Dec 03 AT 4:43 PM Clark Wimberly 24 Comments

Crocodile Keyboard chomping its way onto Android

Crocodile Keyboard, a triangle-shaped staggered-grid layout keyboard, is coming to Android on December 7th. The soft keyboard takes the innovative approach of changing each key shape to a triangle, increasing space between each key and reducing double or missed touches.

Look at all them teeth

Look at all them teeth

The effect is (hopefully) a more flexible and more accurate keyboard. The creator writes:

This can obviously be used in various sizes and helps to stop double hitting of keys and gives a very clear indication of where the key is as the area around the key becomes a triangular guide. This is of great benefit for people who are not blessed with small fingers or have any visual impairment.

What do you think? Does this layout work for you? Would you try it over the stock keyboard? What keyboard replacement (if any) are you currently using?

[via MobileCrunch]

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website B-Rose

    Seems like a good idea. I’d definitely give it a try if it’s free (or cheap). I’m using the stoke (2.0) keyboard right now, and it works pretty well. I was going to try Better Keyboard, but I’ve heard so many complaints about major bugs in the most recent update, so I’ve decided to wait.

    • Lemon

      The bugs in that lastest release have been all fixed up now… seems that way to me at least. They released a fix about 2 days later.

  • Justin Shapcott

    Sounds like a gimmick that will not really lead to any easier typing, but I may be wrong. If it is free I’ll try it. That being said, it would probably be pretty easy to make a Better Keyboard skin to duplicate this sort of design.

    • Clark Wimberly

      I think for this to work it would have to be more than a skin and really change the targetable areas for each key. I’m probably going to check it out but I doubt I’ll switch from the default keyboard (plus I use the hard keyboard most of the time anyway)

      • http://Website steven

        i don’t know. is it possible that the skin of the keyboard plays into the user’s conception of the keyboard enough to change his typing habits?

        it would be really cool to do some UI tests for that, changing the skin vs (skin + active area) variable.

  • bcnice20

    Is this gunna b free

  • http://Website JJ

    I am ALWAYS looking for a new and better keyboard so I will try anything new!!

  • http://Website Simon

    Looks good… keen to try it out!

  • nEx.Software

    So, this is actually reducing the targetable space by 50%? I figured it was a visual thing… If the touch target appears smaller, you are likely to aim for that smaller target naturally. To actually reduce the touch target just seems counter-productive.

    • Clark Wimberly

      No idea really, the originating website didn’t have much info.

    • http://Website bobley

      It reduces mistakes by putting space between the keys. I think the idea isn’t that you’re missing the key you want to hit, it’s that you’re hitting more than one key at once. Sign me up.

  • http://Website vnssa906

    i will def. give this one a try, especially if its free or a trial

  • Brak

    What i dont understand is why qwerty keyboards that were invented for two handed typing are being used on devices we use our thumbs to type on. Can’t they simply develop a more intuitive, handy layout for thumb typing? Considering the varying keyboard layouts, there’s got to be one better than QWERTY for phones

    • http://Website Danny

      They could, but everyone is already familiar with the qwerty layout and doesn’t require “re-learning”. A completely new layout specifically for “thumb typing” on handheld devices would work better, but fewer people would be willing to adopt it over qwerty.

      • Brak

        I’m sure if it was intuitive enough it wouldnt require that much re-learning. Of course any new idea would take some adapting, but thats the point of the keyboard being more intuitive is that the learning curve isnt steep.

        Also, since there are soft keyboards, there can be plenty of testing with it as well as a swappable function to change to qwerty in the case the user doesnt like it as much. I’m sure given enough time with a more thumb-friendly keyboard people would convert.

  • jake

    it’s called t9 brak.

    • Brak

      T9 is garbage. I’m talking a keyboard LAYOUT for thumbs and not a predictive text software.

  • maccrookpro

    I hate soft keys, I’m going to have to try this out.

  • ExtremeT

    yeah I don’t really see how this would improve anything by making the target area smaller. If anything I think it would actual make it worse. I get the idea though, increase the space between the keys to make it easier but it should be done without the cost of the actual key size.

  • MorphiusFaydal

    I would try it if it didn’t cost more than about USD 2. I’m currently using HTC IME on my myTouch. It looks like it might work well… So I guess we’ll see.

  • DannyDarko

    I am currently using better keyboard with the hero skin It works way better than the stock keyboard The skin is just for looks but the keyboard is much more responsive than the stock version on my Droid

  • max fadia

    looks cool i am going to have to try this app out

  • http://Website UCS

    I bought this app as soon as it came out.

    Plus points: it really works, i haven’t miss-hit a key all day.

    Bad points:

    No tactile feedback.

    Doesn’t use androids predictive texts feature.

    The portrait version of the keyboard is way to small (i’ve emailed the developer and he is changing this soon).