How To Type Faster On Your Android Phone

Touchscreens have never been the first choice of people who do a lot of typing on their phones. After all, can the tiny keys on a touchscreen phone ever provide the speed, accuracy and ease of a physical keyboard?

Even though touchscreen keyboards can never replace real physical keyboards, we’ve compiled a list applications that will ensure that the days of slow, inaccurate typing on touchscreen phones are gone. These free applications for your android device will raise your typing experience to a whole new level.

Swype

Swype is becoming an immensely popular interface for typing and it claims that users can attain over 40 words per minute with its innovative style of input. The keyboard is a standard QWERTY layout. To enter a word all you have to do is put your finger on the first letter of the word and then slide it forming a path from letter to letter and lift up your finger after the last letter is reached.

Take a look at the path formed to enter the word “quick” :

Swype comes bundled with some phones. For those who don’t have it, you can download it from the official website. There is another popular alternative SlideIT Soft Keyboard for this form of input and can be downloaded from the Android Market for free.

Tio Keyboard

If you are someone who likes the comfort of a QWERTY layout and the ease of large keys, then Tio keyboard is for you. While a regular keyboard has about 30 keys, Top keyboard has only 10 keys. Less number of keys means larger keys and of course less finger movement which results in faster typing.

Learning the Tio keyboard is also very easy as it uses simplified form of the QWERTY layout. Each key is composed of 3 characters according to the vertical layout of a QWERTY keyboard.

 

Tio keyboard not only helps in faster typing but also gives more screen space for your text. All in all, Tio can be thought of as the QWERTY version of the famous T9 format which we all have used at some point of time.

Download Tio from the Android Market for free.

Siine

Siine is a very different way of typing and it claims to be the first icon based keyboard. The keyboard layout is the standard QWERTY form and typing is done in the regular tap to enter format. But, along with the regular keyboard comes icons – for almost everything.

You just need to hit the icon to enter the corresponding word or phrase. Be it the current time, name of month or a call me later message Siine has icons for almost all commonly used terms. And if you have your own special way of calling your friend a “Duuude”, you can add an icon for that too.

This icon based style of writing is surely fast, and can be a bliss of people who tend to use a few common terms more frequently. Download Siine from the Android market for free.

Tip : If you often change the keyboard layout on your Android phone, then going over a number of steps to do the same can be frustrating at times. A desktop widget called Switch Keys can let you choose your keyboard with 1 click from the home screen itself.
 
Which keyboard layout do you use for your typing needs? Do let us know through your comments.

10 Must Have Free Android Applications

One of the major reasons why Android phones are so popular (and still growing) is the huge number of free and paid applications available in the Android Market. The choice of applications available under each category is so huge that new users often have a hard time deciding between the many exellent options.

Here we have picked top applications from 10 different categories to give you a superior, all round Android experience. All the mentioned applications can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.

Home Screen Replacement

Go Launcher EX is one of the best home screen replacement applications available in the android market. It lets you make the most of your home screen with features such as a scrollable dock, gesture support, app drawer, resizable widgets etc. It also supports themes and several supported themes can be downloaded from the site for free.

Alternatives : LauncherPro and ADW Launcher

Messaging

Go SMS Pro replaces your default messaging app to give you enhanced features such as 3D transition effect, scheduler, encryption, backup/recovery, reminder, gesture support, personalized themes and lots more.
Alternative: Handcent SMS

News Reader

An award winning application, Pulse News, works as good as it looks. A mosaic grid shows news updates from your favorite websites or from saved keywords.

Alternatives: Taptu and Google Reader

Security

Lookout Security & Anti-Virus protects your phone against malware, spyware and phishing attacks. Added functions such as phone locator and backup and restore makes it a must have application for any android device.

Alternative: Norton Mobile Security

Dictionary

With a database of around 1.4 million words, Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus is an excellent source to find out meanings,  synonyms, antonyms, similar and related words, hypernyms and even hyponyms. It also has a fuzzy filter which can be used when you are not sure of the correct spelling of a word.

Alternative: Dictionary.com

Browser

Dolphin is an excellent browser for your Android phone with support for add ons, gestures, tabbed browsing, speed dial and themes.
Alternatives: Firefox and Opera Mini

Instant Messaging

eBuddy Messenger is an all in one chat client for  MSN, Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, GTalk, MySpace & Hyves that lets you chat simultaneously on more than one network.

Alternatives: Meebo and Nimbuzz

Application Lock

Smart App Protector protects the privacy on your phone by locking SMS, Mail, Photos, Contacts or any other installed application. Once you set the list of applications to be locked, an unlock pattern or password can be used to unlock and use the individual apps.
Alternative: Smart AppLock

Photo Editor

With over 3 million downloads, PicsIn Photo Studio is a free photo editor that is hard to resist. Various editing options are provided to play with the photos including Kaleidoscope, Drawing and Collage modes.

Alternative: PicSay


Games

This is one category where we could not hand pick any clear winner. Hence, we’ve listed down all of the 5 must play games on your Android phone.
  1. Angry Birds,
  2. Paper Toss,
  3. X Construction,
  4. Mouse Trap,
  5. Bubble Blast 2

Do let us know through your comments how you liked the above mentioned applications. Also, tell us your favorite apps and the ones you think we should have included in the list.