John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Swiftkey Tablet X and purchasing Apps

I have been on Android for a couple years now. Between the quality of the free apps, the availability of apps from other sources (:)) and the reluctance I’ve had to purchase any apps I have not bought even one … that is until now. One of the things that has been keeping me from buying things is that I have not been able to use the Google portal to see and track my purchases. It turns out I had an issue with duplicate accounts with Google from when I migrated my domain to Google. With this now resolved I bought my first app.

Onscreen keyboards are by far the Achilles heal of most modern devices. And tablets have done nothing to resolve this. For my Galaxy Tab I have tried some bluetooth keyboards, even bought one of those keyboard/cases. All in all I have not found a solution. Even with a 7″ screen the onscreen keyboards mostly just increase the size of the onscreen keys. While this makes it easier to be accurate, your reaching across the screen to get to the keys. Look at a 10″ screen and it’s even worse. Along comes SwiftKey Tablet X They are the first (that I’ve seen) to do something different. What they do is pull the keys over to the thumbs realizing that the way it is held will allow the best most comfortable feel. They also have added intelligent customization. It learns your style of talking and gets better and better at guessing what your next word might be. It can even look into your gmail, twitter, SMS etc (if you let it) to learn your style. All the while the prediction of the next word gets better and better. I can not believe how well this actually works. I was originally on a Beta of theirs and when it expired I had to have it back so I bought it. Yikes … time to (finally) learn the purchase path. On a 10″ tablet as shown in the pic below you get a numeric keypad in the middle. On a 7″ this goes away.

I went on holidays recently and left my laptop home, travelling only with the tablet. This onscreen keyboard took some getting use to but proved itself to me as being the best on screen keyboard I’ve ever used. I got reasonable speed and accuracy out of it. It will not replace a physical keyboard but then again I don’t have to lug around an external keyboard either.

You have a couple of different ways to purchase apps for Android. The Google Portal can be used to find and purchase software and then allocate them to your device. It allows you to manage multiple devices. Once purchased you go back to the marketplace on the device go to my apps, and there you will find the purchased app and it will allow you to install it. From the device the can use the market place directly to buy apps. The main advantage of doing it on the device is to insure that your device can support the app you purchase. The portal does attempt to insure you only install software supported but personally I would trust it more on the device.

When it’s time to pay for something I am nervous about using the device itself to pay for things. The idea of typing a credit card onto a device without Anti Virus leaves me nervous. And credit card seems to be the only way to pay. I have thought you could do it with Paypal but I don’t see that. So by using the web portal you can attach a credit card to your account for charging. Now I have to say this makes me nervous too, but what are the choices. And so … I got over it and purchased my first ever app!

From the portal you can (it seems) transfer software from one device to another.

Refund policy is a ridiculous 15 minutes from time of purchase.

So all in all the mechanism to purchase apps is really … not so bad šŸ™‚


September 6, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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