8pen Now Available for Download


Today’s the day, folks. We enjoyed a lengthy, healthy discussion about 8pen last night, and it’s now available for download. Yesterday, I questioned if 8pen would be able to win a majority of users’ minds over offerings such as Swype or BlindType. Today, I stick to my word of giving 8pen a serious try. If you want to try out this new and interesting mechanism for text input, make no delay in getting the goods at 8pen’s site. [PS: this’ll cost you some money. I’m not sure exactly how much as my Android market is failing to cooperate, but if you just wanted to try this out, then you’ll have 24 hours to do so for free.]


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Looks stupid and very confusing. Confusing in the fact that I’ll have to think WAY too much for way too long to remember where I need to slide my finger to type next. QWERTY is embedded in our brains, you can’t move away from that. Number pad texting only survived because people had no other choice, that’s why flip phones are reserved for non-texters, for the most part these days.

  2. Not having a free trial version is a big mistake here. This is something totally new with a big learning curve and most people if not all will get a refund withing 24 hours.

  3. Not in the market for me…DX

  4. what is the note application thats is open?

  5. Was just about to say what Ben said, but he beat me to the punch. I was going to give it a shot, but not ready to pay for the hassle of trying to learn their system.

  6. Not a chance. Good try with the fake Google ad though. Shouldn’t have such a sketchy YouTube account though.

    Gotta love deceptive marketing gone wrong.

  7. Just downloaded it and tried it out. I don’t know how many people will be willing to learn a new keyboard layout. Typing is getting a little easier as I’m doing it more, but I don’t know if it’s actually faster or better than Swype

  8. Ditto to Ben. I downloaded it to test it out and I can tel I would need at least a month to feel comfortable on this thing. No way I’m keeping it unless they decide to do a month trial first.

  9. Same here. Was about to give it a try but since it’s not a free trial forget it.

  10. edit: Trying to uninstall for refund, market is saying “Can’t refund at this time”, don’t even attempt to buy it people, looks like a scam.

  11. Definitely agree with Seth and Ben. I know you can get a refund before 24 hours after purchase, but I still don’t like the idea of money flying back and forth across the internet just to try a product.

    They should definitely release a free trial. Maybe good for a few days, then it locks down?

  12. I like it so far, and the cost was $1.58 USD so it’s not free but it’s less than a fancy cup of coffee. There is a learning curve, but there is also a learning curve to touch typing and other text entry methods.

    I am still learning how to use it but so far I like it better than a qwerty keyboard. A few more thoughts are on my blog:

  13. I’m typing this on 8pen and it‘s horrible.

  14. Buying it because I’m actually not a xenophobe. If I don’t like it then *shrug* what’s a buck and change in the long run? Call me crazy but I think this is a really cool idea..

  15. Been using it all morning and still not used to it after about 5 hours of heavy use. Uninstalled and refunded.

  16. Looks interesting, and I’d be willing to try it out, but I wouldn’t want to pay for it right now. We need a trial!

    About the totally new method of input, I think it could catch on. I’ve been using QWERTY years on my phones, but I can still “air type” sentences with my thumb in the T-9 number pad patterns. In fact sometimes I think it’s quicker, but hey – I’m an oddball.

  17. doh.. tried it.. looks a lot of pain to adjust.. plus the thumb isnt transparent to see the letters its hiding.. moreover 24hrs is never enough to get some comfort with this.. a big fail am afraid.. unless given free for sometime

  18. I disagree! I just downloaded it for the first time and already can type faster on it than I could when I learned Swype for the first time. And it’s only about $1.60… Great innovation!


    I was one click away from buying it but then I watched a video on it and there is NO WAY I would want to use that KB.

    Like someone said above, there is waaaay too much drawing in order to make just one letter. I can type just fine on the stock Android Keyboard. Fuck Swype for that matter as well!

  20. I was going to try it for the sake of trying it, but went to download it and it was.. a paid app.

    No trial just.. pay to learn to use? No thanks.

  21. I just went to download it when I saw that it’s a paid app. Are you kidding me? There’s no way I’m paying a penny for an app that sounds as dubious as this. Least they should do is provide a trial. Are they *trying* to be ignored and completely forgotten?

  22. Trying it out. It definately needs predictive text, my biggest obstacle is remembering where the letters are. Major learning curve, but the more I use it the more I like it

  23. Its very ignorant to charge money for something like this that is so questionable. Why do we have to wait 24hrs for a free version…

  24. ime fragmentation !!


  25. Using “Gesture” example in their demo video as a comparison, Swipe/Shapewriter = 2 motions. 8pen = 7 motions. Having said that, I’m pretty sure the intention was to provide an alternate input method to classic qwerty pecking. On a really boring date and you don’t want to be rude? You could probably write a full txt without taking your eyes off the other person. Not that this ever happens…

  26. This keyboard is harder that Chinese geometry. I’m not giving up though, I’ll use it sparingly to see if it gets any better. Android FTW!!

  27. Also, can someone explain how doing 5 swirls per letter is faster than just tapping or pointing at a letter?? Is it any surprise that there isn’t a single video, on Youtube or otherwise, showing someone actually using this keyboard productively?

