Swype is on the of best third-party Android keyboards available. It’s been around for a while, and users love it. It was probably the first and is definitely one of the best keyboards that use a swiping input method. People love it so much that other keyboards like SwiftKey and even Google’s own Stock Android Keyboard have incorporated their own versions of gesture input. Swype can be customized to have different layouts and color options, too. It’s definitely one of the top keyboards in the Play Store.
Tablet keyboards on the other hand have historically been lackluster. Some third-party keyboards have built specific tablet keyboards because the stock offerings aren’t very good. The input method is different because of the larger screen size and OEMs haven’t been able to figure it out. The creator of Swype, Randy Marsden, thinks that he has a new solution that will work well for these larger screens. Given his track record, we tend to believe him.
The new keyboard that Marsden and his team are working on is called Dryft. There are two big claims that Dryft makes. The first one is that “it’s the fastest, most natural way for touch typing on screens.” That is a tall order. The second claim is just as big. In this introduction video, the Dryft team claims that people who have been trained to use Dryft can type as many as 80 words per minute, on any tablet while using Dryft.
Dryft is different in that it uses your tablets accelerometer to find a user’s fingers and track movement. Traditional keyboards force users to conform to a pre-defined layout, confining movement and slowing down typing. Using Dryft is simple. You just rest your hands on the screen in the typing position that is most natural to you. Dryft then detects when you are typing and adjusts to keep the “home row” keys under your fingers at all times.
Dryft is planning on releasing the new keyboard in 2014. They are patenting on their work and plan to target all operating systems. Dryft is thinking larger than just Android tablets with this new keyboard. You can follow Dryft’s development and sign up for the beta program from their website. We can’t wait to try it out.