August 10, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Touchpal Keyboard can provide another option for Android users looking to upgrade to a better onscreen keyboard. The just released Android app greatly improves on the default keyboard with a strong capability to predict and AutoCorrect text among other key features.
Touchpal Keyboard has three keyboard layout options, including phone, half QWERTY, and full QWERTY style. It also offers increased typing speed thanks to quick access to symbols, numbers, and emoticons. There’s also the seemingly very strong predictive text and auto correction features. These tweaks to the current keyboard set-up create a typing experience that the Touchpal developers claim can lead to typing faster than even the hard keyboard.
Unfortunately, the on-screen keyboard continues to appear on-screen even when typing with a physical keyboard and several users report lags or force close errors.
UPDATE: You MUST install a language pack along with Touchpal in order to prevent persistent force close errors. Language packs are available in the Android Market. Simply search for Touchpal and select from one of the available packs. Also, the previously mentioned spacebar issue has been resolved.
CooTek, the company that created Touchpal, has released Touchpal as a free app at the moment. The company says it will eventually cost an undisclosed price, but users who download the app now will not have to pay for it.
CooTek plans to support more than 20 languages with Touchpal, including the ability to type foreign language words without needing to switch between different language setups. For instance, typing a Spanish word will not require switching from a French keyboard. At the time this post was published, the only available language packs are English, French, German, and Simple Chinese.