Keyboard applications for Windows Mobile

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One important feature expected from a Touch screen based Windows mobile Smartphone is the ability to quickly input text.

Be it composing a SMS/MMS or taking a note or composing a word document, a powerful keyboard application is a must on a Smartphone/Pocket PC.

I quickly got adjusted to the Touch based navigation on my newly purchased HTC Touch Smartphone, however when it came to composing a SMS using my fingers, I failed miserably !

I had to either take support from the Stylus (which I didn’t want to) or I had to search for a better powerful keyboard alternative for my phone.HTC did market the Touch phone as the first touch based Smartphone, but they forgot to provide a better text input user interface !

By default the Windows Mobile OS came with the following methods of text input.

Keyboard

KeyboardFinal1

Unless you have very small fingers, the only way to work with the above keyboard is by relying on the stylus supplied with the device.

Letter Recognizer/Block Recognizer

keyboardfinal2

On this interface, even your small fingers wouldn’t be of help. The only way to use this interface is again via the stylus attached with the device.

Transcriber

Transcriber

The Transcriber application is Microsoft’s award winning application that uses Transcriber technology to bring you unprecedented recognition accuracy and ease of use.

Transcriber employs advanced fuzzy logic and neural net techniques that allow it to recognize your handwriting with unparalleled accuracy and speed. Think your handwriting is too messy for Transcriber to make sense of it

Download Transcriber

Once you get used to the Transcriber, this method might be the most effective among the above 4 methods. However like in Letter/Block Recognizer, you are forced to use the stylus in Transcriber mode too ๐Ÿ™

Alternative Touch Based Keyboards

Here are 2 alternative keyboards which saves you from using the Stylus.

HTC T9 Phonepadphonepad

HTC supposedly started licensing T9 text input capabilities and included a software input method for their devices that let you easily type out text using common T9 techniques.

This was a great feature for phones that only had touch screens since you could use your thumb to type out messages in much the same way you would do so on a standard numeric keypad using T9. However it was abandoned by HTC for some odd reasons. I was finally able to grab hold of the CAB file for the phone pad in XDA developers forum

After using it for a more than a week, I should say that this is probably the most efficient and fastest way of inputting text on a touch based device.

I couldn’t locate the forum thread which had the cab, so here is the link to the T9 Phonepad application.

Download T9 PhonePad (1.46 MB)

Full Screen Keyboard

Unlike T9 Phonepad, Spb’s Full Screen Keyboard is not a free application. However at 10$ its worthy every penny ! Unlike other input methods it covers the entire screen area and has keys large enough to be typed with finger-tips rather than with a stylus.

fullscreenkeyboard

Additionally the dictionarybased correction algorithms allow users to reduce the number of misprints significantly.

Other notable applications

There are 2 more applications worth mentioning even though they are not touch based applications. They rely on the stylus but have some unique features which help you to input the text at a pretty fast rate.

TenGO

tengo

Resco KeyBoard

If you know about any additional keyboard applications useful for Touch based device, please do leave your suggestions in the comments section.

81 comments… add one

  • TheAnand Aug 2, 2007

    Thats a nice and really useful post for all the touch phone users out there! I did see a few typing software when I was watching youtube videos of this phone. . .

    one thing I wanted to ask was if I need to have a airtel connection to buy a htc?

  • Venu Aug 2, 2007

    Anand, I’m not sure, none of my folks use Hutch so couldn’t test ๐Ÿ™‚
    As far as I know, when you buy from the shop, there is no lock as such on the SIM.It should work with Hutch !

    There is a chain of mobile shop called Global access in bangalore, call them up and clarify on that and probably you could have a Touch when you go back from Bangalore ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ashwin Aug 7, 2007

    Hi,

    As far as I am aware, the Touch being sold in India is locked to Airtel. You may be able to buy an imported unlocked version though.

    Venu – the T9 keypad application isn’t installing. Getting the error message “Installation of phonepad_atom_wwe.cab was unsuccessful”. Any suggestions?

