Minuum Keyboard for Android hits Play Store as $3.99 public beta

Daniel Bader

August 19, 2013 1:43pm

Minuum, the one-dimensional keyboard that raised over $87,000 on Indiegogo earlier this year, has finally been released in public beta on Google Play.

The alternative Android keyboard gained a lot of press from users and reporters interested in seeing just how small a virtual keyboard could get before it begins to hurt productivity. We took a look at a pre-release version of the software and found it to be an interesting, if slightly inefficient, method for entering text. What kept us from using it long-term, however, was the omission of a password-enhanced layout, which has since been added.

Toronto-based Whirlscape, the team behind Minuum, has said that the Android app isn’t the end goal here, but is a means to showcase the incredibly flexible autocorrect algorithms employed in the software. As the company says on its Play Store page, “The Minuum keyboard for Android touchscreen devices is just the first step toward a ‘type anywhere’ future. Minuum will let you type on wearable devices, from smart watches, to game controllers, to devices that haven’t even been invented yet. By supporting the Minuum beta for Android touch-screens and making it better, you help to enable this vision.”

“The Minuum keyboard for Android touchscreen devices is just the first step toward a ‘type anywhere’ future. Minuum will let you type on wearable devices, from smart watches, to game controllers, to devices that haven’t even been invented yet. By supporting the Minuum beta for Android touch-screens and making it better, you help to enable this vision.”

In addition to a large-scale keyboard layout, which can be activated by pressing-and-holding with two fingers, version 1.1 adds QWERTZ and AZERTY layouts for non-English users, voice input for those times when typing just isn’t feasible, and much easier access to punctuation.

  • Allwayswrite

    Looks cool..not sure about its lifetime in market though..

  • thewebhead

    No thanks.

  • stevedion

    4$ for a beta… I prefer not having to pay for headaches…

    • erere

      that’s why u do a google search for minuum keyboard and download free apks!

    • Shaun Rayner

      I get that there are other ways to try it, but the mindset behind a pay beta is rediculous and a sign that the company is in it for the cash and nothing else.

    • ronnnyraygun1

      Every company is in it for the cash. Nothing else.

    • erere

      i probably would have been ok with like anything under 1.50$, but 4$? f that

    • Plazmic Flame

      And that’s why a lot of devs hate the Android platform… thanks for contributing to the problem!

    • icyhotonmynuts

      Make beta testing free, and there wouldn’t be a problem. People would pay for a working finished product, but for a prototype? Are they high?

    • Plazmic Flame

      Have you even used it? I was one of the Kickstarter backers and this keyboard is amazing. The only reason it’s in the beta phase is to get feedback from the users on how to make it better and what functionality might make it better.

      Other than that, they could have just released as a finished product if they didn’t give a damn about user feedback.

      Glad they didn’t.

    • icyhotonmynuts

      Do you not know how beta testing works? I’d pay for a finished product, but not for a defective product in testing. They should *pay me* to test it by giving it out free. If I like it I’ll buy it. That’s how testing works.

    • Plazmic Flame

      So basically you missed my point, which was:

      (wait for it, I’m going to give it it’s own paragraph so you see it loud and clear)

      THE POINT: The product is finished. It’s in beta to “ADD FEATURES THE USERS WANT”.

      If you used it (which you clearly haven’t and should have just said so) the product is useable and works great as is. Everything else is icing on the cake.

    • randalx

      If it’s finished then it wouldn’t be called a Beta. They can solicit user feedback for features from a released product.

      A Beta version implies that there are bugs and performance/usability issues they need beta testers to discover and report so they can be fixed before a final release. You don’t add features during the Beta phase as that could introduce more issues and delay your release.

    • TomsDisqusted

      I’m willing to pay $4 for a beta, but only if I either get a chance to try it first, or if I see some reviews that are very positive.

    • Lacherus

      You always have 15 minutes to ask for a complete refund. You should get a good idea if its for you or not in that time frame. For me it didn’t support multiple languages, so had to refund it.

    • icyhotonmynuts

      Always is such a strong word..take for instance any “large” 3D game.. seconds to download the downloader, possibly hours – oops over your 15 minutes – to try the actual game to see if it sucks or not.

