Sunday, April 01, 2012

Gmail Tap reduces your on-screen keyboard to two keys

Android's on-screen keyboard has been hammered for being inferior to the iOS OSK, and that perhaps prompted this change. With the advent of Gmail Tap, though, the keyboard is reduced to two keys: a dot and a dash.

Its timing, on April 1, 2012, reveals the true source of the development: Google's April Fools' Day jokes are famous, and the company expends a lot of time and effort on ones annually.

Still, it's an interesting concept. You can even use Gmail Tap on iOS. Announced on the Gmail Blog, Gmail Tap means that users can dot-and-dash their way to typing using Morse code.

The new app was announced by the stunningly named software engineer, Reed Morse. Morse explains the coincidence: Samuel F.B. Morse, the creator of Morse code, was his great-grandfather's grandfather's brother. Morse wrote:

"This makes it ideal for situations where you need to discreetly send emails, such as when you're on a date or in a meeting with your boss."

On the product page, Google promises some other features:
  • Multi-email mode so you can type two emails at once
  • Ship to shore mode, using your phone's flash (coming soon)
  • Table tap, which uses your phone's microphone to pick up the sound of off screen tapping (coming soon)
You can watch a video below.

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