True, Android’s on-screen keyboard takes a while to get used to. If, however, you’ve been using your Android device for more than just a while and still can’t manage to hit the right keys as frequently as you tap the wrong ones, we’ve got just the right alternative for you – G-Board Lite for Android is a fast and accurate gesture-based keyboard, or rather, “writing pad” IME that let’s you enter text letter-by-letter by scribbling on to a customizable virtual writing pad. While most users might not consider using G-Board as a permanent alternate to stock on-screen keyboards, those with, well, “bulky” fingers might actually enjoy using it more than the latter.
G-Board may not look like it at first glance, but it is extremely easy to use. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get accustomed with the interface. Though, the IME is new to the Market and its interface could definitely use a tiny makeover for users to consider employing it as their primary text input method.
To begin using it as your input method, hold down (long-clink) on a text field and from the context menu that appears, select Input method > G-Board Lite.
It is recommended that you take a look at the instructions that come with the freeware. Bring up the G-Board’s settings screen by holding down on the settings button in the bottom-left of the IME’s interface, then tap View instructions to do so. You may also enable Help? from within the settings screen to display all available gestures (one for each character) across the pad.
The pad is split into three regions by two green dividers. The region on the left is for entering gestures for numbers, while the two on the write are for entering alphabets, where the bottom one of the two is for lower case and the top one, for upper case letters. Gestures for upper and lower case letters are the same. To enter an upper-case letter, simply extend the corresponding gesture across both the top and bottom-left regions.
The green button at the center of the dividers can be tapped to repeat the last entered character or held (long-clicked) to reposition the dividers on the pad. Said feature is particularly useful for cases where you might want a wider number field/region for entering a continuous string of numbers. Swiping from left to right anywhere across the pad enters a space while swiping from right to left enters a backspace.
Tapping anywhere repeats the last entered character. Space and backspace can be continually repeated by swiping once, then holding down anywhere on the pad.
Don’t be alarmed by the half-visible labels on the ENTER and Period/Comma (. ,) buttons on the bottom-right of the interface. The cause of said problem is the slight incompatibility between the IME’s interface and the MIUI custom ROM, which is what we tested the IME on.
View in galleryThe developer has promised the inclusion of prediction and additional characters in the paid version, which should hit the Android Market soon. You can grab the free version from the provided link or QR code.