaxy Note then WritePad could easily become your new best friend. There is a learning curve involved but if you stick with it, you can easily overcome that curve and end up with a new - perhaps better - input method. If the price is a little steep for you then you can always try a 24 hour trial from Phatware's website. Click the link below to see the app's page on the Play Store.