  • Diesis Aug 7, 2007

    I have the same problem: รขโ‚ฌล“Installation of phonepad_atom_wwe.cab was unsuccessfulรขโ‚ฌ?
    Using an HTC P3600 with WM5.

  • Venu Aug 7, 2007

    Ashwin/Diesis
    Are you guys trying to install on the memory. I installed on the storage card and did a soft reset also If i remember properly. It worked fine

  • Ashwin Aug 7, 2007

    It’s not really giving me an option on that. Downloaded the cab from your website. Saved it on the storage card. As soon as i click on the cab, it throws up the error message.

  • Diesis Aug 7, 2007

    Same thing. I have only 3.5Mb free on the local storage, may be the installer dies immediatly without prompting anything ?

  • Venu Aug 7, 2007

    Ashwin/Desis, I ran the setup application from the storage card, not sure if it matters. But try that once.

    Meanwhile I am sending you guys the CAB file via Email (I am assuming you guys have input a valid EMail ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diesis Aug 7, 2007

    It worked !! Update the CAB on this post. It works installed from and to the Memory Card, too !!
    Thank you.

  • Venu Aug 7, 2007

    Guess I did the FTP transfer in Ascii mode, I have updated the CAB file on the server.

    Diesis, Thanks for confirming;Ashwin, if you haven’t installed, please do download from the link in the post and let me know how it went.

  • Ashwin Aug 8, 2007

    Hi Venu,

    The new CAB file linked in the post works!! Downloaded and successfully installed. Thanks a ton!

    Have been using the SPB keyboard for some time now and the phone pad really puts the final touches on making the touch completely finger operated. HTC should be bundling both these products with the Touch.

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards,
    Ashwin

  • Wilson Aug 8, 2007

    Thanks for the phone pad. It work fines

  • Diesis Aug 8, 2007

    I’ve noticed that the T9 capabilities for the italian language are very limited. Is it possible to find and load a more complete italian dictionary ?

  • Venu Aug 8, 2007

    Ashwin/wilson glad to know that the app worked for you guys.
    Diesis, after a bit of googling I found this link

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=312235

    There is a dark phone pad (International Cab); I tried the English version; but the keypad didn’t pop up properly. I was able to see only 1 column of the keypad.

    Try out the international version and let me know how it goes.

  • Diesis Aug 9, 2007

    Dumb me !
    The version you have linked in your article has all the T9 dictionaries !
    They have to be selected in the Control Panel !!!

  • Diesis Aug 9, 2007

    Trackbacked on my blog. You got it ?

  • Venu Aug 9, 2007

    Diesis,
    yes even I checked it just now, guess i need to update this post with that screenshot.

    Meanwhile thanks for the trackback ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Roberto Aug 13, 2007

    Thanks a lot for this great post.

    I bought HTC touch in Singapore 3 weeks ago and it works really great. the guy that sold me the phone showed me the phone with the screen touch keyboard but he didnt want to install in on my phone.

    so thanks a lot for posting this.

    this is my second smartphone. After the good but not very handy and productive Imate SP5, this phone has definitely solved my needs of mobile communication.

    The camera is very good! audio quality is ok

    other functions as reverting the screen are really good! i m waiting for the accessories now!!!

    I strongly recommend to buy HTC touch phone to everybody.. obviously that are smartphone savyy and exigent!!!

    Thanks,
    Roberto

  • Venu Aug 13, 2007

    Hi Roberto, congrats on your new smartphone ๐Ÿ™‚

    As you mentioned the camera is pretty good, I have couple of photos taken on HTC touch uploaded here (its definitely not bad)

    The speakerphone does have issues,and I am sure its more of a hardware issue and cannot be fixed by some firmware update.

    Nevertheless a great phone at a great price !

  • sandeep Aug 19, 2007

    guys, can anyone help me out with the gprs or edge setings for the htc touch? i’m on hutch bangalore.

