The Developer Says: “FlexT9 powered by Dragon is a four-in-one keyboard experience that puts you in the driver’s seat for communicating how you want – when you want. And only FlexT9 gives you the power to seamlessly switch between the Speak. Trace. Write. Tap. input modes as easily as it is to flip on a light switch!”
What We Liked:
- Dragon voice recognition lives up to its reputation, easily besting Google’s voice recognition accuracy.
- As a tracing keyboard, FlexT9 is every bit as good as Swype (better at telling the difference between “in” and “on”), with a better UI for suggested words.
- Copious documentation is available online.
What We Didn’t Like:
- FlexT9 has a very specific look that might not appeal to everyone; one or two color scheme options would go a long way.
- Though the Write input, where you draw letters to input text, does work surprisingly well, it seems more a gimmick than a viable way to type.
- Not much documentation is available in the app.
- The name is a bit confusing: T9 input is not an option at all.
Works Best On: Android 2.1+. Currently, it’s only available in U.S. English and to U.S. users. For this review, it was tested on a Nexus One.
Is It Worth It? At $4.99, it’s steep, and it’s the kind of app you won’t be able to fully evaluate in fifteen minutes–but the good news is that Nuance has committed to honoring refund requests for 24 hours after purchase.* [Update: Nuance asked me to clarify: I misunderstood when they said “Our policy is to honor refunds within 24 hours.” They are not committed to honoring refund requests for 24 hours after purchase, but instead will handle refund requests on a case-by-case basis.] And for me, it’s worth the money. It’s quickly become my everyday keyboard and I expect to use voice input much more than previously.
The Bottom Line: Nuance clearly has reaped the benefits of acquiring Shapewriter, and the combination of great tracing and great voice recognition is powerful. Despite a few minor quibbles, FlexT9 is a great new keyboard option for Android.
Download FlexT9 via AppBrain.
*Nuance asked us to note that payments using the direct carrier billing option cannot be refunded outside of the 15 minutes window. Their complete policies are here.