BlackBerry 10 keyboard will feature 'space inference' to detect missed spacebar hits

By Adam Zeis on 14 Dec 2012 09:11 am EST
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As we move toward January 30th, there are still plenty of hidden gems in the BlackBerry 10 OS that we have yet to see. RIM is doing a great job at keeping many of the features a secret and dropping only what they want us to see leading up to the launch. One of those features is part of the awesome BB10 predictive keyboard called space inference. Vivek Bhardwaj took some time with Inside BlackBerry to show a quick demo of the feature.

As another feature of the predicitive capabilities on the BB10 keyboard, space inference will recognize when you're typing rapidly and miss hitting the space key. It knows where you intended to enter a space -- be it on one or more words -- so if you are running out the door and accidentally type "onmyway", the BlackBerry 10 keyboard will correct it to "on my way" without a hitch. This just adds to the great ability of insanely rapid typing on BB10. You can crank away using the word preditiction and not even have to worry about missing the spacebar. Pretty awesome if you ask me. Check out the video above for more then hit the comments with your thoughts.

50 comments

big_time2

The more we find out about BB's keyboard, the more it sounds like Swiftkey on Android.

Joy1980

I think they are using the Swiftkey SDK. The point is, unlike on Android, it will be native.

camera531

Who cares if it's native? It not only makes no difference, but actually the advantage of Android is choice - you have a lot of great keyboards to choose from, from the native android keyboard to Swiftkey to Swype...and so on.

Joy1980

If the native keyboard was great, would you actually be looking for a different keyboard?

sk8er_tor

I care that it's native and don't have to pay extra to download a keyboard app like you would on Android.

Furthermore, RIM has the patent for keyboard prediction based on logic, which you could say Swiftkey is "borrowing."

dannyd86

Does android have a good keyboard or do they have the ability to have a good keyboard. Blackberry has a great keyboard, end of story

Joe257

The point is standardization. Yes, if you want to tinker with stuff and customize your OS to the enth degree, Android is best. If you need stuff to just work and work well with all apps, then BB10 is offering that. RIM wants to offer some choice but not to have each app with their own keyboard style & format.

RIM was going to build their own keyboard from the ground up, but it was better to work with SwiftKeyto get some common components. So yeah, they're working with SwiftKey, but RIM has their own patented technologies too.

camera531

It basically is Swiftkey. I think it's even designed by the same team. It's great for BB10, but honestly nothing new and just a slight variation to what's already been available on Android for years.

THBW

BB10 uses swiftkey as it base but then builds a whole new layer of functionality on top. Much improved and quite a bit better than the stock Android version. Your sort of comparing a BMW with a Toyota Yaris. Yup, they are both cars but which one would you rather own.

Fnord

That's quite the stretch.

I really like the BB10 keyboard, but all the features RIM has promoted are available in the stock Swiftkey. The only thing they changes is the flicking up to accept a suggestion (vs. taping at the top in the native Swiftkey). All the other features are identical.

Masahiro

There's other swipe gestures too on the BB10 keyboard.

pineypl

I use Swiftkey on my Atrix2 (patiently waiting for BB10) and it is not nearly as nice as the BB keyboard appears. I have fat thumbs and love the larger key design seen on the Windows phones. I have used a Lumia 900 for some time and enjoyed that immensely. I wish Swiftkey could mimic that design. Swiftkey ala BB does have much larger keys, which helps somebody like me, when giving up actual tactile sense of the keys.

Swiftkey almost never guesses properly for my missed spaces for me and I am not sure why.

Fnord

Strange. I regularly type complete sentences without using the space-key and would say swiftkey nails it about 95% (the other 5% is generally down to me brutalizing the spelling of a word in the middle).

pineypl

I use Swiftkey on my Atrix2 (patiently waiting for BB10) and it is not nearly as nice as the BB keyboard appears. I have fat thumbs and love the larger key design seen on the Windows phones. I have used a Lumia 900 for some time and enjoyed that immensely. I wish Swiftkey could mimic that design. Swiftkey ala BB does have much larger keys, which helps somebody like me, when giving up actual tactile sense of the keys.

Swiftkey almost never guesses properly for my missed spaces for me and I am not sure why.

THBW

Perhaps, but I'm a physical keyboard guy. When I look at swiftkey on an Android, I find it unappealing and won't consider changing. When you see the BB10 keyboard, I actively contemplate get the L over the N. When you write paragraphs on your smartphone, the little things make a significant difference.

Joe257

SwiftKey doesn't have the words appearing over the next letter...

GeneralHerzog

I'll take the Yaris if that's the choice. Far to many beemers are on the side of the road lately so until they step it up and get back to top notch engineering and stay off the back of a tow truck.......the Yaris with it's goofy speedo in the middle of the dash is the more reliable choice.

I must say the typing ability on the S3 is pretty nice. That whole trace your finger around the keyboard typing trick is pretty slick.
Hope the swipe up of the new BB10 keyboard is as easy as it sounds.

