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SwiftKey for Android Honeycomb tablets demonstrated, looks thumbtastic

Feast your eyes on the first 'improved' on-screen keyboard for Android Honeycomb tablets! With the same prediction engine from the smartphone variant, and with a beautiful tablet-optimized two-thumb interface, it looks like SwiftKey will redefine text input on tablets.

Engadget has the complete story, some more photos, and some hands-on experience, but judging by the videos (included after the break), typing with SwiftKey for tablets looks really fast. The keyboard is broken up into three panels, with letters and punctuation placed under your left and right thumbs, and the number pad in the middle. SwiftKey's Fluency Prediction Engine can apparently predict "around a third of words" before you even press any keys -- and once you do start typing, the most likely prediction can be completed with the space bar, and second and third predictions can be selected by using the two big panels near your left and right thumbs. If you watch the videos you can see some complete sentences being typed in just a few seconds -- crazy.

The best thing, at least from SwiftKey's perspective, is that you can't see much competition coming from other input replacements, like Swype. With larger screens, the handwriting paradigm doesn't really make sense. It's more a matter of utilizing screen real estate to leverage the power of our thumbs! SwiftKey may have found a very nice niche indeed.

Tags: android, android 3.0, Android3.0, apps, honeycomb, IME, input method, InputMethod, on screen keyboard, OnScreenKeyboard, OSK, swiftkey, tablet, tablet pc, TabletPc