  • Mohan Herle Aug 19, 2007

    Dear Venu,
    The Phone Pad (down loaded with your link)installed smoothly and working nicely. Excellent work. Keep it up. By the way I have Spice SIM (Bangalore). I tried and failed with offical phone,and bought a unlocked phone from National Maket (Gray Market) for Rs 20,500/- without warranty. It is worth each Paise. By the way your video (WMV format) is just class. Hope HTC uses it for their Advertisement with some music added. It is on par with Iphone video if you have seen that !

  • Mohan Herle Aug 19, 2007

    Venu I forgot mention the SPB full keyboard is on special offer around $5/-

  • venukb Aug 20, 2007

    Mohan, thats a good pointer. So you do get unlocked phones and the price difference also isn’t too much.

    Nice to know that you liked the video ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regarding the SPB full keyboard, I am surely going to buy it if its 5$.

    Do try out TenGO also. Have heard of it a lot. But as of now I am more than comfortable with the T9 keypad.

  • Albert Aug 23, 2007

    Hi there,

    Can this program be used on Dopod D810? I have upgraded to WM6 but unfortunately the T9 PhonePad is gone. Sorry for a noob question, what do I do with this program after unzipping? Do I just click the setup?

    Many thanks

  • Venu Aug 23, 2007

    Albert, the HTC Touch device that I use is powered by Windows Mobile 6 and the T9 phonepad works with no issues.

    Regarding setup, I am not sure why you are extracting the contents of the CAB file. Just copy the CAB to the device using ActiveSync and click on the same to launch the setup

  • duff Aug 26, 2007

    thanks so much for the phone pad, now it’s so easy to text รƒล“ ur a life saver. however, i wonder how to turn the sound off when i am texting. is there an option for this?

  • duff Aug 26, 2007

    hi i have also heard of messagease. though i am not familiar with it

  • Venu Aug 26, 2007

    Duff, you could turn the T9 phone pad sound off via the options

    Go to Programs -> Settings -> Input
    Select PhonePad and select “Options”. There is checkbox which needs to be unchecked ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regarding MessageEase, I did have a look while writing this post, but didn’t go further. Will definitely try it out.

  • duff Aug 26, 2007

    Hi Venu!! Got it. Thanks so much. Appreciate your help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rohit Aug 31, 2007

    Hi
    used yr t9 touchpad application and it works amazingly well !!

    thanks a ton ! with this application the HTC phone is a killer !

    thanks again

  • Steven Sep 2, 2007

    Anyone can send me the CAB files? The download link is not working on me

  • mohanherle Sep 2, 2007

    steven It is not clear which cab you are interested. I presume it is T9 phonepad. If so, please give a email ID.

  • Sandeep Sep 3, 2007
  • venukb Sep 3, 2007

    Sandeep, thanks for the URL, I have already mentioned about it in one of my earlier comment.

    However that app doesn’t seem to work well with HTC Touch

  • sandeep Sep 4, 2007

    ic………neways, venu, can u help me out with the GPRS settings on htc touch? i’m with hutch bangalore.

  • bizdev Sep 4, 2007

    I looking for a software that can help me to input T9 using numeric keypad like eZiText (I can’t download it)

  • Mr Public Sep 4, 2007

    Hi All

    Can anyone publish the workable link for the problem free T9 version for the HTC Touch? Thanks a dozen.

  • JiaHui Sep 4, 2007

    hi guys, i am planning to get a htc touch real soon, and i am very worried with the numeric phone pad problem, because to me it is the easiest and fastest way to input msges using 1 hand, therefore if you guys dont mind, can you guys post of some photos or even videos of your htc touch that has this numeric software working in it? and let me know if everything is working good? Thanks in advance!

  • Venu Sep 4, 2007

    Hi All,
    My initial upload was ftp’ed in non binary mode. On Aug 7 (you can see my comment) I uploaded the proper version of HTC T9 Phonepad.

    Please use the link in the post for the T9 phone pad. Meanwhile I will also google again for the original link of XDA developer forum.

  • Mr Public Sep 5, 2007

    Hi Venu

    Base on your 7th Aug link, it link me to the Sun Microsystem website. U sure that is the right link?

  • venukb Sep 5, 2007

    Public !
    Not sure on what link you clicked. Here is the link again for the T9 Phone pad.

