With the added feature of iOS 8 comes the possibility of using 3rd party keyboards on the iPad. Android had an up on iPads previously with the ability to purchase and use an assistive keyboard. The iPad has stepped up their game with the new choices of 3rd party keyboards.One such iOS 8 assistive keyboards, is the SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard developed by Crick Software .
SuperKeys provides new options for access, word prediction and short cuts (abbreviations) when typing on the iPad or iPhone. Currently, SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard is available at an introductory price of $3.99 (regular price of 9.99). Here are some screen shots of the features of the SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard app:
Here is a quick video of the keyboard features:
I trialed the SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard app with the iOS Pages, Google Docs, iOS Email and Write About This apps. The keyboard integrated with ease in each of the apps offering a larger key cluster, larger individual cluster keys, word prediction and access to individualized short cuts. At onset, it took using specific topic vocabulary for it to be offered in the word prediction menu, but once used, recency offered with greater frequency reducing the keystrokes required to write. It did take a while to get used to the style of word prediction, requiring tapping the keyboard cluster, then again to choose one the 7 larger keys offered. As with most word prediction, it did reduce keystrokes the more I used it and offered my unique vocabulary. For individuals with difficulty accessing small areas or keys, the use of the key cluster offers greater ease of access with the larger cluster areas. For individuals with motor challenges (tremors, incoordination e.g.) or large fingers, the cluster method offers larger keys without consuming limited space on the tablet or phone.
Features of the word prediction includes Crick’s Intelligent Word prediction, which appeared to choose words by context and individual use. An additional benefit is access to up to 36 of your customized short cut phrases offered in the short cut key. The word prediction also offers groups of words frequently used together (e.g. going to, it is, it was) to assist writing.
As aforementioned I used SuperKeys with standard productivity iOS apps and another app used to support emergent writers without difficulty. Using 3rd party apps such as SuperKeys provides new options for writers not previously possible. Integrating SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard is also reportedly possible with Crick’s Clicker Doc and Clicker Connect apps, offering other supports during the writing process.
Use of 3rd party keyboards such as SuperKeys, provides writing supports to struggling writers when used with other standard word processing apps. Wouldn’t it be great if text to speech embedded within 3rd party keyboards such as SuperKeys in the future?
Thank you to Crick Software for providing the app for review.
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