Microsoft releases Analog Keyboard for Android Wear gadgets


Microsoft’s support for Android Wear smartwatches isn’t limited to a handy OneNote app. The company’s research wing has slipped out Analog Keyboard, a prototype input app that has you drawing individual characters on your wristwear instead of trying to hit tiny keys. It’s not the fastest solution, but it’s very straightforward — you get a relatively big drawing area, and there’s a smart auto-correct system that you turn off just by pausing for a while between letters.

Microsoft was quick to back Android Wear last month with the release of a new OneNote app, and the company is continuing to support Google’s smartwatches today with a new keyboard. Released as a prototype custom keyboard for Android Wear, Microsoft’s “analog keyboard” lets you enter text by drawing handwritten letters on a smartwatch screen. The keyboard supports square screens with a 320 x 320 resolution and the Moto 360, and you’re able to draw letters and even special characters and numbers freely. The idea of a keyboard on a watch is still something that doesn’t appeal to everyone. Minuum and others have tried their own take, but voice input is still far more superior and easier to use. Google hasn’t built its own keyboard for Android Wear, but there could be a niche market for something that works well. After all, there are situations where you don’t want to be shouting into your wrist to navigate and search on Android Wear. Microsoft’s prototype keyboard is available to download, but follow the instructions carefully if you’re a Moto 360 owner as the lack of USB makes the install process a little more tricky.



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