    • HatInTheRing

      Agreed. Especially when the developer said this app isn’t even their business. Minuum is just a skin they slapped onto a greater product. They’re using us to do their testing so they can move onto other things and charging us to do it. Greasy.

      I’ll stick with the best keyboard in the world, SwiftKey, thanks (which also has great (and thoroughly tested) algorithms).

  • abinpt

    loook smart

    • icyhotonmynuts

      If you like using two hands to type on a phone. I prefer Kii Keyboard where I can change the size and position of the keyboard to hammer out letters with one hand on my Note II.

      How else am I supposed to drive and text in the same time? Safety, people. Safety! At least one hand on the steering wheel!

  • dkr88

    Pretty steep learning curve – more than I care to deal with – but it is nice to have that extra screen space freed up. Also, the “full keyboard” mode isn’t great at the moment – misses a lot of key presses it seems. If they improve the full keyboard and add gesture typing I would consider it again. The minimum mode is just too difficult for a primary input.

  • erere

    hard to type a word that’s not part of the auto correct

  • Xelstyle

    Really would like to give it a shot, but considering how well Swiftkey works for me (and Swype for other languages) $4 is a bit rich for my ‘curiosity’.

    • ItsaRyan

      You realize that Swiftkey supports multiple languages simultaneously, right?

    • Xelstyle

      Yet for the longest time, still no Japanese which really kills me because I would drop Swype if it did.

  • darknite111

    it really messed up when trying to use splashtop or enter data in certain fields. I tried it and went back to swiftkey

  • Dave

    Yeah, for $4…no. Swiftkey is good enough for me. For $0.99 I’d give it a Whirl.

    • A. Avanzado

      Agree. I am currently using SwiftKey. I paid the full price but it is totally worth buying. Sometimes, SwiftKey goes on sale for $1.99. I think that is also a good buy. Hope this dude goes on sale for $1.99 or even better $0.99 and I will think about it.

  • Stephie

    I paid into the indiegogo campaign back when that started, and the keyboard is pretty cool, it works well but typing in passwords was painful (before the QWERTY option) Its definitely innovative, but I hope they expand on it. does free up alot of screen real estate though, and smaller phones could benefit from it.

  • Stuntman06

    That’s quite pricy for a beta. If it is good, then I’d consider getting it. Right now, I’m using both SwiftKey and Swype which I paid for already and these are general release versions.

  • ItsaRyan

    Got in on it during the Indiegogo campaign, great keyboard. Was a huge pain in the arse to type passwords or URLs, but version 1.1.1 has made that headache go away. Now the only reason I flip back to Swiftkey is for other languages.

    Otherwise, its the only keyboard I use now. Even one handed its very accurate.

    My only major gripe is that it took me about a week to really get the hang of it, and for the predictive text to really kick in.

  • Craig Pakkala

    just tried it and believe it or not it can’t figure out that I’m trying to type ‘typewriter’. uninstalled

  • Adam Watts

    I paid the $4. You have to support dev’s to get good software. This is really inovative.
    I’ve been using it for a few hours and so far so good. It’s kinda awkward at the start, but you get used to it in time. The more you think about where you should be pressing, the harder it is.

    • DickGozinya

      Its not worth 4 bucks under any circumstances, sorry bud.

    • Adam Watts

      SwiftKey is $4. So is SlideIT.
      Apps cost money. So does development.

      Although this is “beta” it’s highly polished and completely usable. They would have been better off dropping the beta tag. It’s more functional than the vast majority of keyboard apps out there.

  • DickGozinya

    Pay to beta test, at 4 bucks?!! Uh, thanks but no thanks. Come back when its done, working flawlessy, and retailing for 99 cents where it should be.

  • kroms

    I could see APPLE and BB users people will pay $4 for this. They are used to this kind of nonsense.
    Thank god Android people are tech savvy and not so numb and dumb.
    $4 ? f that is right.

  • Martin Snetsinger

    I supported the kick starter and have been using minimum for a while. It was quick to type on, but I find that swype is just as fast for me. Also, typing passwords on minimum was a pain in the a*s and easily took 3 times as long. Will have to try it again.

  • icyhotonmynuts

    Pay someone else to test their product? I don’t think the developers know how beta testing works…