By Sumit Passary | Dec 17, 2012 09:41 AM EST
TouchPal Keyboard is a free app from CooTek, which brings slide typing to iPhone similar to Swype. The app also offers predictive text capabilities and extendable plug-ins.
With slide typing users don't have to tap on individual letters on the screen but can simply press down once and sweep across the keyboard until the user has passed all the necessary letters needed to create a word. The app then inserts the word on the text message.
"Bored with the default keyboard on your Iphone? Fascinated by the sliding input on other device? There's your alternative, TouchPal Keyboard on IOS gives you amazing typing experience, and you can share your input to Evernote, SMS, Email, and easily copied to clipboard," says TouchPal's Web site.
Many users may not find slide typing make at the first go and may have to get used to the app with regular use. However, smartphone can find that the app increases their typing speed significantly.
However, if users do not want slide typing then the keyboard can be switched to regular text input. The keys have quick access to caps lock, punctuation and numbers.
Furthermore, the keyboard can be switched between three different layouts; the original T9 configuration which features the predictive alphanumerical keyboard, the QWERTY style which is like a desktop keyboard, and the T+ layout which is a dual-letter layout which offers a bigger and more comfortable keyboard. T+ layout also allows users to quickly input numbers and symbols just by sliding fingers up or down instead of toggling between different keyboards.
TouchPal also has multi-lingual support with English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese-Br, Portuguese-Pt, and Spanish languages. More languages are expected to be added soon.
TouchPal Keyboard is also of beneficial to blind and visually impaired users. The Blind Typing feature allows users to type without looking at the keyboard.
TouchPal for Android was released in October this year. The iOS version has been released on Dec. 14 and can be downloaded directly from iTunes and requires iOS 4.3 or later. However, some keyboard features require iOS 5.0, iOS 5.0.1, iOS 5.1, iOS 6.0, or iOS 6.0.1.