    Download T9 Phonepad

  • sandeep Sep 6, 2007

    guys, i dont see what the problem is all about. i downloaded the T9 file from here and it’s running just fine. i spent 9$ on the SPB full screen keyboard and am just not using it after i got the T9 program. thanx a lot venu.

  • duf Sep 6, 2007

    hi guys!! i also downloaded the t9 file from this site and my htc touch is working superbly with the t9 phone pad. i even saved it in my memory card. thank God i found this site. now texting is very easy and convenient

  • suaku Sep 8, 2007

    I am using Dopod D810, I have upgraded to WM6 but the T9 PhonePad is gone. Thanks Venu for the link, it works!!
    Does it works on Dopod 838 Pro? My friend downloaded, but he can’t see the phone pad..

  • Venu Sep 9, 2007

    suaku, it should work with most of the winmobile phones

    Did he download the one on this link:
    http://tinyurl.com/2b36qu

    This didn’t work well on Touch. If he did try the one in the post, I would suggest him to try the one in the above link.

    Let me know how it goes.

  • mohanherle Sep 9, 2007

    venu, why not add other threads like nice utilities, applications etc., have you got any suggestions….

  • suaku Sep 12, 2007

    Thanks Venu, he got it after he downloaded WM6..

  • yaamyn Sep 29, 2007

    can u pls help me? I want to know if it’s possible to have all my sms’s saved directly to my storage card – AND NOT the internal memory..

  • Pramod Oct 9, 2007

    Guys checkout this cool keypad

    CooTek TouchPal v1.0.

    http://www.cootek.com

  • JT Oct 11, 2007

    The HTC TOUCH is brilliant. I’m using it for a month or so. Does anyone know about free anti virus software for HTC Touch? Are they safe for use?

  • sohan Oct 29, 2007

    its great , but where is new ESC button

  • Philip Oct 29, 2007

    Ive downloaded many of the T9 cab files but dont know how to install it on my HTC Touch. When i unzip the files i get a hell of a lot of files in a folder. The active synce does nothing to it. Manually cut and paste the folder on to the memmpry card, but still no luck.
    Please let me know step by step roceedure to install the T9 keypad
    thanks
    Philip

  • venukb Oct 29, 2007

    Philip, not sure why you are unzipping the CAB file. Just copy the CAB file using activesync and click on the file on your device. It should launch the installer.

  • Idan Rahat Nov 1, 2007

    you can also try the iPhone like keyboard:
    http://pocketcm.com/keyboard2.php
    I use it and it’s great.

  • venukb Nov 1, 2007

    Idan, Thanks for poining out pocketcm, I just installed it and it works great ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Andrea Nov 9, 2007

    Nice keypad! Glad I found this website. I own a htc touch, but after installation of the T9 phonepad, my today’s background changed to a blue colour, kinda like the colour of the phonepad. Was wondering if there was any way to change to the colour back to the default theme, without having to set another picture as my background.

  • duf Nov 14, 2007

    hi regarding the free anti-virus, i am currently using kaspersky and downloaded it at download.com. it’s free for a year.

    btw, anyone knows where i can get a free medical dictionary software?

  • Philip Nov 17, 2007

    Thanks a lot Venu figured it out.

  • joaedmonds Dec 15, 2007

    Hey guys,
    Can you help me to find
    The best soft to PC-where to buy, join site & other tipe to do a home online business.
    Thanks.

  • hagai Dec 20, 2007

    how do i turn my dopod c730 from chines to english

  • venukb Dec 21, 2007

    hagai,
    are you asking about the phonepad app or the phone as such ? If its the phonepad, you can go the settings-input and access the options of the Phone Pad.
    Here you have the option to set the language.

  • Willem Feb 5, 2008

    Do you guys know if there is multi-language support for the transcriber? Although the dictionary learns new words (in language other than English) that does nothing for Transcribers fuzzy logic!

