ThickButtons: Another Android Keyboard Alternative


I already mentioned that I’m not a Swype fan but it WAS used to beat the Guinness World Record for texting so I can’t knock it that badly… I just won’t use it myself. But an application I think I might use is called ThickButtons and the opening of the below video says it all: “As I type, ThickButtons anticipates the next letter of the word I want to use, making the letters I probably wouldn’t use smaller, and the more useful ones bigger.”

I really like the concept, but can also see how the size and exact locations of the buttons changing dynamically while you type to be confusing. ThickButtons is free on Android Market so there isn’t a reason NOT to try. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think!


Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. It’s a little slow on the G1. I have to wait a moment between each key press. I much prefer Swype.

  2. Not on my Market.. Hero, Orange UK, MCR 3.1…


  3. I literally almost threw my phone against the ground after installing this app.

    err i mean… not for me, thanks.

  4. I cannot get it to work, installed, in my apps under settings but not working at all and no icon for it with the rest of the apps if it is supposed to have one, uninstalled and reinstalled and nada

  5. Can’t find it in the Market on my Droid Eris.

  6. Well it seems like the concept should work. I mean its really no more than predictive text being used to help you hit the right button. It does look like it could be a pain if you need to hit one of the buttons that has shrunk down.

  7. I tried it yesterday as well on my Nexus One. It’s a great idea, but it’s REALLY confusing. I suppose you could “get used to it,” but the autocorrect feature is really weak. I think with some serious tweaking, and adaptive learning by both the user and the software, it could be great. I just don’t have the patience! It is FREE though. So if you don’t want to pay for Smart Keyboard Pro (the best) or Better Keyboard, try this first.

    @DEAN – you have to go to your “settings” >Language and Keyboard > and select “Thick Buttons.” Then go to any text field (search, SMS, E-mail, etc.). Once there, LONG PRESS the text field and the options will be there to select Thick Buttons. If you want to go back to the Android Keyboard or any other that you have installed, just go back to any text field and repeat.

  8. i think my fingers are too big for this application lol

  9. App not available in my market…Sprint Ohio USA????

  10. I think all of these experiments are truly amazing.

    I like Swype, and in the Swype school, there’s also Slide-It and another one, I forget the name.

    I like real keys, and dislike the feel of tapping on virtual keys, and one reason I like Swype is the hard, non-forgiving tap tap is almost eliminated.

  11. I have a G1 and was quite disappointed to see that the processor cannot keep up with the app, moves wayyyyy to slow to actually type a message using the suggested letters

  12. I’m using it on my Eris with leaked 2.1 ROM. Strange how some apps show up in the market and others don’t. Todo Q won’t be recognozed by this ROM but ThickButtons will?
    Anyway, giving it a test run. Runs fast on 2.1 I think it might be slow on lower ROMs.

  13. I’ve been using ThickButtons for a couple of days. At first, I thought it was really useful, then I started thinking the shiftiness of the buttons was hard on my eyes. I’m still using it and will continue for a few days. I do like the concept. I find that it makes 2-hand typing easier in portrait mode. I also think that it forces me to slow down as I watch the keys change in size. I think this has the effect of making me more accurate (i.e. simply slowing down). But I’m not sure my speed has increased any.

    I’d like to see Google adopt Apple’s strategy of expanding the “hit area” of the virtual buttons without actually changing their appearance. This makes more sense to me.

  14. I tried this on my Droid and found that I am way faster with the stock Android keyboard. Because the buttons in ThickButton are constantly changing size, it’s hard to type quickly, because they might have changed position. Also, it doesn’t use Android’s typo correction where if you type and hit keys around a button, it knows what you meant to type.

    It’s a decent idea, but poorly executed. They should have used the iPhone method of increasing the click target area, but not increasing the button sizes.

  15. Looks interesting.
    I will test it out :D

  16. Ok I have a Samsung galaxy spica aka Samsung portal for the uk running the leaked android 2.1 ROM. thickbuttons works like a charm.

  17. If you are a hunt and peck typer, I can see this increasing accuracy of your messages. But if you have a good understanding of where all the keys are, the growing of the buttons shift them, and they’re always in a slightly different place every time you type something. Not very good if you can touch type on your computer.

  18. Hate it. It makes the keys bigger so where you think they are changes. Swype is much better.

  19. This is a fantastic idea but I feel that the execution of it is poor. If the app were to highlight the next possible buttons instead of widening them and taking the place of other buttons it would be easier to use. I believe LG had a phone that did something like that. In summary: if you are just starting with Android, give it a whirl, you may like it. For someone like me who is now used to the placement of the soft keys the thick buttons makes things more difficult.

  20. MC XT, not found in market even with QR code search. Not real email as too much spam generates from some sites I don’t know much about.

  21. Can anyone tell me if there is go back button anywhere besides delete?

  22. A keyboard that has the advantages of big keys – yet the size does not dynamically changes on you while you are typing (which drove me CRAZY when I used thick button) is Keypurr. This is now my standard keyboard, and it has lots of other goodies too. I prefer Keypurr or even thick button way over swype.

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