    I’m honestly starting to think this is some fly-by-night scam company looking to make a quick buck at the expense of gullible early adopters.

  28. Im typying with it right now, its weird.

  29. Bought it refunded it.
    NUFF said.

  30. @Sean I see how it seems longer but longer is not really the point here. They are going for blind messaging not quicker messaging. This gives you the ability to truly type without ever looking at the keyboard by having a simple quadrant method to creating the words. You can do it in your pocket once you get used to it. That said I bought it and refunded it. I see the possible benefit to this but this “entirely new” layout takes too much time to get used to. They should have taken a que from swype and given some beta versions out or at least have a limited trial version so people could give a fair shake to remembering the letter placement. I do not need the benefit of blind texting (although it would be nice for the car), but like the concept. The one thing that would really make me keep this is a heads up floater above the keyboard showing the current letter I am on. I found myself constantly trying to look under my hand to find the letter/quad I was trying to hit. A small box with the current letter in it somewhere above or top left of the keyboard would be great.

  31. A reason why one would want this keyboard, is because once you have memorized the letters you can type without looking. With the a regular android keyboard (querty) thats not possible on a touchscreen.

  32. Man o man, this keyboard is hard to use!

    It does get much easier as one memorizes the keys and how many revs. to get to the right letter. I can see this method producing some very fast typing. Also because there is no predictive text, there are much less typos, this system is much more accurate than most KB + predictive text. The fustration of having to peck type is gone.

    On that note, one major flaw of this input system is for people, like me, who can’t spell rely on prediceive text to save us from embarassment and ridicule.

    Note this post was typed using the 8pen keyboard!

  33. ill just wait until they make this free when ti doesnt do so well in the market.

  34. After typing my previous post i’m thnking with enough experence one can get realy fast with this keyboard. Even faster and more accurate than swype

  35. I’ve been messing around with it. It doesn’t look like a scam. I’ve got fat fingers and I hate tiny keyboards that I have to stare at and try 3 times to get the right letter. I can see the appeal of this but my biggest complaint is I can’t see the lower half of the keyboard (finger in the way) and if I raise my finger in the middle of a word to see where to go next, I get a space.

    That said, I have already memorized the vowels and some common letters, so perhaps it’s not quite that hard to learn. I might keep it.

  36. @Mitchell – you’ve got the wrong idea from the original story, there appears not to be a free version planned at this stage, simply you can get a refund from google up to 24 hours after purchase if you don’t like a product – therefore you can use for free for 24 hours, then refund.

    I’m slightly tempted, but don’t expect to be able to learn in 24 hours as very busy life generally so I’ll wait until there is a longer free trial.

  37. Folks really $1.50 is too much? That’s cheaper that bottle water.

    To not be interested in the keyboard is one thing but to, write it of because it’s $1.5 is ridiculous.

  38. Anything is too expensive if its worthless. I tried this app for several hours today. It is very neat.

    You have to relearn a keyboard. Some of us are adults and have been typing for 20 years.


  39. Swype still reigns supreme!

  40. for people expecting to be faster with this right away: how long did it take you to get used to a qwerty keyboard for the first time? yeah, give it a week before you say it sucks…

    and for those who things $1.50 is too steep. what are you, 12?

  41. I am going to give it a try because I think having a keyboard I don’t have to look at would be great for meetings.

  42. For whoever is trying defend 8pen and say it’ll be faster than swype and useful in blind texting once you learn where the letters are… laugh. People act like they haven’t used a qwerty keyboard for many years. I don’t know how it is for most people, but I can type just fine with swype without looking since I have a general understanding of where the keys are, and swype takes care of the rest if I’m slightly off. Why take time to memorize where keys are on 8pen, when you could just start learning the qwerty keyboard.

  43. Picked this up today. Very cool.

    Don’t understand the hate here, though. This is offered as an alternative to the regular keyboard or Swype. Haven’t tried Swype, but I’ve found that the more I get used to this the faster I am at typing with it. Faster that the keyboard, in fact. Of course typing on a full-sized Qwerty keyboard is faster, but when using a single thumb, which is how I type most of the stuff using my phone, 8pen is just as fast as the keyboard. And once you learn it (hey, like you did when you first learned to type on a Qwerty keyboard), you can type without looking.

  44. i think i like it, i will try it for some time cuz i am really amazed by the new idea of controlling all the 26 letters with a single finger, and maintaining the speed of near qwerty (i am sure that is plaussible), the productivity of humans fingers will increase :)

  45. I agree with someone before, i am willing to try it, but not at a cost. they should make a demo app thats nothing more than a demo, where it lets you type, but not save. It don’t have to be a keyboard choice where any program can use it as a keyboard, just an demo app.

  46. Deary me. It’s incredibly lame to balk at a measly 1.50 just to try out a novel and interesting piece of software that someone’s obviously spent a fair amount of time over.

    Having said that, I found that the friction levels build up when you use this – constantly sliding your fingertip over the screen, until dragging that finger around gets tedious.

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