Scotland based KeyPoint Technologies has updated its Adaptxt keyboard for Android and iOS to support 115 global languages with support for 26 Indic languages including Bhojpuri, Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Rajasthani, Sanskrit and Sindhi, and 11 transliterated languages (English + Indic). The keyboard will also offer location based suggestions like street names and landmarks. Previously only for Android, the company released an iOS version in September last year.
Note that Apple only started allowing the installation of third party keyboard apps on its iOS platform in September last year, with the launch of iOS 8, warning users that third party keyboards gave developers access to all user typed data including sensitive info like credit card numbers and street addresses.
Currently, in iOS 9, Hindi and English (India) are the only options available to an iOS user by default. While Keypoint’s Indic keyboard move is great from a user perspective, we’re not sure how many iOS users are dependent on regional languages since Hindi was only officially supported only since September 2014. Apple outlines the installation of other keyboards here.
The Adaptxt keyboard was launched in 2006 and supported only Windows Mobile smartphones then. In 2008, it launched a version for Symbian S60 smartphones with support for third party applications, while the Android version was launched in November 2011 for touchscreens as well as hard keyboard devices.
In 2012, we’d reported on Adaptxt coming out of public beta. Then, the company offered the keyboard for 68 languages, including 13 Indic ones including Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu, along with transliterated indian language. At the same time, the company launched the open source platform OpenAdaptxt, through which OEMs, solution providers and third party app developers in the text input & linguistic space, could integrate Adaptxt’s prediction engine and app features within their devices and mobile apps. More on that here.
– Last month, KeyPoint Technologies entered into a partnership with Yahoo for its contextual search on the discovery platform Xploree. In June, Xploree had entered into a similar partnership with Groupon India to offer real time deals on dining, wellness, shopping and travel segments from Groupon.
– In July last year, the company tied up with Lava Mobiles to provide end-to-end Indic localization services for the latter’s budget Android smartphone Iris 402e. Keypoint Technologies would integrate its alternative text input application Adaptxt on Iris 402e, which allowed users to type in 10 Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.
Other Indic keyboards:
– In February, we reported that SwiftKey was planning a large update by the end of March to include 22 constitutional languages of India, for which it had partnered with linguists from Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi. SwiftKey had previously released an updated version of its Android app to add support for 12 new Indic languages in November last year, which brought the total number of Indic languages supported on the platform to 15. The app had initially added support for Hindi and Hinglish back in 2012.
– In April, Google launched a new application called Google Handwriting Input which allowed users to input in 82 languages and draw emojis. The application would function as an additional input option for any Android application but was available for devices running on Android 4.0.3 and up. In 2013, Google released an Android text input app called Google Hindi Input which allowed users to type in Hindi on all Android devices running Android 2.2 or later. At that time, Google already offered Hindi as an inbuilt input language for all Android devices running on Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ or later.
– In March, Indic Keyboard, developed by Swathanthra Malayalam Computing, crossed 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store. It supported 15 Indian languages like Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu, besides Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) and Burmese (Myanmar).
– In January, Reverie Language Technologies launched a multilingual keyboard app for Android smartphones and tablets called Swalekh that supports typing in 11 Indian languages.
– Swype added support for Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, and Telugu to its Android app in 2013 and currently supports eight Indian languages including Hindi and Hinglish.
– In January, Asus released a new version of its Android keyboard app, adding support for two Indian languages – Hindi and Tamil. The app supports both Android phones and tablets, although its only compatible with Asus devices.
– In the same month, Reverie Language Technologies launched a multilingual keyboard called ‘Swalekh’ for Android smartphones and tablets. The app supported typing in 11 Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi and Assamese, other than English and allowing users to type phonetically.
– Nuance Communications’ text input app Swype had also updated its Android app to add support for four Indian languages – Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, and Telugu, in November 2013, taking the support to 8 Indian languages.
Image Credit: Flickr user Tracey Northcott