Paw Paw Keyboard

Paw Paw Keyboard began as an exploratory soft keyboard implementation to investigate whether a full keyboard layout could be adapted into a usable touchscreen version.

Currently, a very preliminary version of the keyboard is published in on the Android Market. In its present form the keyboard lacks a number of key features. These will be addressed in future development.


Prototype (landscape)


Since development on Paw Paw Keyboard began, Google introduced a touch keyboard in the 'Cupcake' update. I think this keyboard works well and until I find an incentive to complete my work on Paw Paw keyboard, its development will be a low priority; though I think Paw Paw Keyboard makes better corrections than Google's keyboard implementation, I don't personally think that an incremental improvement of this nature has sufficient merit.


Fundamental to the keyboard's initial design was the attempt to replicate a full qwerty keyboard in a touch screen. The relatively large number of keys this requires makes small key sizes all but inevitable on a device the size of a mobile phone.

As a consequence, Paw Paw Keyboard was engineered to be as smart: it makes a very good attempt at guessing what you meant to type by analyzing what you actually typed. In practice, this means that you can focus on hitting the keys without worrying if you hit every key perfectly.

This approach leads other considerations since there are now three separate things: what the user intended to type, what the user actually typed, and what the keyboard thinks the user meant to type. The latter needs to be displayed and this prompts the addition of a 'predicted word' row to the keyboard.

Paw Paw Keyboard augments this row with various controls to adjust the currently proposed word. This gives rise to a distinctive and effective design. Nothing in the fundamental requires that this approach be applied to a full qwerty key arrangement and future versions may offer a number of different keyboard designs.