8pen Android keyboard

Yesterday we let you know about 8pen keyboard. At the time, 8pen advised they were soon to be launching on the Android Market and today, they have done just that. According to their website, they wanted to get 8pen out to as many users and devices as possible but in doing so they had to exclude the voice recognition feature for now.  Any device running Android 1.6 and upward now has the option to make use of 8pen. We're still putting it through its paces but will you be grabbing it or sticking with what you use now? Download links are after the break. [the8pen.com]


Reader comments

8pen keyboard now available on the Android Market


I know it's only $1.58, but being a new and very different way of imputing text, it should be free or beta. At least till everyone is hooked.

Agree 100%. I was skeptical when I saw the preview of this yesterday, but I was willing to give it a try to see if my opinion would change. But not offering a free/trial version of this keyboard has ensured that I won't be trying it after all. I know the market offers a refund period, but it takes more than 24 hours to get acclimated to a new keyboard.

Should have a trial. I am not going to buy something I have no idea if it will work. Swipe and Swiftkey both had beta trials. Keyboards you really need trials to see if you like it.

HAHAHHAH... I am not paying for a beta.... much less one that has no reviews, no users, brand new idea... I have no idea whether i would like it or not.

I will pass. Terrible strategy on the devs part.

Same as others. Yep only $1.58, however, I watched their video, and it looks confusing, and may have a high learning curve. If it were in beta, I would try it. I am a touch typist and even find Swype cumbersome as I have to look for certain keys. So I will wait for more feedback or a trial.

I was very pumped to try this out. But seeing as I would have to pay...Not so much.

I have no problems paying for a great app.. But I have several reservations about this keyboard already and I am not risking my money on it.

I've tried using it for the morning. And while I see how you could get used to it...I don't see how it's any faster. Particularly since you can't see the keys while you "spin the circle." I found myself trying to look under my hand so that I didn't have to lift my finger up.

I only tried it for a few hours (sent a few texts, 10 or so emails, and a bit of web browsing) but I don't see it as a keeper. Especially since I had to pay for it...

It's 24 hours, and that's hardly enough time to get comfortable with a keyboard if you're serious about trying it.

Me though, it took me 5 minutes going through the tutorial to realize it wasn't worth it. Swype was faster right out of the gate, and much more accessible for newbies.

You'd have to completely memorize the letter layout to get any sort of speed out of it, while Swype starts with something everybody is familiar with, and only requires 1-2 motions to type ANYTHING.

It's just over-engineered, sadly.

Long before I got my Droid, I had a sony made PalmPilot. I got used to the way you could make characters. I wish someone could import that into Android.

Good god, it looks absolutely horrible! There's no way that's more efficient than using an on-screen keyboard. For any given letter, it's start at the center, move out, move around and finally move back to the center. That's 4 motions... for every letter. No thanks.

The point is it's a motion that can be far less precise than hitting a particular key on screen, especially if the screen is small (or your fingers fat!)

I know that's the point, the question is whether or not it's truly more efficient. With prediction and error correction, you can be fairly imprecise with a standard onscreen keyboard and still end up with what you intend to type. I know I just peck away, not really paying too much attention to the actual letters I hit, and it's reasonably rare that a mistake is made.

It's kinda like the phone keyboard equivalent of all those bizarre Tokyo Flash watches - it's weird to use, and probably (at least initially) much slower, but it certainly looks cool :)

Wonder if it comes with a free copy of "Mavis Beacon Teaches 8Pen!"
Nifty, innovative, and late to the game. I look at this and I think; "There is such a thing as too innovative". Why would I want to completely learn and entirely new way of typing that builds on no reference before it when there are other simpler, much easier to learn methods out there utilizing an already familiar layout?

I love all the people complaining that $1.58 is too much to spend on something you may not like. Seriously?

I will say this a polished first release. I personally want to master this just so i can blow peoples minds.

Its definitely usable with just my thumb on my evo, and it has some really cool pressure sensitive stuff that will probably be really nice once I memorize the layout.

I agree. Makes the keyboard on my EVO easier to use, not faster, not more efficient, just easier. Even with the EVO turned landscape the keyboard can still be tough to navigate, size 15 wedding band, go figure. I liked using the Graffiti on the Palm T/X to write. After a few text messages, started getting the hang of this layout.

I son't see how the pressure sensitive stuff will work on a phone, as a capacitive touch screen isn't pressure sensitive. I was not able to get these features to work on my Evo. I pressed so hard it started to discolor the LCD, so in an effort to not crack my digitizer, I will not be using the pressure features.

I paid for it and have been using it a little bit so far today. It seems like a great idea, but I don't know if I have the patience to learn the layout. I'll keep it until tomorrow morning though and do as much typing as I can.

tried it out
refunded and uninstalled
I'll keep SWYPE..... thanks for the effort though.

I can see the merits, but still not sure if i want to keep it. Guess I have about 20 more hours to decide :D

I tried it and while it would show the path and the selection of the letter, no letters would show in the text input area. Got a refund.

I agree I they should have had a trial period. I tried it for a few minutes and don't like it so I got a refund. I'll just stick to my Swype

Oh boy! I'm going to ditch my cordless phone at home and buy a rotary phone after I purchase this half backed app. Oh no I'm not. Novel idea, but I'm not biting.

Cool concept, but this sh*t is wack. Not sure if I would get used to it in a year let alone 24 hours. It has pissed me off about 30 times so far, and I've only been using it for 2 hours.

I tried it out too for a little while, and I too think I do not have the patience to learn this. It seemed slow and imprecise, and while a great idea, I can't see this being faster or more efficient than a traditional keyboard.

they should have released a free lite version so people could try it out for a bit before paying for full use.....

Unlike the majority of these comments, I don't feel this app is a bad implementation at all. I've been using it since this story announced it was available and after only a short while, I'm able to write pretty quickly. I can see why the woman in the video mentions the feeling of handwriting. Once you're stringing your characters together, it really starts to feel smooth. You'll be surprise how quickly you start to memorize letter locations.

For those saying the letters don't show up after you've traced them, make sure you're returning to the center. Sounds like this is common feedback, as it's in the market comments, too.

although I like it and the fact that in not proficient with it yet: I can't see it being as fast as swype. Too much movement involved for some letters.

I'm really starting to dig this keyboard the more i use it the more natural it feels.

So, been using it for a few hours now and there are a few things Im noticing. First I think this is pretty amazing, its fun and very original... Learning something new

Once you get the letter layout figured out, this should workout great, but if your not willing to learn then its not for you (someone not willing to learn shouldnt be using android anyway )

A few things Im having issues with so far:
The spase being entered after inputting something and removing your finger. This should be an option, it interferes with prediction, at least for me.
Prediction isnt working very well.
No mic button, yet.
Shift pressure threshold, it isnt working, that or Im not understanding how it works.
Why didnt they include the period in the shortcut at the top along with the other punctuation marks?
Sometimes it won't respond after hitting a txt box.
Would be nice if they could add a d-pad you can just tap, they have enough room (not really an issue, would just be nice and helpfull)

Overall, if it gets the quirks out and ppl actually take time to learn it, it should catch on. Edit: Used it to type this post, took a while, wont even lie ;-)

Just purchased it last night. A little getting use to. Especially if you have large fingers. You still have to see the keys until you memorize they. I wish they also added auto correction. I find myself having to backspace and re typing a letter. I don't want to give up yet but, I love Swiftkey.