Valley Cottage, New York – For all fans of PadKeys and non-fans of switching between ABC and 123 layouts, Natural Designs Software has announced a port of their well-regarded iPad custom keyboard app to the iPhone. Numbers, punctuation, and cursor keys are now available without layout flipping. The existing PadKeys Keyboard app previously only available for iPad is now a universal app.
Smart phones are different, much larger devices than they were a decade ago, but the on-screen keyboard hasn’t evolved. To satisfy requests from users frustrated with traditional ABC-123 layout swapping, PadKeys improves the iPhone typing experience in several ways:
* A number row: no more need to switch screens to enter part of an address, tracking number, or other alphanumeric text.
* Punctuation and symbols on the same screen: no more layout flipping just to type something in “quotes” or use a simple character like +, -, or *.
* Cursor keys: Easier to use than any of the alternatives smartphone makers have introduced.
* Word swipe input: One of the most efficient ways to enter text on a small screen.
* Enhanced autocorrect: As on the iPad, PadKeys iPhone displays as many suggestions as your screen has room for – no artificial limitation to three.
* Multilingual: PadKeys iPhone supports the same dozen-plus common languages and keyboard layouts as the iPad version, and lets you swap quickly between your two most-frequently used.
Success of the original PadKeys was driven by a simple idea. The stock iOS keyboard design was optimized for the original 3.5″ iPhone and doesn’t make good use of space on larger tablet displays. PadKeys took the opposite approach, shrinking a full laptop layout to ergonomically provide numbers, punctuation, and also cursor keys on one screen in familiar places. This was well received by iPad users, making PadKeys one of the highest-rated keyboards in the App Store. However, modern iPhones are also much larger than the original that inspired the screen-switching design, and users asked for PadKeys to be brought to their phones as well.
Making this happen was not as simple as shrinking down the same layout to phone size. Simplifications had to be made to avoid making the keys too small to hit, and also existing functionality like word swipe had to be enhanced to deal with the “sloppier” input that comes from a smaller screen. A long beta testing phase has honed the initial prototype to a practical tool.
“As you can guess from the name, we initially developed PadKeys to be a kind of ‘anti-‘ phone keyboard, inspired by conventional laptop/netbook layouts,” says Adrian Robert, founder and lead developer at Natural Designs. “So I was surprised when users started asking us to bring it to their phones. But actually the trend has been towards ever-bigger screens. The display size on the Plus series is over double that of the original iPhone, and the standard model isn’t far behind. Yet keyboard designs haven’t evolved. It’s high time they do.”
PadKeys Keyboard supports English (US, CA, UK, AU, and NZ), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French (France and Canada), German, Italian, Norwegian (Bokml), Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Spanish, and Swedish.
* Any device supporting iOS 10 or above
Pricing and Availability:
PadKeys Keyboard universal for iPad and iPhone is available at phone launch promotional pricing in the iOS App Store for $1.99 USD (or equivalent in other currencies). Regular price is $4.99. Review codes available upon request.
Natural Designs Software, Inc. was founded in 2007 to bring innovative user interfaces to education, entertainment, and utility applications. Software should work the way the user sees, thinks and acts, not the other way around. The current products are a Chinese language learning program for desktop and iPad, and an iOS custom keyboard extension designed for tablets. Musical and visual art creativity software is in the works. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2007-2018 Natural Designs Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.
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