There are already a wealth of alternatives to the stock keyboard which comes with your Android tablet, so how does TouchPal Keyboard Tablet stack up? Well, with a little more development and work, this is sure to be a contender. Even as a free beta right now, it’s still worth a shot for sure.
The stock Android keyboard already does a decent job, and some of you may be lucky enough to have a pre-installed version of Swype too (though admittedly, the long tracing required on a tab can make it a bit burdensome). It is great that there are alternatives though. We have already displayed our fondness for Swiftkey Tablet X and Thumb Keyboard, plus there are many others worth investigating.
TouchPal Keyboard Tablet lets you type ‘normally’ or you can choose to swipe from letter to letter instead. Having both options available keeps things nice and flexible. Using simple gestures you can split the keyboard too. This can make typing on a large tablet a little easier as you get to use your thumbs. This only works in landscape mode at present, but developers CooTek promise this functionality in future versions. You can also resize the keyboard if that’s helpful.
TouchPal features word prediction, which I found to be reasonably effective. It's perhaps not as good as that in Swiftkey which cleverly learns common words you use from your email and social networking apps. However, it is not terrible by any means, and it’s easy to add new words to the user dictionary. Even smarter, you can backup your dictionary to your SD card in case you’re changing devices – a nice touch. If you’re fluent in another language, there are a number of different language packs available for free in the Android Market. TouchPal allows for mixed language input automatically, which could be very handy for some Android tablet users.
For a free beta version, TouchPal already offers a lot of good functionality, so it’s definitely worth a look. The developers note that the final, completed app will be available for a very reasonable 99 cents. There will also be a free version, thus giving users on the fence a 30-day free trial if they missed downloading this current beta.
We are looking forward to seeing how TouchPal Keyboard Tablet develops in the future.