Journal #8679

Posted 3 years ago2016-03-10 05:07:21 UTC
I use XT9. It may or may not be the best option out there, but it works for me. I like it because words require less key presses than the length of the word being entered, and also because since there are less keys (or touch-screen equivalent) they are bigger than on a Qwerty keypad, giving me more area per key and making it less likely to press the wrong key.

Now, I'm not an expert in phone software, but if I had to do an XT9 parser, these are the rules I come up with without much thought:
  • Look for words matching the current input;
  • Of the above, prefer complete words that match the length of the current input;
  • Of the above, or if there are no direct length matches, pick the most used;
  • Give the other words in a list sorted by frequency of use.
  • If you don't want to keep track of the user's frequency of words, there are statistics on word usage for pretty much any language to help with that.
It's not particularly hard, right? I haven't put a lot of thought into it and I'm pretty sure the above rules would do a pretty decent job. The Samsung phone I had generally got it right. But the current Android keyboard and any alternate keyboards I try prefer to do it this way:
  • Look for words matching the current input
  • Ignore one-letter words (trying to write "I" results in "g" unless I tap the letter I from the list)
  • Of the word matches found, disregard frequency of use and instead:
  • - Pick any words with special characters (such as áäéëíïóöúüñ)
  • - If none have special characters, prefer the longest word available even if there are other words matching the length of the input
  • - Pick the least likely word possible. The statistics will help achieve this.
  • If a valid word is entered and it isn't one of the above, autocorrect-substitute it with one of the above.
  • Finally, provide a list of alternative words following the above rules. If you run out of screen space, leave out the common words. You'll auto-correct them out anyway.
  • For inputs over a certain length, don't bother matching or suggesting, just spew out the gibberish the user obviously wanted to type.
Which do you prefer?

17 Comments

Commented 3 years ago2016-03-10 05:19:48 UTC Comment #62817
SWIFTKEY for the win!!! Although Microsoft just acquired them for some nice change. It's a full-featured keyboard with word prediction and a slightly different algorithm than the native Android 'swype'. I demo'd their keyboard for around 4 months when i had my Samsung Galaxy S3. The trial expired and i figured i like it so i tossed them money to get the rest of the features back. I think it was $4 USD. But it's well worth it.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-10 07:24:30 UTC Comment #62829
sounds like autocorrect, which is massively annoying. I have to type various words that arent actually english words and an autocorrect thingy will make it very hard for me.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-10 09:13:13 UTC Comment #62821
Keyboards with autocorrect? That seems more like a job for software than hardware.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-10 11:14:21 UTC Comment #62818
There's always the option to turn off auto correct
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-10 18:53:08 UTC Comment #62825
Who talked about hardware? On-screen keyboards are entirely software :P

Swiftkey feels weird and I don't like the level of system permissions it needs. It also doesn't have T9 mode. I might try it sometime, but I'm not too convinced.

Maybe I'll have to roll out my own...
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-11 00:34:56 UTC Comment #62822
Oh, it sounded like you were talking about physical keyboards. Ignore me.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-12 21:30:13 UTC Comment #62813
Swiftkey has the best prediction model I've used by a huge margin. Plus using its 'Flow' input mode (as opposed to tapping) is definitely the most efficient way for me to text.

Relevant XKCD:
User posted image
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-13 02:45:22 UTC Comment #62826
If only it had T9.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-13 03:28:05 UTC Comment #62819
Dude venture into the future!!!
User posted image
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-14 01:12:56 UTC Comment #62814
It has two huge improvements on T9...
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-14 02:17:32 UTC Comment #62827
QWERTY is not an improvement. There's a lot of energy to be invested in more hand movements.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-14 08:34:50 UTC Comment #62815
Flow, dude. Floooooow.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-15 15:49:16 UTC Comment #62823
I don't understand why normal people need autocorrect so much. I can use two thumbs just fine to write with minor mistakes. Or I'm not normal people?
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-15 16:11:00 UTC Comment #62820
You're probably very used to your keyboard. As are people who use Flow / Swype like Archie and myself.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-15 16:28:35 UTC Comment #62828
I AM very used to my keyboard :P

Striker, autocorrect is an integral part of T9. And with the grip I use on my phone, I only use one hand to write.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-15 16:47:31 UTC Comment #62816
I use one hand with Flow and since a large part of your criteria seems to be one-handed convenience with the least possible keypresses, flow is absolutely the best option. Each word is one tap and a flick, regardless of where the letters are on the keypad. ONE. KEYPRESS.

T9 is like 4 or 5 for longer words. Pssht, ain't nobody got time for that.
Commented 3 years ago2016-03-15 16:48:39 UTC Comment #62824
Oh my god no wonder we're getting so fat! :))

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