Sailfish OS and alternate input methods
As you may know, Maliit is the default Sailfish keyboard. It was invented by Nokia for Meego and it was later reused by Jolla for it’s Sailfish. Maliit comes up as a standard qwerty keyboard, it’s even quite accurate and while in landscape view it offers an unusual split screen mode, where half the keyboard is on the left, half on the right and suggestions are in the middle. Even if the standard keyboard is rather good (not perfect anyway), you should know, there are other input methods for Sailfish, with either pros and cons. Let’s have a look :
the Dolphin keyboard it’s surely most famous keyboard on the system. It is a qwerty keyboard realized by Saberaltria, which slightly differs from the official one, for it’s layout and most of all for the addiction of smiles. There are even, some buttons that let you move quickly inside the text, not present in the standard one. You can find the dolphin keyboard on openrepos together with the italian layout (which our Fravaccaro is the author) necessary to make it work.
OKBoard (Aka the Magic Keyboard)
A gesture based system without a swipe keyboard?it would sound rather strange, so here it is. The OKBoard is a swipe keyboard realized by Eber 42, that give us the ability to swipe on the screen instead of tapping on the letters. Despite it’s development it’s rather slow, it’s already completely usable, and it have things like automatic spacing and automatic apostrophe to make writing easier, and for now it only seems to have (at least for what it concern the italian language) problems with letter composed by two letters, like “ho” “pc” “da” eand so on.
N.B. : italian keybord is not working yer because dictionry needs to be updated with latest okboard engine, but it’s author (Spidernik84) told me it was just a matter of time and it was already working on it.
The messagease keyboard is a keyboard done by the french developer Jimmy Huguet that try to revolutionize the writing method. It is based upon a frequency criteria and it’s a mix of swipe and tap, where most used letters are big and you can have them by pressing on the screen, while smaller ones can be obtained by doing a swipe starting from nearest bigger letter, pointing out the direction of the desired letter, for example if you want a Z you should make a swipe to the right starting from the E letter and so on for the other letters and symbols (which are hidden but easily reachable via swipe or the apposite menu). There are even other functions like the long swipe, where a long swipe from left to right will create a space while a long swipe from right to left will delete a character. The keyboard is actually being worked on at full speed and a new landscape mode has just arrived,optimized for being used while two handed and not waste the entire screen, that even if it can look a little weird at the start, it’s perfectly doing it’s job. As you might have guessed this keyboard has a deep learning curve, but once you get used to it (at least for my personal experience) it will be good and rather quick..
if you want to try it you could head to Jimmy’s site where you can find also the instructions to install the keyboard. If you want to try out the italian layout (a work in progress by the italian community member Niccco) you could ask for that on the Jolla Community Italia telegram group.
the 8pen is another keyboard thet try to revolutionize the writing concept on a touch screen. It was invented by the 8pen team on Android and iOS and was ported on Sailfish by the french developer Jimmy Huguet. The 8pen comes up as a big C with a circle in the middle where letters are divided by row of four, placed respectively on the left and on the right of various sectors, which are four in total plus the center which is the start/finish point. To obtain a letter you should make a swipe starting from the center, to the sector which the letter is placed on, and then continue to swipe in the direction the letter is placed on, and returning to the center when the number of sector has reached the number where the letter is on, for example, looking at the photo, if you want to have a D which is letter number 2 of the left upper row, you should start the swipe from the center from the D sector and then continue to swipe in that direction for 2 sector for then returning to the center to finish (so the ?kle-ouvw sector). If you want to have a capital letter you followh the same path, but this time starting from the sector and not from the center. Same thing of lower case letters for accents where after having wrote the selected letter you have to insert an accent the same way and the letter will be automatically accented. It may sound weird and hard to explain, and in fact it rather is, but once you get the hang of it you could get some nice speed with less errors. Actually the keyboard, while being great, is not perfect yet and misses a send button, but it’s development proceed at full speed so if you want to try it out you could head to Jimmy Huguet’s page while italian layout (actually being worked on by italian community member 247) can be requested in the Jolla Community Italia telegram group.
12pen is a keyboard created entirely by french developer Jimmy Huguet and follow the same scheme as the the 8pen, but having 6 sectors instead of 4. it follow exactly the same principle, only, this time, being more secotrs, swipes are shorter. The keyboard misses an enter key too, but it’s development proceed at full speedso if you fancy trying it out you can download it at Jimmy Huguet’s page while italian layout (actually being worked on by italian community member 247) can be requested at the Jolla Community Italia telegram group.