I’m a keyboard guy. I don’t so much as hoard them, as I just like testing out which one is slightly better or worse. Almost a habit.
So, when I heard about the ICS keyboard being available, I was stoked. It looked pretty cool in the demos, so I was eager to give it a try. [thanks to Phandroid for the tip on that].
I’ve downloaded it myself and put the apk here if you want to install it. Do note it’s not for tablets, just phones [funny, we haven't seen much with ICS and tablets quite yet].
So what’s it like? Very much like the Gingerbread [which I didn't get on my phone], but with an ICS kind of theme. I like how the popup has a bit of a shadow-y look to it. There’s no mic input option [the instant voice-to-text feature isn't ready yet], but that’s okay as I hardly used it, thanks to Siri I’ve been using voice actions more often. UPDATE – apparently since writing it’s now available in the market [he has a donation version too if you'd like to thank the dude] and now has voice-to-text..
There’s not much to the settings you can play with. The auto-correction has some nifty option of being ‘modest’ vs. ‘aggressive’. Other than that, nothing too over the top.
After using it for almost a day, I like it. Now I’m missing my ‘swiping’ as an input [previously my favourite has been TouchPal], but you get used to it… just I had gotten used to swiping, and I’ll get used to not.
For every day use it’s a little more ‘involved’ than I’d like, but it’s very accurate and has most of the keys you’d need handy. As for the prediction, it does a pretty good job for what I’ve used, on both modest <-> very aggressive. Didn’t notice much difference, so not sure if it needs more time to learn.
It doesn’t however predict the next word in the sentence. Only real drawback I could say. Oh, on the Gingerbread version you could swipe and slide the row of symbols at the top to see other options. This doesn’t quite have that. For other options of words it has a huge pop-up screen with words.
So do I recommend the keyboard? Hard to say. I like the look of it, and the multi-touch feel of it. But it’s more of a serious typing keyboard, and I’m usually a rapid-text-entry kind of guy, so I’ll keep it around if I had a serious amount to write, but will most likely stick with touchpal for my day to day use.
What I do recommend is you give it a try yourself.