FuzzyFish

European cars have always been unreliable. The problem is that most new BMWs have gotten softer and softer, losing what make their older models special. Not good.

Having said that, most cars that are "reliable" are boring. I'll take a slightly less reliable car (there are really no unreliable cars anymore) that is fun to drive and has character over a boring reliable model anyday.
Going with the safe and reliable choice all the time just tells me someone had given up in life. Double not good.

G-bone

I've used SwiftKey, on Android and PlayBook. This is better.
Perhaps you should check out the Android forums.

Supa_Fly1

are you sure about SwiftKey having this? So you mean if I place my finger down on an Android smartphone screen and start to draw out 4-6words non-stop before I lift my finger … and when I do lift my finger after all words are ‘swiped’ it’ll correct?

because If I stop to swipe after completing a word keeping my finger on the screen before beginning a new word then that is completely different. That would not be "space inference" as described by RIM, but just simply pausing character input and the system inferring based on a longer delay. I don't even call that unique that's just a code based on human habits.

Jordan D

It may have swift key "like" features but it is fundamentally different. Instead of just auto correcting to a word that you frequently use when you miss type, it also shifts the target zone of keys when you frequently miss type the same letters. Therefore, it has a personalized aspect lacking from swift key. It will actually conform to the user instead of forcing the user to conform to it...

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

There's a blackberry keyboard vs swiftkey 3 video on youtube somewhere. Blackberry does better

Adam Zeis

It's all SwiftKey at heart - we knew that. It's RIM SwiftKey though so it's all native. While Android lets you choose a keyboard that is ok or good, the BB10 keyboard will be awesome for 99% of the users. And it's way better since the first Dev Alpha release and will be crazy good at launch. 

jenks5150

SwiftKey is an incredible product...it is what allowed me to make the switch from QWERTY to touchscreen comfortably. Would you prefer if BB10 was worse just to be different? It doesn't look the same, and works just as well...sounds like perfection to me.

BarracudaBob

This feature will come in very handy. I tend to miss the spacebar a lot when typing. I just wonder how it will do when there are more than one possible ways to split the run-on word.

tdawg00

Stock Jellybean has the feature as well. Its very helpful... Good addition.

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

Can we turn on that, but not have auto correct for spelling on? What about when I type a "v" instead of a space?

alta.guy

It is swiftkey, but I think RIM has a patent on the part where you swipe the word up. I don't use a hemroid; has anyone seen swipe word up on any other device? BTW has everyone been watching the stock markets, Apple getting close to $500, Rim is on a terror! Can't wait for BB10

thisiscjay

RIM at a 6month high Apple at a 6month low... #BB10FTW

emacf1

Well - all what I would need would be a REAL keyboard on my BB

hoob15

you know what would be a great feature?

if they just freakin show us the qwerty model already.

zing!

seemsixty7

Very cool. I do this a lot when typing on my playbook, then have to back step to fix them. This is a great feature!

seemsixty7

Very cool. I do this a lot when typing on my playbook, then have to back step to fix them. This is a great feature!

MaxPayne79

Good times be a-commin'

bpmg4u

While all this talk of what's enabled it or what SDK it's based on is good and important, the mission-critical thing is that it works flawlessly ALL THE TIME.
One of the most frustrating aspects of touch-screen keyboards is lack of tactile feel - hence RIM's well-intentioned but ultimately failed "Storm" press-down touch screen near-eons ago.

However, even more concerning is the propensity of the auto-correct feature to overstep its bounds, leading to MANY a "funny" and even more "not so much" (funny) messages to spouses, bosses and children/parents.

THAT is PRECISELY where the rubber hits the road and ONLY real-world use will determine & prove how good it really is.

As for me, I'm still hoping for some full-screen PLUS real-keys-QUERTY keyboard BB10 SLIDER version of the Torch 9800/10 ... like the BEYOND-AWESOME mockup unit CB 'teased' us with earlier this Fall.
THAT will be my "fail-safe" device for tapping out the "1000 eMails a day" like the chick from last year's TV ads, because, no matter how good a touch-screen keyboard is, you simply cannot type lengthy messages on it. REAL Keys - in a SLIDER combo device - IS the answer.

litig8or98

My problem is the opposite. Whether it's a hardware issue, or just my poor typing, I tend to get random periods (followed by a capitalized letter) in the middle of sentences. Somehow my Blackberry thinks I hit spacebar twice.

shefiu

I was just thinking the same... on my 9860, more often then not I have multiple sentences, when it should have just been the one.. I hope it works the other way around as well!

Xopher

I'm loving the BB10 keyboard, although I am going to miss autotext (or whatever they are calling it these days). It's nice to be able to type OMWH and have the keyboard type out "I'm on my way home". I have a lot of autotext shortcuts set up on my 9700. It'll be interesting to go back to typing full words again.

koool1

I think I have talked myself into the touch screen L-series and to give up on the keyboard... January 30, hurry up!

