PocketCM

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PocketCM Keyboard

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Downloads 0.14 (OLD not maintained)







Why another keyboard for Windows Mobile?

Because:
  • It can be used with fingers
  • It suggest word based on letter position
  • It trigger the key when your remove your finger from the screen, not when you press it.
  • It can be customized
  • It's a standard Windows Mobile SIP, so to use it you have to select it as the input method, therefore it can be used in (almost) any application.
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How does it work?


(Note the video is based on an old version of the keyboard, some things have changed).

First of all, it offers a visible feedback of the key currently pressed, you can imagine that your finger is on the keyboard... and now you can easily see what key is pressed.

Second important thing: you can move your finger, the key will change, release it, the key will be triggered (so it's the opposite of a physical keyboard: the actual action is when you release the key, not when you push it).
The third reason that it works is smart suggestion based on key position. If you look at the screenshot you can see that I typed "leyblaed". This word doesn't exist in english. The keyboard then looked at all the possible variation from this word... and found "keyboard". That's exactly the word I wanted to type.

How does the keyboard do? it simply uses the letter position: 'l' is near 'k', 'eyb' are correct, 'l' is also near 'o', the 'a' is correct, then 'e' is near 'r' and 'd' is correct. The only possible matching word is "keyboard". Note that the actual distance (in pixel) is used, not the key position, it's more precise, produce better result, but if you try to reproduce this exact example, maybe the closest suggestion will be another word
Now a simple usability feature: from the previous screen, if I press the space bar, it will simply replace the word you have typed by the suggestion. As you can see "leyblaed" is replaced by "keyboard". You can also see that I have a green suggestion box: if I type on it, it undo the suggestion, useful in case when PocketCM Keyboard replace the word you intend to type.
Another reason why it works is adding new words. As you can see I typed "PocketCM", and my dictionnary doesn't know this word yet. I can simply press the "+PocketCM" button, this will add PocketCM to my dictionnary.

That's a feature missing in many keyboard or SIP method: easy control over the dictionary. Most SIP are doing some very clever and smart management of new word in dictionary... the prob you're never sure when a word is added ... or not.
Also, because it's important to manage dictionnary, they are simple text file.
Another issue with most keyboard: how to put enough key to make them easy to find, while still be usable?
PocketCM offer "symbol pad", pressing a key for a given amount of time (250ms by default), will bring a "sub keyboard layout", where you'll be able to find useful symbol. For instance, by default, pressing the symbol key (123#?) will allow you to quickly select the right punctuation.
Most keyboard tries to replicate the physical keyboard we all know... with alt, ctrl, shift, etc... That's a good approach but not very finger friendly.
PocketCM goes a step further: why you need ctrl key? Most of the people responded: for copy/cut and paste. So PocketCM keyboard bring you easy access to cut/copy/paste. Simply press and hold the enter key for 250ms.
Customization! Most aspect of the keyboard (layout, skin, dictionary) can be customized. You can simply press and hold the return key for to select option. You'll be able to choose among various layout, dictioanry and skins.

You can also create your own, or download those created by the PocketCM Keyboard's users.

Other reasons includes:

  • Customizable layout: as you can see the layout is "azerty" for the screenshot, by default PocketCM Keyboard comes with a QWERTY layout. Creating your own is just a question of editing a text file.
  • Accent recognition and suggestion: the keyboard know accentued letter... so for instance, the french word for summer is "été", if I type 'e', 't', 'e', the keyboard will suggest "été". No need to go to a sub/hidden keyboard doing some accentued letters.
  • Once you get used to it, you can grab it with two hand and type with the thumb... goes pretty well.
© 2010 Quentin Pouplard