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.

Download FlexT9

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.

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  1. Pass.
    Google is good enough and I’m not willing to subject myself to the return policy to try something that may only be marginally better.

  2. Hell, I spend $5 on a beer at the airport, I’ll risk it. Swype was good but it starts to suck over time as it “learns” more and more garbage.

  3. Trying this out now. It will have to be pretty impressive to be better than Swype, as far as I’m concerned, but its seems pretty good for the 10 minutes I’ve been using it. I don’t like the wide trace line – very distracting, but it does seem to do a pretty good job of getting the words correct. The voice recognition seems pretty accurate as well.

    I find the comments/ratings in the market very frustrating. Basically, lots of people are giving it low ratings and bashing it because they don’t know how to change keyboards. When you download it, it does not show up in the list of apps, it shows up when you go to Menu>Settings>Keyboard and select it as your keyboard. It says that right in the instructions, but people obviously aren’t reading that.

    I really wish the market allowed developers to respond to comments in the market to clarify situations just like this. It is frustrating to see your app rating go down for issues that could otherwise be EASILY rectified.

  4.  why does it have to send all of your information including credit card numbers to their servers?

  5. I LOVE this app. I’ve used several other keyboards, including swype and I would choose this one hands down. I love the accuracy and the word bar that shows other possible words. Much better than swype. The only thing that I don’t like is the smiley face on the keyboard. Every time I accidentally hit it, I have to erase 3 characters. It’s right next to the back button, so if I try to hit the back button 3 times and miss, then I have to erase 9 characters.
    That’s my only complaint. Other than that I love it!

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