Spb Software House Week: Spb Full Screen Keyboard

by PocketGoddess on February 14, 2006

I love PDAs–they truly do keep me organized and on track all the time. That’s important when you’ve got a full time job and run a mobile technology review site too! Since I’m so often on the go, I need to be able to enter information, new contacts, appointments, etc. while I’m on the go, and it isn’t always convenient to pull out a folding keyboard in order to take notes. Tapping on my Dell’s onscreen keyboard is OK, but sometimes I need something bigger, and there are many times when I don’t want to use a stylus either.
Spb Full Screen Keyboard solves this problem by turning that tiny little onscreen keyboard at the bottom of the screen into a screen-filling giant. When you first install the program to your device, you may not at first realize the difference; when you first invoke the full screen keyboard, what pops up is very similar indeed to the small keyboard on all Windows Mobile handhelds. Tap on that keyboard icon in the top left corner though, and instantly you’ll get a full screen keyboard, in landscape mode. The buttons are huge, easily large enough to use your fingers with instead of a stylus. The punctuation marks and such that you get when you use the shift key are located just above and to the right of their respective letters; the same is true of the special characters you use the Function key for (located in the top left corner). One of the nicest features is the built-in learning “smarts” that suggest word completion possibilities and is promised to get better the more you use it.
The only small gripe I can find is the fact that the keyboard does not update as appropriate when the shift, caps, or function keys are invoked. I was surprised when the keys didn’t automatically shift to lowercase when I entered my first letter, for example, and that the number keys didn’t update to show the punctuation keys when I hit the shift button. This isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, but it does mean that I have to pay a bit more attention when I’m entering text than I would like. I also wisht that the text window at the top of the screen would show two lines of text, instead of only one.
Otherwise I’m quite pleased with Spb Full Screen Keyboard and suspect that it will likely earn a permanent place in my rapidly growing toolbox of Windows Mobile software. It very ably fills in the gaps between the standard “hunt and peck” onscreen keyboard and a true peripheral keyboard. While I won’t be writing the next great American novel with this piece of software, I do feel comfortable entering long notes and can do so with greater comfort and control. It’s a bargain at just $9.95; get a trial download or buy a license at the Spb Software House web site.
4 out of 5

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