Featured App Review: KeyZag
Description: KeyZag is one more keyboard for Android smartphones and tablets. However, unlike a lot of other keyboards out there, it doesn’t follow the traditional QWERTY layout that’s been shipping with smartphones for the last 5 years or so. Instead, KeyZag does what it says in the title, it lays out the keys in a zig-zag pattern. Giving users a whole new way to type, without completely turning the QWERTY on its head. Inserting spaces and such is done through swipes, the same for deleting or adding different characters. The idea is that your thumbs will end up moving at a fast clip, much like your fingers do when using a real keyboard. KeyZag features patented technology that alters the sensitivity of certain keys based on user-input statistics. The keyboard can accomodate smartphones like the Galaxy S4, smaller tablets like the Nexus 7 and full-size keyboards like the Nexus 10.
How it Works: To get started with KeyZag, you’ll have to go ahead and download the app from the Play Store. After that, you’ll have to enable KeyZag as an input method from your system settings.
Once you’ve done that, you can change some settings, including your chosen theme.
The developers recommend choosing a small theme for tablets.
When you first start typing, KeyZag will give you some advice on how to use the keyboard, which you should definitely remember.
On my Nexus 7, it blends in well, and after a little getting used to, I was up to full speed.
However, the keyboard is better suited for phones, as you can see:
If you want a larger keyboard, you can try out the large theme:
You can change the color as well, which makes it easy to match it to whatever device you’r using, be it Samsung, HTC or even a Nexus! Extra characters still keep the layout of the keyboard when you need them.
Just as you’d expect, the keyboard works well in landscape, too.
Thanks to accented letters, you can also use the keyboard for other languages:
Right now, KeyZag is just getting off of the ground but, the typing experience is pretty good and once it fills in the gaps, it’ll be a great keyboard app for sure.
Opinion: As someone who has relied on SwiftKey these past couple of years, it’s hard to imagine using something else but, I was pleasantly surprised by KeyZag. Sure, it took some getting used to but, you can say the same for anything that’s new. What KeyZag offers is a fresh approach to typing on a mobile device and thanks to the slightly different layout of keys and the swipe gestures to insert spaces and such, you soon end up typing at a fast rate. I would like there to be an easier way of inserting punctuation and special characters, as well as a dictionary but, as it stands, KeyZag is a fun new keyboard that might just be different enough to suit your style.
- Speed (4/5) – The keyboard runs fine and when using KeyZag for a little while, you’ll be typing up to speed again – maybe even if a little faster.
- Features (3.5/5) – Right now, KeyZag has all the fundamentals for a good keyboard; it’s quick, it looks good and works well. However, with some added features – which are being added often – it’ll quickly become a much better keyboard than it is now.
- Theme (4/5) – There’s a lot to love about the look of KeyZag, it’s unique without standing out too much and will blend in well on most smartphones and tablets.
- Overall (4/5) – KeyZag can only get better and it’s pretty good right now. With some added features it’ll be right up there with SwiftKey et al.
- KeyZag changes the QWERTY layout, offering something new but, it’s still familiar to users.
- The themes blend in well with a lot of smartphones and its subtle enough to appeal to most tastes.
- After getting used to the keyboard, you’ll soon be typing away at full speed.
- Use of gestures only adds to the typing experience, making sure not to break up your rhythm.
- Built-in dictionary and languages other than English are needed.
- Some more customization options, including colors in the themes would be great.
Conclusion: KeyZag is a fun new keyboard for Android and while it needs a little work, with a fair amount of features missing, it’s perfectly usable right now. Not just that but, a lot of users will probably find themselves typing at a faster rate with KeyZag. It takes time to get used to but, I was up and running at my usual pace pretty quickly. The zig-zag layout of the keyboard is different but, it still retains some familiarity making this more approachable than some of the more far-out keyboard to hit Android recently. KeyZag needs to add some important features, like a built-in dictionary but, thanks to their patented technology of adjusting sensitivity of keys based on your input, the general typing experience on offer is very good. It’s only going to get better from here too, as the developer is constantly working on improving the app.