Microsoft Releases Experimental Android wear App

We all know how difficult it is to use voice recognition on our android wears especially in a noisy place or in a place where noise is prohibited and yet your smartwatch can’t pick up your whispers. Microsoft new release Analog Keyboard for Android Wear might be the solution to the problem.

The App which is still at the experimental stage, allows users to draw individual letters and numbers using their fingers. It avoids cluttering your 1.6 inch screen with a full QWERTY keyboard with tiny keys which are difficult to hit. The new keyboard also comes will an inbuilt autocorrect app that allows you to correct typographical errors.

According to Microsoft, its analogue keyboard is much more superior to other existing text input methods. “Unlike a software keyboard, handwriting doesn’t require ultra-fine motor skills, and it even lets users write without looking at the screen. And compared to speech-to-text, handwriting is more discreet and less prone to background noise.”

Like with many prototypes, the analogue keyboard has a number of shortcomings. First, the prototype is only functional on android based wears with 320X320 pixel display. That means the app will work perfectly on Gear Live and Moto 360. However with the Moto 360 you may require USB debugging, as the Watch don’t have USB support.  The app won’t work on low- end android wears such as the G watch or the G Watch R.

Unfortunately, the analogue Keyboard can’t differentiate lower-class and upper-class letters, more often the upper-class letter are not recognized. That notwithstanding, all English letters, numbers and basic publication symbols in handwriting form work perfectly well.

The Analogue Keyboard is also a huge toll on the battery, in addition to other computation glitches that Microsoft hopes to diagnose before releasing the final App to the market.

Installing the App is not as easy as downloading from Google play store, or getting one from Apple’s cloud store. First you have to download the APK from Microsoft before manually installing the App on your Android wear using ADB.

Microsoft’s Analogue Keyboard is expected to face stiff competition from existing third party keyboard Apps. They Include, Swift key which one of the most popular android Keyboards to transit over to iOS 8 platform. Swype- a gesture based keyboard with predictive text that adopt the users typing style and Minuum– an adjustable keyboard that gives users more control over the display screens. Other versions include, Fleksy, TouchPal, TextExpander and KuaiBoard all available on iTunes app store.

Last Month Microsoft released its One Note App that allows users to take small notes on their android wears. Market analyst believe the analogue Keyboard if well-polished could be aa perfect complement of the One Note App besides giving Microsoft an edge over rival Apps such as Evernote.

Lawrence Mwangi Lawrence is a technology and business reporter. He has freelanced for a number of tech sites and magazines. He is a web-enthusiast, with a special interest in Online security, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. When not writing about tech he can be found in a Tennis court or on a chess board.
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