For a few years since the original’s launch, the iPhone had the best virtual keyboard in the smartphone market. That time is well past us now, as third-party offerings on Android like SwiftKey, as well as the stock Android and Windows Phone keyboards offer arguably better ‘touch’ typing. One of the reasons behind this is how the iOS keyboard only offers one prediction for the next word. With keyboards not officially supported by the system (such as Urdu), it becomes a cause for real frustration because iOS just doesn’t learn your personal library of words as fast as it should. PredictiveKeyboard – a new jailbreak tweak – aims to allay that sore point. Check it out after the jump.
Developed by Matthias Sauppe, PredictiveKeyboard adds an extra row on top of the virtual keyboard, giving enough space for showing three word predictions. This way, it shows more words to choose from when typing, and consequently helps increase typing speed.
As an example, PredictiveKeyboard will give three options when typing in “He”: “he’ll”, “hell”, and “hello”. “He’ll” and “hello” are so regularly used that giving only one word prediction – usually ‘hell’ on my device – breaks momentum in case of a miss. With three options on-screen, you can quickly tap the correct one, and move on.
We tested PredictiveKeyboard on an iPod touch (fourth generation) and faced no functional issues using it, but did feel that the tweak’s user interface just doesn’t feel at home on iOS. I attribute this to the out-of-place font, and the way the boxes behind predicted words don’t dynamically adjust to the the word’s size.
The tweak’s usefulness will come down to how annoyed you are by iOS’ auto-correction and auto-prediction features. I imagine people who stick to writing out full words and sentences with proper punctuation in system-supported languages won’t have much interest in it. But then again, such people appear to be a minority these days.
Anyhow, if you are interested, PredictiveKeyboard can be downloaded for free from Cydia under BigBoss repo, but you need to buy a $2.39 license before you can start using it.
If you do download and install the tweak, be sure to let us know about your experience in the comments below. And do you think Apple should implement next word suggestions like PredictiveKeyboard, or are you happy enough with the current virtual keyboard?