1284: Improved Keyboard

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Improved Keyboard
I'm always installing tons of weird experimental keyboards because it serves as a good reminder that nothing I was going to type was really worth the trouble.
Title text: I'm always installing tons of weird experimental keyboards because it serves as a good reminder that nothing I was going to type was really worth the trouble.


Modern smartphones and tablets have touchscreen LCD displays which completely cover the device's surface; for this reason they rely on software keyboards to input text such as text messages. The simplest software keyboards simply display a standard QWERTY keyboard and allow the user to tap on the letters they wish to enter, but this is slow. More sophisticated software keyboards such as SwiftKey facilitate faster text entry through gestures supported by language models. Because this space is still under development, new software keyboards promising better text entry continue to appear.

Black Hat is annoyed about Cueball's text messages, so he sends Cueball a "better" keyboard that actually doesn't work — with the desired result that Cueball is not able to text him at all. His statement that the app is better than SwiftKey "in some ways" is literally true — it's better for him, not for Cueball.

The Android keyboard app SwiftKey has been mentioned before, and Black Hat has done something similar in 156: Commented.

According to the title text, Randall does often try out new keyboard apps, only to be reminded each time that he ends up wasting more time learning the new gestures than he saves in typing more quickly. Alternatively, the increased effort and thought put into typing makes him realize that nothing he would type is really worth it to him anymore.

Similar problems arise later in 1586: Keyboard Problems and 1678: Recent Searches‎.


[Cueball walks on screen, holding a phone, and starts talking to Black Hat.]
Cueball: Did you get my texts?
Black Hat: You should install this keyboard I found.
Cueball: What? Why? Is it better than SwiftKey?
Black Hat: In some ways.
[Black Hat begins to walk off-panel.]
Cueball: Ok, installing...
Cueball: It's not working. The key area is blank—I can't type anything.
[Black Hat has left. Cueball stares at his phone.]
[Beat frame. Cueball lets his hands fall to their side.]
Cueball: ...Hey.


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Black hat has done something similar here.Guru-45 (talk) 13:17, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Nice find Guru. I've moved that into the explanation. --Jeff (talk) 13:23, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Gosh, Black Hat did something useful and constructive. Hurrah! (I'm such a dinosaur, I read "installing a keyboard" as "plugging in a physical keyboard". Have people got so short of time that even the word "app" gets dropped nowadays?) 23:33, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I still remember that word being "application". Seems it was getting shorter and shorter and now it disappeared completely :-) -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:44, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Given that the person is talking about text messages (ostensibly from the phone he is holding), they probably just didn't need to add that it was an app since that would be self evident. -Pennpenn 04:17, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
+1 Beanie talk 11:38, 7 June 2021 (UTC)
The word "App" only really came into prominence once Apple started using it as a word to describe applications on their iPhones. As a result, many people still have no idea that “app” is short for “application” or what an application is. Brenda (talk) 09:31, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

Reminds me of the invisible Fleksy keyboard.Deyesed (talk) 07:31, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

You know, can Cueball uninstall it if there's no keyboard? SilverMagpie (talk) 19:54, 14 June 2017 (UTC)