The Play Store offers plenty of keyboard replacement apps, but most of them are variations of the same theme, which is a software replica of a physical QWERTY keyboard layout, which in turn is a concept that hasn’t really changed since the 1870s.
Few keyboard apps have challenged the QWERTY paradigm, and even fewer have done so with even a modicum of success. Minuum has the potential to be in the latter category.
Minuum, an alternative keyboard based on a research project from the University of Toronto, replaces the standard three rows layout that we all know with a single line of letters. The app compensates for the inherent imprecision of typing on such a layout with intelligent prediction algorithms that try to figure what you meant to type.
While typing on Minuum does have a learning curve, it’s not at all as difficult as it sounds. I gave it a try, and, while I am not a believer just yet, I am pretty sure that I could become adept at using its novel layout with a few days of daily use.
You may ask, what’s the point of ditching the traditional keyboard layout for a linear one? After all, apps like Swiftkey and Swype do an excellent job, and they don’t ask you to bend your mind around a totally new concept.
Well, the main benefit of Minuum is its compact design, which leaves more space for the all important content to be displayed. Minuum’s prediction algorithms are also supposed to minimize the number of taps on the screen required to enter a piece of text. Typing on a linear layout is much more flexible than the conventional way, so Minuum can be adapted for use on a variety of devices.
Minuum is currently available on the Play Store for $3.99.