back to article Crocodile keyboard becomes top Android app

The Crocodile Keyboard - an application for easier touchscreen typing - is now a successful app for Android. When we reported the keyboard back in 2009, British inventor David Baker was struggling to get Apple's assistance for iPhone integration. Without Apple's help, the patented design remained unusable. But six months later …

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Jobs Horns

iLike

That's one in the i for apple.

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Swype

Sorry to throw water on the fire, but I think it'll be eclipsed by Swype when it's fully released. I'm using the beta now and, once you get used to it, it's really fast!

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Silver badge

Slide It

Very similar to Swype, worth a try, I like it - double characters are automatic, no little swirls!

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Top men... top men.

When you say "Top App", I assume that you mean "two out of five stars" based on AndroidPIT users, or 3/5 in the Marketplace.

Let's see what people have to say about it. "Almost unusable." One star from a user angry that it's non-refundable. "Stock keyboard is much more friendly."

Top shelf!

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WTF?

Can't be worse than the rest?

Most Android keyboards have serious flaws.

Swiftkeys hates you typing in email or urls and doesn't let you set up shortcuts, Firekeys does allow shortcuts. But keeps adding an extra space at the end which is disastrous in web forms as they usually don't strip spurious spaces, so logins fail!

Can only get better over time once these developers get real and actually use their app on a real android device in the real world.

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Man writes software. It's OK.

Super, what a great story, sorry, I mean "short sequence of words". Especially on a Hardware site, given that this is a software keyboard... Great.

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WTF?

Holy keyboard kayout, Batman!

The P is in the wrong place in the screenshot--is this a non-US, non-GB keyboard layout, or is this a qwerty FAIL?

Not that I love qwerty or anything, but as an old fart I'm not learning a new keyboard layout.

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Pint

He's...

taken the P

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Really?

It looks like something a 12 year old would draw. Seriously.. get a UI designer.

Meanwhile back in the real world, keyboards have dealt with this problem successfully already without bright yellow on red keys... just by having a good dictionary and the ability to correct. The keyboard in 2.3 has borrowed most of the good idea from the HTC keyboards that everone loves so much in the earlier versions so there's really no need to upgrade any more.

If you want an off the wall 'different' keyboard lots of people like Swype although I never got on with it personally.

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Not that easy

I'm not sure how you buy this app for 41p because androidpit want to charge a min of 5 pounds. I can't find any info on androidpit about what they do with the other 4.59.

I paid 2 quid for this app from the market but was unable to give it any meaningful test in the 15mins trial period allowed. So I've lost my money.

This keyboard adds nothing. It's no more accurate than the standard one, for me anyway, and it lacks many handy features of the standard too. Also on my Hero it's very slow changing key sets and backspacing.

It's all a bit of a dismal experience. Not recommended.

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Coat

"What..."

...they cry, "the hell is 'androidpit'?"

Something from the inside of that Sandcrawler in Star Wars, or some sort of Robot Wars/Fight Club hybrid?

Anyway, nice to see some other alternative KBs for Android, even if Swiftkey leaves it in the dust.

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Alert

Hmmmm...

Apps are easier to develop on Android than Apple.

Get used to seeing more stories like this in the future. :)

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Thumb Up

cool

a exelent keyboard for my sausage like fingers !!!

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Jobs Horns

Ah, there's now a keyboard for that

Ah Apple, thy closedness has doomed yet another highly useful app to the devil, bringing it lucritive success in the arms of Android.

/see the icon

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WTF?

'Patentable'?

Sorry but I fail to see how this would qualify for a patent considering that there exists a lot of prior art in terms of customizable and mod keyboards and touch areas for input.

So if someone can explain what makes this patentable, I'd appreciate it.

Thx

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Dead Vulture

seriously wtf???!!11?!!?!1111

I hate to speak like this but epic epic fail o fail o wail!!11!!!!

"Crocodile keyboard becomes top Android app"

<rant mode on>

My suspicions (convictions?) are now confirmed that yes, in fact, many, many people are dumb as fuck. Repeat. FACT. The majority of people buying Android apps are dumb as fuck. FACT. People are paying for this shit?! I mean, they earned some money (legally or otherwise) and decided to spend it on this?! wtf?!

I read the comments in the previous article - a couple of people were close...but no cigar.

Here it is - accidental key presses are good!!! omg silence.

