Octopus Keyboard for iOS takes cue from BlackBerry 10

The software allows users of jailbroken iPhones to swipe up from a letter and add a full word without having to type it out entirely.

RIM's virtual keyboard running on the BlackBerry 10.
RIM's virtual keyboard running on the BlackBerry 10 Brian Bennett/CNET

An iOS developer is working on a new keyboard that takes some cues from RIM's virtual keyboard in BlackBerry 10.

Dubbed Octopus Keyboard, the solution is designed for owners of jailbroken iPhones who want to get more functionality out of the virtual keyboard built into iOS. According to iDownloadBlog, which first reported on the keyboard, the software should enhance a user's ability to quickly type out a message, and can work with a host of languages.

However, the key feature is a learning function that runs in the background and determines what the user typically types out. Based on that information, words are displayed above a letter. If the user wants to add the word to the message, they can just hold their finger on the word and swipe up to make it happen.

At BlackBerry World recently, RIM showed off its virtual keyboard in BlackBerry 10. Like the iOS app, RIM's offering would enable users to flick a commonly used word up into a message . The function, like the jailbroken feature, is able to offer that by learning what a user types in.

One of the key features of RIM's software, however, is the ability to adjust the rendering of the keyboard to adapt to how a person types. So, if they commonly type an "E" when they really want to input an "R," RIM's software will adjust the position of the letters to help users choose the right option.

Octopus Keyboard is not yet ready for its launch. However, the developer expects to make it available on May 20.

 

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