KB Covers offer specialised keyboard covers for Apple Macs and MacBooks. Rather than dust covers, these are keyboard overlays which re-label for foreign languages or show keyboard shortcuts.
A good example for the former is a foreign language student who wishes to use a keyboard with the studied country’s layout and alphabet. Imagine the convenience for students of Arabic or Cyrillic languages. For software packages, the overlays highlight keyboard shortcuts to enhance productivity – it’s much faster to press “alt-f” than it is to use the mouse to select an item from a pull-down menu. All major software is covered – Photoshop, Final Cut, Media Composer, Sibelius, etc.
The overlays are a ultra-thin and made from high quality silicone. There’s a big selection of overlays for different countries and software packages. Prices are in the range $20-$40 and I think they’re great value.
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This morning, Michael Arrington reported that Nuance is going to purchase Swype for over $100 million. This is the technology that lets you slide your finger across the on-screen keyboard to spell out words. It is also known that Nuance works with the new Apple product called “Siri“. Therefore, will we see this technology available for Apple keyboards, soon?
Let’s hope so.
Swype is a technology first discovered at TechCrunch a couple years ago. It was incorporated in some smartphones and found by moving the finger around as opposed to tapping, a person could type words a lot faster. This is the video TechCrunch put out in 2009:
Siri uses Nuance Technology – even though you might not find someone at Apple or Nuance that will say that. Before Siri was purchased by Apple, it had Nuance as the background software. The company tried Vlingo, but it just didn’t fit Siri’s programming.
So is it safe to say that Nuance is part of Siri? Well, unless Apple was working on their own software to replace Nuance, then yes. If they did change, then we would have heard something of them splitting. Let’s not even get into any patent debate that would have been reported if Apple was developing their own software.
As I always say: The possibility is there, but the probability is pretty low.
Swype on iPhone, iPad
Let’s get back to this idea – I used Swype technology and love it. By moving one finger across the screen keeps my eyes on the keyboard and not switching back and forth to what I am typing. Add in the spellcheck and I could be typing 40-45 words a minute on a mobile device (as opposed to 30 words a minute currently). Swype on iPad would be better, especially since most people use a one-hand type method if they are standing with the device coddled in the other arm.
With a personal dictionary, extensive language support and predictive tap suppot, Swype could be a great added feature to the Apple iPhone. Of course, it would also be a great addition to an Android phone, too (which is available with the FlexT9 Android Application).
So far, this is just a pipe-dream. But if it becomes a reality, the Siri application just got a little bit cooler.