Aug 02 AT 2:54 PM Dustin Earley 19 Comments

Video: TouchPal Curve Beta 1 preview

touchpal

Last week we first published the original demo video for the new Swype-like TouchPal Curve, and a huge amount of interest was shown in exactly how the replacement keyboard would perform in real life situations. Well we now have our hands on a copy of TouchPal Curve Beta 1. For an initial release, it’s very good. This isn’t meant to be a full review yet (that will come once a stable version is released), just a preview showcasing some of the features TouchPal will undoubtedly continue to improve upon.

The first thing you’ll notice about the new TouchPal Curve is that it looks and feels great. Everything is smooth and the graphics are clearly high quality. It may not seem this would be a common issue for something as simple as a replacement keyboard, but you’d be surprised at just how terrible some themes–and even stock configurations–look on high resolution displays. None of that here.

Once you give it a go, you’ll find button presses are accurate and predictions aren’t bad. They may not be near what an app like Swiftkey X can provide at the moment, but it’s obvious there’s a lot of potential here. And this is something we were told is being worked on as a high priority.

There are a lot of time-saving functions that become fluid as you spend more time with the app. Swiping up or down on a key lets you use capitol letters or symbols, and you’ll find handy keys placed around the keyboard for easily inserting emoticons, cutting, pasting, copying, accessing the settings and turning Curve on and off. (Which is, no doubt, what everyone would like to hear the most about).

As of right now, Curve is just good. Not great or terrible. Just good. Replicating the actions in the original demo video was not easy. But after a full day, it’s certainly getting better. The worst part by far is word selection. Again, that’s being worked on. Personally, even in its first beta form, I have converted to using Curve only. The mistakes I do find myself making are easy enough to fix. And it looks good enough to land the default spot on my Android device of choice.

That’s all we have for now. Be sure to check back for a full review of TouchPal Curve once the keyboard comes out of beta. Until then, we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have in the comments below.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • BiGMERF

    Anyway to get into the beta? perhaps an apk anywhere:). I remember i had a while ago and got the apk from XDA.. But cant find it now

  • Amy Winehouse

    cheers!

  • codesplice

    http://www.android-support.com/touchpal-v4-8-beta-20110729-swype-killer-4-8-android-apk-app/

    Just something I may have stumbled across in my travels across the net… and in my impatience to receive any word on the beta application I submitted last week.

    • Mike

      That .apk doesn’t work.

      • codesplice

        Sorry! Worked flawlessly for me when I got it there the other day.

  • Interpol91

    TouchPal is definitely showing some promising features with the beta version. So far I have been enjoying it and once the full version comes out it may give my favorite keyboard (SwiftKey X) some competition.

    • Dustin Earley

      I do miss SwiftKey sometimes, but I’m starting to like TouchPal more and more.

      • codesplice

        The tap-typing corrections on TouchPal are quite impressive… and I’m completely hooked on the swipe-up/down actions for capitalization and symbols. TouchPal’s prediction isn’t quite on par with Swiftkey’s, but I like where it’s going – and definitely like the other features that TouchPal also offers. Swiftkey is an excellent product, but I kind of feel like it’s a one-trick pony. I’m thrilled with the prospect of TouchPal being a keyboard that does everything I need.

  • Scrapp

    Does this beta version have blind typing? Got my invite but I cant find that feature if there is one.

    • Dustin Earley

      I couldn’t find it either.

  • sylar

    Sounds cool I may have to try this out.

  • Futureboy

    It’s awesome to see that they retained the swipe up for cap and swipe down for symbol. This is by far the best feature of the original and I think my favorite feature on any keyboard to date. Now, if they can match or beat the SwiftKey prediction, I think they would have a winner.

  • teecruz

    I enjoy it too! That is one of my major dislikes: the word predictions. But it’s Beta? So it’s fine.
    I do hate though, that there is no delete word option. Instead it deletes characters. So it can go too far when holding down the delete key.
    I managed to do the swipe down punctuation insertention once, during tutorial. I have yet to do it again.

    Agreed. Swiftkey X has great prediction! I Love the both.
    But was surprised at how polished it look. So if their were any impressive word prediction whatsoever soon to come, than I’d definetly perhaps disown Swype. :)

    • teecruz

      Oh, and having TouchPal as your designated soft keyboard makes it hard when using a hard keyboard. I know there’s an option that probably says the settings don’t apply to hard keyboards. But, that may be prediction only. My problem is, I can no longer use the shift key when I want to, when this keyboard is set to default.

      Don’t like that. Very much. No. :)

    • codesplice

      The trick that I have found for the swipe-down gestures: they don’t seem to work when the Curve mode is enabled. Seems that you really have to choose which mode you’d like to use. For me, the tapping is far more useful than the Curve function (at this point) so I just leave Curve disabled.

  • Edd
  • http://sweeterskins.net Lemon

    I disagree that it looks good. It works at a high res, which is good, but it’s not very visually polished.

    Looks like they’re going to enable skins in the future though:

    https://plus.google.com/100466178325794757407/posts/6PSWjLWCD1P

    I chop and change between keyboards – gonna rock Touchpal for the next few days. I loved the original release (back when every replacement keyboard was a bit laggy on the HTC Magic lol)…

  • heeros

    I wonder what capitol letters look like.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol

    (hint, it’s capital letters)

  • http://www.lovemyblog.de/swellblog/ Perry

    Fine knowledge! I have been browsing for everything similar to this for a time finally. Thanks!