(at least on my phone (Desire), no experience of Iphone thank cHrist...I'm chuckling to myself how I wrote ipHone there btw)

anyway...exactly the opposite of what this app is trying to achieve. This app is supposedly making the target smaller, with more dead space around keys. You either hit the key you want, or nothing.

Except, and here it is, my Android phone (Desire) actually uses all these accidental key-presses, thinks about them, and then suggests what I might have been trying to utter, usually successfully first time.

So there you have it, this app is fail, the 'inventor' is fail, the register is collectively fail for apparently supporting this app "Well done, David.", and aPplE are <choke> not fail.

I'll admit that I'm generally more pro-Android, but in this case AppLe have hit it spot on telling this guy to take a hike.

<rant mode off>

I very rarely comment. I do generally enjoy reading the comments but rarely feel the need to get involved. I'd like to more, but I usually miss a really important fact and end up looking stupid. Down-vote as you see fit.

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Pint

Not available on Apple as Jobs didn't think of it first as well as being recently patented

A fellow employee has this on his Android device and even I, being large of finger, found it a breeze to use compared to those squarish keys with small spaces between them and the adjacent key.

Well done, David Baker.

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Anonymous Coward

Nudge nudge

But is this keyboard actually making the target area for each key press smaller? I thought the reason it work was that the shape of the keys displayed were subconciously give you a target (the point of the triangle) to aim at an as a result accuracy was improved ... similar, I gather, to the way restaurants/bars etc have discovered there's a lot less cleaning needed around their urinals if they put a dot or a picture of a fly etc on the bowl as it again subciously gives people something to "aim" at (whatever happened to the "we aim to please, you aim too please" signs from school toilets of old!). And to take it to the extreme its the new idea of "nudge" beloved of the latest generation of politicians where instead of banning bad things you do stuff with taxes/benefits etc that encourage people to take the good choices

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Anonymous Coward

Developer Reply

The reason for developing this keyboard was to try and help people actually see and hit the correct key rather than depend on predictive text.

We also found after a year of testing, that colour choice is a very individual thing with 1/5th of males colour blind to some degree, hence the colour wheel option.

The triangular layout emphasises the targeting effect as you aim for a key helped by choosing contrasting colours. It also is very difficult to touch two keys at the same time, but almost impossible not to hit one.

I do not agree with the new 15 min free period after download, it should be at least an hour. We have tried to offset this by speeding up the app install which is now almost automatic so that you at least have the keyboard installed and running to try. Androidpit still has a decent download trial time.

To the people who are posting negative comments, please at least make them useful comments.

If you have tried the keyboard and something is not right, or you think something like auto completion should be added, then tell us.

There is a simple feedback form on our website for you to fill in and send comments or report problems, we had some brilliant feedback last year that really helped design CK2.

I see this as the starting point for the Crocodile Keyboard.

I am still a one man band company with no big budget for development or marketing but I will continue to work on this keyboard and improve it with your help.

Many thanks to Reghardware for their faith in the project.

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FAIL

Useful Comments

I had to check the reviews again after reading the developer response. I don't see his complaint, as the few comments seem to be pretty helpful:

* It is not convenient to slide to get to the characters/symbols

* People still need some form of auto correct, which is not supported (?)

* Runs very slow on HTC Hero

And an average score of 3 stars (no pun intended) speaks for itself.

With only four comments and 16 ratings, the app is already on track for a big slice of failure. It looks like some good research went into the idea, and I find it appealing. But, making good software is harder than it sounds. The concept is great, but the reviews say, clearly, "stay away!"

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Anonymous Coward

Developers last comment

As a developer with software in its very early stage of sales, the average star ratings have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

How can you make any meaningful deductions when only five people out of about three hundred and fifty have actually left a score or comment.

At this stage a much more accurate gauge is the download keep rate, which at present is around seventy five percent, pretty good for a paid app on Android.

The rating and comment system for apps is only ever going to be of use if its used in an even handed way, unfortunately its much too open for abuse from both sides.

Keyboard warriors (excuse the pun) who like to leave interesting comments or dubious software developers who pay to have people download and leave perfect star ratings are not that uncommon.

If you don't believe me, try doing a Google search for app promotion and see what pops up!

I take on board the comments about the HTC Hero. I use one as a test phone, and even the standard keyboard can be a bit slow.

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