May 24, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
After the initial excitement of receiving a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at Google I/O wore off, I sought fixes for the many problems that I initially had with the Honeycomb tablet. The first problem, and the most satisfying to solve, was the keyboard. The Samsung Honeycomb keyboard is absolutely terrible and I couldn’t get rid of it soon enough. Thankfully, the Androinica Twitter community came through like it always does.
Several followers quickly told me that Thumb Keyboard would fix my Android tablet woes for text-entry. They promised that Thumb Keyboard would offer the right layout for an expansive screen, respond quickly, and have the right mix of auto-completion and auto-correction. Days later, I’m happy to report that the people did not fail me.
Thumb Keyboard is the best keyboard for tablets. I tested several, but never managed to tap as swiftly and accurately as I did on Thumb Keyboard. That was largely because the app splits the alphabet into two panels aligned near the left and right sides of the screen. That gives users a more familiar layout they can quickly pick-up. Numbers and punctuation are spread throughout the middle of the screen since they are used less frequently, while letters are closer to your touch. When it’s time to use even less frequent characters – euro sign, parenthesis, or ampersands – users can long-press on certain keys to quickly enter them.
Thumb Keyboard supports both landscape and portrait views, both of which provide a great layout and several options for settings. There is a variety of themes, including Glass or Gingerbread, that change the appearance to your liking. The Android tablet-optimized version also allows users to adjust height or width in portrait or landscape so Thumb Keyboard will take up more or less screen space. Combined these elements with the decent auto-complete and you’ll see why Thumb Keyboard is the best keyboard for Android tablets.
Feel free to flame me in the comments with your own suggestions, but this is just what I feel most comfortable recommending. Here’s a video of the $1.88 app in action.
App: Thumb Keyboard