Graffiti for Android – kickin’ it old school

One of the more tired arguments when discussing the “openness of Android” is the definition of open, or more appropriately, their opinion of the application of open. The single, most useful example that seems to work for everyone is showing the various options in virtual keyboards. There is literally a virtual keyboard for everyone, even people who have not used a virtual keyboard since the days of the original Palm handhelds. Remember those weird little pads at the bottom, where you could spell out every letter or number? I got pretty fast on mine. The software that drove that was called Graffiti, and now that software has been brought to Android.

It’s easy to scoff at a keyboard setup like Graffiti when you have Swype, or if you have that perfect speech pattern for voice recognition, but that’s not everyone. The Graffiti system did something that no other system of its time could do, and that was work reliably. It wasn’t easy to use those low end resistive touch screens with anything buy a stylus. So, how does Graffiti fit into Android’s existing workflow? After all, you don’t need a stylus, but then again the screens are much larger than they used to be, and that balance gives Graffiti exactly what it needs to work. Graffiti has also grown up quite a bit since I last used it, adding spelling correction, auto capitalization, and word suggestion to the mix.

Graffiti™ for Android is the popular, easy-to-learn, stroke-based handwriting recognition system. Draw Graffiti letters instead of typing.

Graffiti offers a viable replacement for the stock virtual keyboard. It’s not for everyone, but it is stable and works well.

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Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

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  1. Josh
    October 19, 21:44 Reply

    Its funny that this started on the Apple Newton before Palm starting building the Palm Pilot. I sometimes wish that Apple was a little less controlling with iOS as they were with the Newton.

  2. David G
    October 20, 13:00 Reply

    I’ve been using Graffiti since it first appeared on the old Casio Zoomer (anyone remember that?), and for a while on my N1 and Vibrant. It’s billiant!! No need to try and touch tiny screen keys, or learn strange swi(y)png motions to enter text – head and shoulders above any of the other keyboard alternatives other than hardware kybd.

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