  • Thomas Atkinson Mar 9, 2008

    Have you tried the Other HTC one (Can’t Remember it’s name) Did not work for me because I am very Used to QWERTY keyboards like the one on my T-Mobile MDA Vario III (Mock HTC Kaiser) but might work fr you if you are used to the HTC T9 Phonepad because it has that AS WELL as having a 2 letter per key version!

  • Thomas Atkinson Mar 9, 2008

    Guess What! You can get the FULL SCREEN one for free! Download it onto the phone then install it BUT at the end DO NOT ASSIGN A HARD KEY!!! Once Installed Select the input to be Full Screen Keyboard and a small keyboard will pop-up. Select the Keyboard image to maximize the keyboard (Hey Presto! You got Full Screen!)

  • zubin Mar 25, 2008

    hey… why dont you guys try the HTC Keypad+Keyboard… its got the 12 key T9 input as well as the 20 key keyboard (similar to the blackberry pearl)… i’ve found this to be a lot better than the PhonePad because the keys are a bit bigger ๐Ÿ™‚ … i’ve been using this for a while now and have not found the need to remove my stylus for anything… infact, i’ve lost my stylus and dont miss it at all… i’ve begun to love my htc touch.

    i have a question for you guys though… my pim.vol size is close to 20MB and with the HTC Keypad and SPB Mobile Shell installed, i’ve got just 1.0mb of free main memory… is there any way to move the pim.vol file to the storage card and free up main memory ?

  • William Apr 2, 2008

    Dear friends,

    Please help to provide a website to download software that can read chinese characters in my HTC dual. Many Thanks.

  • Venu Apr 6, 2008

    Thanks Thomas for suggesting that hack ๐Ÿ™‚ Will try it out.
    Zubin can you please provide the link to the HTC Keypad+Keyboard app that you are referring to ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elumalai Jun 19, 2009

    In my HTC P 3452 the keypad is locked and I am unable to open.
    Kindly give me solution to open the keypad

  • Vishal Jul 18, 2009

    vodafone card is not working in my cel. anybody got any solution. plz help me

  • s.ramamohanababu Nov 27, 2009

    toucu screen not working plse send service provider phonr no

  • Cleannacype Dec 18, 2009

    Hi guys,
    My computer worked slowly, many errors. Help me, please to fix buggs on my computer.
    My operation system is Windows 2003.
    Thanks,
    Cleannacype

  • Areyousad Jan 11, 2010

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    Quotation of Plato

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  • jeremy Mar 22, 2010

    y is it my phonepad is so small.. it’s half the size of the default keyboard of my xperia… how can i make it bigger? can anyone help me?

  • kk May 9, 2010

    hi, touch t9 phone pad works gud in HTC touch 3g.But it comes with sound by pressing any keys.how should i disable the sound.Also,you have any other links to download phone keyboard without T9.?

  • Bixapathi Jul 28, 2010

    Thanks Venu for sharing such a useful information.
    I was fed up with the default keyboard of my windows mobile.Now typing in mobile is easier than ever using both the Phonepad and PocketCM. I tested both and they are doing exceptionally well.

    And finally, a question to you..Have you tried the hack of Atkinson for that SPB keyboard??
    And one more thing..how to mute the key press sounds when using phonpad app??(Im using Acer E101 windows mobile phone)

    Thank you very much and waiting for your reply.

    • Venu Jul 29, 2010

      Yeah phonepad was a life saver I remember – I have moved to Blackberry now

      I remember seeing phonepad options where you could turn off the sound, don’t remember now – check in keyboard settings.

  • Randum Mar 9, 2011

    PhoneType_095a came out as the best (T9-) keyboard on my PPC with Windows Mobile 6. Had been looking for sth like that for a while and finally found it! As T9 is not always included on PPC’s automatically anylonger. For some Europeans almost always having to use Querty in stead of Azerty is also a pain in the *ss. But, I think the T9-method is and stays the best, also for PPC. PhoneType says ‘English’ and ‘Russian’ but it’s dictionary perfectly accepts other languages apart from certain symbols/accents. Have also tried HTC-T9, but it was to small for the screen of my Glofiish.
    I hope for Microsoft’s sake that Microsoft has included T9 on Phone7…

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