Mar 22 AT 7:29 PM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

ThickButtons launches keyboard for fat fingers

Are your fingers too big for the small keys of the Android virtual keyboard? ThickButtons is a new alternative input method that was designed to make text entry easier by shrinking the letters that are not likely to be used and enlarging the buttons that are.

The application is currently in beta, but anyone (Android 1.6+) can grab it from the Android Market. Check it out and let us know how it compares to other alternatives like Swype.

Main benefits of ThickButtons include:

  • No Change in Typing Habits: ThickButtons does not ask users to change their typing behaviors by learning a new way to type. Some of the recent predictive typing technologies in the industry include training steps and involve a learning curve before users become familiar with the process. With ThickButtons, just type the same way you have all your life.
  • Less Dependent on Dictionary: Traditional prediction-based technologies are effective only when a significant part of the word is entered. ThickButtons is unique because it begins working after just a few letters are entered. Less relevant buttons shrink and the buttons more likely to be used become larger. In some cases there is no dependency on the dictionary at all. For example, if a user presses backspace, three adjacent keys are enlarged offering a workaround for the most common mistakes.
  • Easy to Type Even on Small Screens: ThickButtons technology accommodates users of smartphones with small screens. No matter the size of a screen, ThickButtons becomes large enough for people to still use their fingers to type, eliminating the need for a stylus.

Source: ThickButtons

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Clark Wimberly

    Honestly from the photo and written description I wasn’t interested at all but that video is pretty strong. It looks moderately convenient and pretty quick.

    • http://Website Dylan Andersen

      Yeah, and we could always use more keyboard options.. win for us!

  • http://Website Stella

    This is brilliant! I don’t have think fingers but I always press the wrong keys. I’m downloading it now to give it a try.

  • http://Website Stella

    Halle-freakin-luiah! I’ve used ThickButtons for 30 minutes. It does what it says and more. I type much faster and didn’t make a mistake once by pressing the wrong keys. The suggested word feature and auto-correction work very well.

  • http://Website Dave

    Great asset to the android family. I’ve been using it all day and I really like it.

  • MattDemers

    Definitely going to be checking this out, even though the Droid’s keyboard is pretty kickass.

  • Zacqary Adam Green

    And what about when you want to type an uncommon word? Then it’s even harder.

  • http://thickbuttons tim wilson

    I’m getting kinda tired of seeing an app that is said to be on the android market. It maybe but not on my hero what’s up with that?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Your phone only has Android 1.5 and the app requires Android 1.6 or above.

  • http://Website Vinny

    VERY laggy for the Droid. Used it for 10 seconds and got frustrated.

  • Angie Strickland

    That looks rad!

  • David Posso

    Am I the only one that is not finding this app in the app market? i scanned the bar code and I’m not getting any result… any one knows whats happening?

  • http://Website Jonathan

    ugh it’s not for 1.5…….all the helpful apps are 1.6 and higher…Sprint just update the hero now please.

  • http://Website Axess Denyd

    Well… it makes it so that every time you hit a key, everything else moves. This makes it pretty hard to type ANYTHING, and if you type quickly you get way, way ahead of it.

    I can’t type with any accuracy at all on it at any speed.

    So far my pick is Swype for “portrait” mode and Android keyboard for “landscape” mode. This is on a MyTouch 3G, for what it’s worth.

  • http://Website Dgavi

    I can’t get rotation on my nexus one. Too bad !, hope they can do better…

  • http://Website cece

    I agree with Axess :
    Changing buttons size might be ok, but since it causes buttons to shift towards right or left, you must wait and look at the button you wanted to press, just to know where it is now !

    How can you type quickly this way ?

  • Killa

    This is good and has a lot of potential but it has some problems. As others have said, it does shift some of the keys too much when it makes them bigger and it does move a little slow. Instead of actually showing the keys get bigger it should just make the sensing area of them bigger. I know it’s still in beta but I hope they can/will fix these issues.

    Btw, what happened to QWERTED?

  • Skeniver

    I agree with Axess and the others.

    I have thought that this would be a good idea, but the buttons get too big. I think a small increase without shifting the buttons too much would work well. I did set it to the lowest setting, but that didn’t help much…

    But when A, S, & D are all bigger, it’s near impossible to hit the D quickly!

    I am still keen on the idea, and hope they sort this issue out!

  • DailySmartPhone

    Thanks for the heads up. I am a pretty fast typer on the original keyboard and this seems to make me slower though. I do like the idea.

  • http://Website FormerSwypeUser

    ThickButtons beats Swype immediately because they have an OPEN beta so I can actually try it out instead of a CLOSED beta that starts AFTER the Swype application that I was using timed out unexpectedly.

  • http://Website Jon

    Tried it out and I really don’t like it. It seems to slow me down. What I wish would happen is that this same thing would go on invisibly. Basically it would make larger targets for the most likely letters.

    With this I found that the letter I wanted to press was indeed larger but shifted to the left or right defeating the purpose. If the target for E is larger but shifted out from under where it normally is, then this doesn’t work at all. I tried only in portrait mode as that’s the only mode that I have trouble typing in on my Droid.

    I think the HTC Touch Keyboard for the Droid is the best. It outdoes all other keyboards I’ve tried, and I’ve tried them all.

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  • http://Website dg

    Huge security concern. This IME has full access to the Internet. What for? Why does it need it?

    Why is this a concern? Well, you use this to enter usernames and passwords; with Internet access the dev has full access to EVERYTHING you type in.

    Never install an IME that has Internet Access.


    • Noice

      Current version has alleviated that concern apparently… doesn’t indicate any internet access on market install. Was probably innocuous, but definitely concerning that it had access.

      I honestly can’t make the thing work… it’s setup right, but after sending 6 emails, I’ve yet to see a key-size change… even with the “enlargement” set to significant.

      Good idea, hopefully this is just early-beta-blues.

  • http://Website Chad

    extremely laggy, uninstalled within 5 minutes. is there a way as someone else said to have swype set to only portrait?


  • Courtney

    I installed this keyboard on my G1, and it’s kinda cool. I mostly use my physical keyboard to type, but occasionally I’ll use the virtual keyboard for a short response.

    I could see how this program would get annoying on a touch screen only phone.

  • http://Website Nathan

    I just came across the Big Fingers Keyboard, same kind of app but different keyboard look, I’ve used it today and it works well for me. I will try ThickButtons now and compare.

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  • http://Website sam

    ther is no _ key on this kboard so i unistalled it.

  • http://Website John

    So why doesn’t some developer combine all the into one keyboard. This is a great idea. Let’s hope it grows into something special!!!!

  • http://Website heheh

    anyone have the apk file please???

  • Don Vanier

    On thick keys, are there contrast colors for the keyboard? The current gray is hard to see.

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