In March 2013 the Minuum team began a campaign on Indigogo.com garnering such interest in their project that just 4 months later they’ve raised almost 900% of their $10,000 goal and delivered a nicely polished beta to their supporters.
Let me preface this review by saying that I am a hardcore Swype user, I have been hooked since it was in closed beta. Having said that, I was very interested in seeing the progression of the Minuum project, more because of the prospect of alternative keyboards (typing on a piece of paper, with a ring, on your skin, etc…) than the touch-screen keyboard itself. This project as a whole could revolutionize text input for wearable technology, which would be great news for those of us who don’t wish to use voice to interact with our devices.
The first features you’ll want to take a look at after installing are, “Import Android dictionary” and “Import contacts”
After which you’ll want to hit your normal keyboard set-up options, I recommend enabling the space-bar as swiping right to space seems to slow me down. But check it out and see which way you like it.
Let me say, it may take some time to let go of the need to try to be precise. I’ve found, the more precisely I try to type, the less accurate the results. There is some very good text prediction software embedded into this keyboard. I try not to pay attention to what word is appearing while I’m typing because it can be confusing, however if you look up and realize one of the words is off, just touch it and the top bar will be populated with a scrolling list of other options you may possibly have meant.
To add words to the dictionary you simply tap them in, pausing on each letter for long enough for the pop-up to tell you which letter you’ve selected and then touch the word in the suggestion bar to confirm. If you accidentally add a word, or decide you want to remove a word for any reason, just long-press it in the suggestion bar and a prompt will appear to remove it.
There are two ways to type numbers, you can drag up from the key above which the number resides and use the pop-up to select the desired number. Or you can swipe down on the keyboard to switch to the linear num-pad which seems to be spaced out pretty well. I’ve had a lot of success typing long numbers quickly.
Lastly we have the gestures, swipe left to right to insert a space without a space-bar, a swipe left and up inserts a line-break, swipe right to left is a backspace and left and up brings up settings. (I haven’t used these very much.)
All-in-all, if you’re a fan of tapping to enter text rather than swiping, and you can force yourself not to care about precision then you will LOVE Minuum. I do like having this much screen real-estate and it is going to be a hard decision whether I’ll turn back to Swype after the review is finished. Although I must say that password entry can be much harder than any traditional QWERTY keyboard.
My judgement is, if they incorporate a Swype-style feature, it would be my keyboard of choice, hands down. I highly recommend everyone give it a try.
Anyone using it? Anyone excited to try it out? Sound off in the comments below!