DiggerB9

I've just received an email from RIM showcasing BB10 and the new keyboard on the L-Series and cant wait to get my hands on one

Camfella

Kevin talked about how the Keyboard is better since the update, he also talked about the OS being "smoother" and less "jittery" when coming out of apps(latest podcast). Funny how we never heard anything about the Dev Alpha being jittery, or issues with the Keyboard BEFORE the update!

varunsain

This is the best and the smartest keyboard in the market.. Guys please stop with the Swiftkey stuff.. I've used it and it's crap.

Jimcmf

I am so done with Apple. Apple has nothing even close to this ..... and Apple picks the words that Apple is use to. Not the words that I am use to using.

Comes BB10, this iPhone is heading straight on Craigs List. It will sell. There is a sucker born every day.

Turnda643

Well this and every other feature of BB10 sound awesome. But I want to hear, and see, how well all these features work on the N - series phone's.

Proud member of the BlackBerry community. 9670 Style and PlayBook owner.

cletis

The only thing I want from the BB10 keyboard is to be able to keep error correction of typos, but to be able at the same time to completely disable the predictive autocompletion of words. This is the worst idea ever; it is based on the premise that when the user hits the spacebar, they are consciously asking the keyboard to add something to change something about the previous word. This premise is, of course, ludicrous on its face, and its implementation does not believe this potential for ridiculousness. I have had to go back and reverse several "corrections" in this paragraph already. This is, obviously, the opposite of convenience. I have it. JUST PLEASE GIVE ME THE OPTION TO DISABLE THIS LESS-THAN-USELESS, TIME-WASTING, PRODUCTIVITY-KILLING "FEATURE."

Rootbrian

The blackberry playbook has options to disable corrections. Same for current blackberries. Blackberry 10 should have the same thing once it arrives. You can, if you know someone with a dev alpha device, go into the options and see for yourself.

cletis

SHORT VERSION:

Every time I post this complaint, someone posts the same response as above, which indicates that they either did not read, or did not understand, my post. Look: I understand that some people love SwiftKey's suggestions, and I think you should be able to have them. I just want user configurability! I don't want these predictive suggestions tied functionally to traditional AutoText replacements, so that one cannot be enabled/disabled independently of the other. My initial suggestion to address this was to offer the option of disabling SwiftKey altogether in favor of syncing the AutoText database between a PlayBook and a bridged BlackBerry. Aside from resolving all my stated complaints, it would both give me complete control over corrections as well as have the added benefit of making the keyboard experience more similar on the two devices. However, I've given up that pipe dream. Since the PB OS is clearly the forerunner to BB10 and is therefore an OS which will be primarily oriented toward phones, the keyboard component of the OS likely won't be optimized for bridged tablets. So how about this instead: Is it so hard to make the keyboard software user-replaceable, like the Android OS does it? Can RIM please do that with BB10, so that someone can make keyboard software that provides user configurability of automatic corrections?

MORE ELABORATION:

I do not want to disable ALL corrections, as I want to be able to have "i" automatically converted to "I," "cant" automatically converted to "can't," etc -- without having to manually select the correction from the passive suggestions list.

What I find infuriating is when every single plural possessive (as well as most singular possessives) is stripped of its apostrophe, when "its" is converted to "it's" (or vice versa, depending on usage frequency and recency) when singular nouns and verbs get added esses (or vice versa), when random words are capitalized, or when any non-dictionary-word-sequence of letters is changed, like "de" being automatically converted to "develop" or whatever random word the keyboard feels like substituting -- when what I wanted to type was "de," by God.

Again, the problems I have with the PB implementation of SwiftKey are that these "corrections" (a) are not able to be disassociated from standard typo corrections, nor indeed are user-configurable in any way, (b) are ever-changing (and are therefore unpredictable and unable for the user to adapt to), and (c) are made without prompting or notification, so that you must go back and check everything you've typed to see if something unintended has been inserted by the keyboard, and then go through the annoying process of placing the edit cursor and reverting the "correction." And again, all of this annoyance and "unusability" would be avoided IF RIM WOULD JUST PROVIDE THE OPTION TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN AUTOTEXT AND PREDICTIVE TEXT.

Thank you very much.

Rootbrian

I can't wait to see how awesome the new keyboard is when blackberry 10 comes to the playbook! :D

msd58

"RIM is doing a great job at keeping many of the features a secret and dropping only what they want us to see leading up to the launch."
Maybe they should enlighten consumers more since everyday they lose BB users to Droid and IPhones. If they ever hope recapture lost customers, attract new customers or just plain survive they need to do a better job promoting their product. Now people come to expect new release Droid phones or iPhone to eclipse the previous models in terms of feature and invocations and they seem not to disappoint. Over the last 4-5 years the public has come to expect that any new RIM product will be two-three years behind everyone else, full of bugs a basically not ready for prime time.